“the church has been dealing with issues of political correctness and which things or lifestyles are really sin. All of these are important issues in Christianity. However, our understanding and personal preferences about them can cause debates and quarreling which only leads to further division. ~Pastor JC Weeks
“Our church worships differently than the church down the street.” “They don’t believe exactly what we believe.” “They are a more contemporary church and we are a traditional church, so I would never feel comfortable there.”
There are many issues that can easily divide the body of Christ. Different styles of worship and music, dissimilar theologies, scriptural interpretations, cultural philosophies and ideologies can drive a wedge between believers.
I understand there are different beliefs about many things concerning the word of God. Some in the church have questions like: What does it mean to be saved or born again? Should I be baptized and how should it be done; immersion or sprinkling? Is the baptism in the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues still relevant for today? Which denomination is preaching the real truth?
In addition, the church has been dealing with issues of political correctness and which things or lifestyles are really sin. All of these are important issues in Christianity. However, our understanding and personal preferences about them can cause debates and quarreling which only leads to further division.
One Thing Remains
Should these things bring division in the church? The apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth and begged them to come together when he said,
“Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”
1 Corinthians 1:10 (NKJV)
In the midst of all things that can separate us as Christians, should we not be searching for the ONE thing that should unite us? In my estimation, we should. This “one thing” is simply, the gospel of Jesus Christ. His birth, His life, His crucifixion for the sins of humanity, His death, burial and resurrection, and His promise of heaven should be the heart beat of every believer.
When you boil everything down, the thing we all “speak the same and are in the same mind and judgment about” is this salvation we have through Jesus Christ. Everything else is peripheral. JESUS is the unifying ingredient and the focus in the church. He is what unites us and makes us all a part of the family of God.
Call To Unity As The Church
We must stop allowing personal preferences to pit us against each other. No matter what name may be on the sign in front of your church, if you believe on Jesus Christ and have been forgiven of your sins, then you are my brother or sister in God’s family! The only way the world is going to see Jesus and know that we are His, is by the way we love one another. We, as the church, must stop bickering and dividing ourselves and begin to show our solidarity and the love of Jesus to other believers and to the world!
Jesus said if we will lift Him up, He will draw everyone to Him. (John 12:32) Let’s lay aside those things that divide us. Together let’s pick up the mantle of Jesus Christ and move the kingdom of God forward.
Perhaps, when we see the Lord, all the things we thought were so important (that could have divided us), won’t really matter at all. When we stand before Jesus, He won’t us ask what church we belonged to or what style of music filled our worship services. Instead, He will look to see if our sins are forgiven through His sacrifice. So let’s come together to reap the harvest and win our world to Him for His glory!
J.C. Weeks is an Ordained Minister, Author, Bible Teacher, and the Lead Pastor of Crossroads Community Church in Titusville, FL.
A Biblical Education graduate of Lee University, he has ministered as a Youth Pastor and Lead Pastor for over 25 years. He has served on leadership boards through the Church of God in Florida.
J.C. believes that God still has a plan and purpose for the body of Christ in this generation, and that Word of God is still as relevant and fresh as it was when God first inspired it.
J.C. and his wife, Melinda, live in Titusville, FL.