Our passage yesterday was primarily about unity. Paul was writing this to try to bring the Jews and Gentiles together under one Jesus. In the past, the Jews would have nothing to do with Gentiles. They would isolate themselves from the Gentiles because they were seen as defiled and unclean. And these types of squabbles still continued even after both sides have been washed in the waters of baptism.
And we look at what the Jews and Gentiles have done in the past, and we wonder why they didn’t get it. Why both sides coming to Christ wouldn’t settle their differences and help them to realize they are all under the same God who wants the same thing from them all. And we think to ourselves, if we were in their shoes, we wouldn’t act like this. We wouldn’t cause such hostility.
But, then we look at the church, collectively, today, and realized that we are no different and no better. How many different denominations are there? How many times have churches gone through church splits? How many times do we argue about what’s the best way to worship? And I could go through the list of things we, as Christians, fight about, but I think we all know them already. And if that’s not bad enough, we also question the faith of those in other churches because of their church practices as well.
How is this a spirit of unity? How is this going to win the world for Christ? Let me just ask the most simple and basic question here: When you read the Bible, and you read a passage like this one on unity within the church and among believers, is how we’re acting today what Jesus truly intended? I don’t even think we’re close. I think we do more, as Christians, to undermine other churches to get already believing Christians to join our churches, that we fail at our true mission to be one in Christ and work together to reach the world of Him.
Satan has done an amazing job with the church today. And the sad thing about it is, we’re so focused on growing our own church and our own brand that we will cut other churches down in the process. I’m a pastor and I will admit I have done the same things I am writing about. I am guilty of this as well.
But it’s time to stop. It’s time to stop looking at other churches as the enemy and start looking to them as what they truly are. Our brothers and sisters in Christ. The sad thing is about this is that we are hurting our own family. We are all part of Christ’s family, and here we are, spending more time and energy attacking each other, rather than attacking the mission – to go and be disciples who are making new disciples. And imagine how much more of this world would know Christ if we just all agreed to shift our focus from hurting the family to hurting the true enemy, and winning souls from his grasp!