Nothing brings a smile to my heart or peace to my mind faster than birdsong at daybreak. It echoes through this beautiful valley we live in. The lush green of the surrounding forest is home to flocks of the fine feathered. Ethereal thoughts swirl. I fancy each tree is claimed by birds of a feather. I can envision pictures from a child’s book of cozy little tree-homes with birds snuggled in. As dawn pushes through the night the winged creatures waken, stretch and begin singing good morning. As you know, birds do in fact flock together. We can expand this thought to all of the animal/mammal kingdom. Herds, schools, pods, prides, gaggles…you get the idea.
And then there are humans. Human Christians to be specific.
We can be a perplexing lot can’t we? We profess to believe in Jesus Christ. We believe in the miraculous birth. We believe He willingly gave His life for the remission of our sins and we believe in His resurrection. We believe in these essential things yet we mysteriously segregate ourselves from one another. We split off into groups based on ethnicity, and…denominations. Good ole, ages old Denominations. Defined as, “a group having a distinctive interpretation of a religious faith and usually its own organization.” Oddly enough I see nothing of unity in it’s definition. How can unity be present when each group has it’s own set of beliefs, prejudices and hierarchy?How are current day denominations any different from what the Sadducees and the Pharisees practiced millenniums ago? These folks were the religious leaders back when Jesus came on the scene causing this unity ruckus. ¹The Sadducees said that there was no resurrection, no angels and no spirits. But the Pharisees acknowledged them all. I dare say we’re no different now. Each group has it’s own take on the Bible and the issues at hand. And wow, how some of the issues have changed! The fact remains that we’ve allowed the non-essentials to override the essentials. We’ve created, allowed and adhered to divisive organized religion.
²God created animals, then created mankind in His own image to rule over the animals. Well, we know that sin entered the world not long after the creation. We know that as time wore on people believed what they wanted. Sound familiar? Fast forward to the wandering Israelite’s. Seems to me the distinction was between God’s chosen and the pagan. Believers and non-believers. Fast forward to New Testament times and we have all manner of man made laws and sects. Oddly enough what stands out in my mind is Jew and Gentile. Believers and non-believers. Enter Jesus. Born to bring unity and Salvation. Willingly shedding His blood to save all who believe and call Him Lord. He did not stay in the tomb, He went back to His Father, our Father. He left His disciples with the Holy Spirit Counselor and instructions to go share the good news with everyone!
The gospel message would be shared, ³first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. There simply is no Scriptural evidence that we’re to divide into denominations, to separate ourselves in such a manner. There are little towns all over the country inundated with church houses boasting small congregations. They struggle financially. They struggle with manpower yet hang on to “their” church as if God can be contained in buildings! As if our salvation hinges on any doctrine other than His Word. Imagine if the walls of denomination crumbled so we could all join forces as unified Christians! Imagine the impact it would have on our communities if the un-churched witnessed a mass merging of different denominations. A merging of the Church! I ponder having Worship Houses every x-amount of miles as needed demographically (we could let the contractors choose the carpet.) Houses filled with Christians that have had their fill of what’s happening in the world today. Christians that believe in the Word of God and adhere to it all, not just bits and pieces. Christians, unified by Christ, gathering to worship. Imagine it! ªScripture tells us there is one God, one faith and one baptism. When we accept Christ into our hearts as Lord and Savior we become the Church…His church! To my way of thinking we have only two denominations. Believers who’ve been saved by accepting Jesus, and non-believers who’ve chosen to reject the gospel message.
Like birds of a feather Christian human beings truly need to flock together. Let’s set aside doctrinal differences. Let’s set aside ethnic differences. Let’s join forces as Christ intended, lets share and live the good news gospel! Oh it is my prayer that people will let go of petty, earthly, man made ideals and move to unite!
I don’t see Heaven split into different denominations…do you?