The Christian church of today’s world; perhaps a larger battleground then what’s in the Middle East. Constant bickering, disagreement, and vicious attacks upon and with one another have led us to a church that is so scattered and disarrayed not even the most knowledgeable of historians could piece us together. And why is this? Why is the body of Jesus Christ so disillusioned? The church is supposed to be the rock upon which the world functions, not a group of smaller bodies that only look out for themselves.
Baptist, Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Non-denominational and Pentecostal. Just a few of the many denominations found amongst the Christian church today. Why is a body meant to be one split into so many smaller factions? One of the biggest reasons is based on personal preference of worship. Many of us have a preference for how we worship, the way in which we feel closest to God, and how we like things to run in the church. There is nothing wrong with having a personal preference but when we begin to demand that our way is best and right, that is when the true problem arises. We have divided ourselves over baptism, communion, and music to name a few. Each denomination claims to be the right way to worship, the best way to develop a relationship with God our Father. However, we seem to have forgotten that the way a church is run has absolutely nothing to do with our personal salvation or the love we receive from our Father. All churches share (or at least claim to share) the belief in Christ as the Savior of the world. Everything else melts away when we remember the love Christ had for us when He died on the cross for all of our sins. We become a united body of Christ when we remember our biggest mission on this earth; to spread the Gospel of Love to all those who have yet to hear it. Because there is no right way to worship, those of us in the church must learn to respect those in different worship settings. Whether you have a big band performing on stage to thousands or a body of 50 people singing along with an organ, God is being glorified. Whether your sermon is 50 minutes or 10 minutes, God is being glorified. And whether you practice infant baptism or not, God is being glorified. Let our focus remain upon the cross wherever and however we worship, regardless of our own desires. If we do this, we might just find unity.
As I stated before, the struggle to spread the Gospel is a real problem amongst churches today. The infighting has led to one of the largest separations between the church and the secular world. But to be honest, how are we to blame the secular world for straying further from the church when the church is stuck judging themselves? We claim we have the answer to the worlds’ pain and suffering (which I fully believe we do), but when our focus is on who worships correctly and who is saved, there is no way to truly preach and show the life saving love found in Jesus Christ. We are supposed to be a beacon to the world, a shining example of love, healing, and mercy to a world lost in turmoil. We cannot do that when we strike down ourselves. Abraham Lincoln said it best, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.”