To my fellow workers in Christ,
The Lord has called us part of the leadership group placed in the church today. Even though I am a simple pastor of a smaller church body, I am part of this group and hear from and led by the same Spirit as the pastor in the largest congregation on earth. The following scripture leads me to the thought I have today. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.(Eph 4:4-6 NKJV)
Here is the situation I feel we must humbly and honestly investigate and determine if we are fulfilling our Lord’s will or part of a problem of division within the body of Christ. As leaders, bishops, pastors, evangelists, deacons, teachers, and priests in a Royal Priesthood, every believer who places God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ and Lord and Savior of our life has been called and commanded to strive for unity within His Body.
Here in the United States and around the world, do the lost and non-believers see us one? They do when they choose to persecute Christians physically or verbally. They feel comfortable attacking any person that claims the name of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. The world does not care about denominations or the many differences denominations have in doctrines; they see all of us as fair game to go after.
Why don’t we who are saved by the Blood of Jesus Christ, and now called the children of God, servants of the Master, and soldiers of God to share the truth to those living behind the gates of the devil and set them free from deception, see each other as one and act as one? We seem more drawn to what divides us than what unites us. The lost to often see this disunity in local assemblies to the national body of believers.
To you bishops, to us pastors, to you evangelists, to you teachers, to you deacons, and to every believer who is a priest in the Royal Priesthood, every one of us is on the hook to strive for unity in the body. We need to ask ourselves if we are part of the solution and following His Spirit or the problem of disunity by following our flesh and deceptions of Satan.
As a wise man once asked me, “Are you simply going to complain and be part of the problem, or are you going to do something and be part of the solution?” I choose the latter by:
- I choose not to listen to any gossip or dirty laundry about other church fellowships. If they preach Jesus Christ as Lord who paid my sin’s price, I have not problem supporting them in the conversation. I may disagree with what is occurring but instead of listening and nodding my head, and God forbid, maybe feeling good about a challenge to the competition, I will support them as family and as quickly as possible, lead the conversation to prayer for the situation.
- I choose not to get into conversations that can quickly turn into an argument regarding secondary beliefs and doctrines. Topics such as; the end times, rapture and tribulations, prophecy, Pentecost and gifts of the Spirit, are just a few landmines in discussions. I will share my opinion and thoughts if asked, and if my view is different, I will ask them to “consider” the way I view it. I must fight arrogance that leads to a religious spirit and seek wisdom and learning that only comes from being humble in the extent of my knowledge.
- I will attempt to show up to activities other fellowships have invited me to and interact with them. Who am I to judge if they are worthy of my time when I can only see what is on the outside of a person and not what is in their heart.
- As a pastor, I will talk and act to match what I say and preach. I will seek to be transparent to those around me.
- I will not try to homogenize (when all must have the same views) other’s beliefs but allow each saint to be the person the Lord has developed in them. The Gospel of Jesus Christ, His death, His burial and resurrection, His Ascension and His Kingship are good enough for me in what we must agree on.
What are your thoughts on how we can advance unity in the body of Christ without compromising the Gospel?
- In your church family?
- In your town?
- In your state?
- In this country?
God Bless you for taking the time to read this, and feel free to add your thoughts. John