There is a huge problem facing the body of Christ today. The church is divided so badly that it doesn’t know its hands from its legs any longer! We are at war with ourselves. There are believers who forbid those under their supervision from meeting with God in certain places of worship. Don’t get me wrong, there are many cults and religious sects that teach false doctrines and these should be denounced and rejected at all costs.
However, I am referring to the pettiness of man that comes into play when we try to show others that our chosen path to God is superior to theirs! I’ve heard and sometimes participated in arguments between Catholics and Pentecostals. I’ve heard criticisms levelled against the Anglican church. I’ve heard accusations of a lack of spiritual charisma in the Baptist church. My question is this: what does it all matter in the end? How did the Christianity go from being united as one body in the Early Church to having over 40,000 denominations in a relatively short span of 2000 years?
Interestingly, the Bible makes no reference to the word ‘denomination’. Jesus said He is the Way, the Truth and the Life and no one comes to the Father except through Him. Simply put, no one can denounce any style of Christianity that places Jesus and His teachings at its centre. Once Jesus is given His rightful place over and above all then God truly becomes accessible to members of that denomination. I guess the best illustration of how Jesus felt about this matter can be found in Luke 9:49-50: Now John answered and said, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us.” But Jesus said to him, “Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is on our side.”
Like John, we have a tendency to think or feel that our group is the right one to belong to and any other group or individual is treated suspiciously. Jesus corrected this thinking by reminding John that they were all on the same team! This is something the Global Church needs to remember quickly. We are all on the same team with the same purpose. A kingdom divided cannot stand. Wake up Church! A cancerous body will eventually eat itself up.