There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call – one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Ephesians 4: 4-6

 

The church that I attend doesn’t look like the church that many others attend. The buildings are different and the way that we worship is too. The body of Christ speaks many languages as it also enfolds any and all races and nations of people. I believe that this rich diversity is a reflection of the great creativity of God. Yet, the many things that set us apart should not be allowed to divide us; however, sadly, they do.

 

Too often people make church affiliation into something that defines us. So it becomes an issue for pride and a reason to view ourselves as superior to those who don’t share our particular affinity. We define non-essential ideas of man as absolute divine revelation and make them into sifting points for determining true belief or faith and for separating from those who don’t share that understanding of God’s word. These are just some examples of the many ways that people seek to emphasis our differences and that we focus on our distinctives as a means to proclaiming ourselves as “true believers”.

 

This manner of thinking and acting misses the essential point. All that God ordains is from Him, under His authority, and ruled by His will. There is nothing that people can think or do as it relates to our faith in God and our worship of Him that can have its origin in any source other than God Himself. We should hold no pride in a particular church, no ownership of a form or style of worship, and no superiority that comes from a specific set of doctrines or beliefs. In order to live in this reality of what is truly church, that is, what constitutes the body of Christ; we need to be humbly yielded to God and submissive to His authority and to His Word. From this perspective we can delight in the many ways that God is active in our world, and we can rejoice together with the multitudes of brothers and sisters who are filled with the same Spirit of Christ that sets the rhythm for our heart’s beating.