Thursday, December 4, 2008

Denominational Dismemberment?

Parade shots - kids supporting Operation Christmas Child

One of the things I appreciate about the Operation Christmas Child Project, aside from the wonderful work of compassion and evangelism, is the unity it promotes, between those churches participating. I love the feeling of the "Body of Christ" coming together. I believe it also makes Jesus happy.

On the other hand, I am definitely not "Foursquare". We saw a promotional video Sunday that emphasized a spirit of Christian denominational, self-serving, disunity. For some reason it makes me very uncomfortable to hear folks repeating over and over, between life testimonies, "I am Foursquare" or Nazarene or whatever, for that matter. It brought to mind what Paul had to say in an appeal for unity among the believers, and I think on this very subject:
"What I mean is this: One of you says, "I follow Paul"; another, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Peter"; still another, "I follow Christ."Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul?"
1 Corinthians 1:12-13
Dismemberment seems to be happening more than ever in our own age, of Baptist, Missionary, Assembly of God, Lutheran, Episcopal, Foursquare, Nazarene, Calvinist, Reformed and etc.; we are this and you are that, nah, nah, nah. One can only wonder what Jesus thinks of all this grouping off; each sub-heading of Christianity thinking they have the best and most correct answer for the world.

As for me,
"... my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me
in a robe of righteousness." Isaiah 61:10
And, here's another good one along these lines:
"You will be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will bestow." Isaiah 62:2b
That name happens to be "Christian," correct me if I am wrong.
"The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch." Acts 11:26:b
"However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name." 1 Peter 4:16
What, we might ask, is in a name? And, are we now ashamed to be called Christians? We need to pray for more unity among our brothers and sisters in Christ, and be proud to bear his name.

1 comment:

  1. Amen!I totally agree about Operation Christmas Child too.That is precisely why I like volunteering for OCC!