Unity in Jesus, our prayer
Many churches exist that claim to worship Jesus Christ as the Head of their faith. Why is this so? Does the Bible encourage separate churches with different beliefs? Listen to what the Apostle Paul had to say in his letter to the Philippians:
Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. PHILIPPIANS 2:1-2 NKJV
The Psalmist makes the same declaration. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! PSALM 133:1 NKJV
After Jesus was crucified and risen, the early church began to take shape. Here is how the worship service was described by Luke:
So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. ACTS 2:46-47 NKJV
The first churches, after the Christians were forced to separate themselves from the Synagogue, were gatherings in the homes of believers. They worshipped with “one accord” with “simplicity of heart”, praising God.
When the Holy Spirit is guiding a body of believers, they will not seek divisions. Divisions grow out of petty hearts where individuals seek to control other individuals. What sort of issues do you think might come up to divide a church? Are some of those issues unimportant in the big picture? If you had to write a Creed, a foundational belief document, what would it need to say?
Listen to Paul’s instruction to the Corinthians: For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body — whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free — and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many. 1 CORINTHIANS 12:13-14 NKJV
Does a church thrive on the differences in talents that lie within the body of believers? What if every church was full of individuals who thought they should be the leader or worse yet, what if every member was unwilling to lead? What sort of tasks need to be completed by a church for it to be an effective church? Does the division of tasks, the identification of roles lead to self centered behavior?
Core Christian Value: Denominationalism is an unnecessary reality, born of division, not unity. Our Lord prefers we be of one mind, exercising the gift of love towards each other.