“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. John 17:6-11
I think this is one area that we as the Church continually fall down. We just cannot work as one. We let petty issues divide us and often lose sight of what our mission should be, to proclaim the Gospel. This has been going on for hundreds of years. But for the most part of differences have been either fine theological differences or how we worship.
That is not to say that in the past there have not been major issues that divided the body. The Reformation is a prime example which led to the Bible being translated into the languages of the people and the end of questionable practices by the church such as the sale of indulgences. But the Reformation was not the first time the church split. In 1054 the Church split between the Eastern Greek church and the western Latin Church. Today we constantly see churches split in two over what music should be played in worship or who made who mad. Sometime it looks like a bunch of school kids on the playground getting mad at each other and going off.
But there has been a different splitting over the past 50 or so years as we see churches moving away from God’s Word. In order to be relevant we compromise doctrine in order to conform to how society is moving. We see too many ready to read into scripture what is current rather than what God has said. We move away from absolute truth to a relativistic way of thinking. We start thinking that all religions lead to God and no one religion has an absolute claim to truth. Worship becomes a mini concert in order to appeal to a wider audience and the message gets watered down in order not to offend. An little by little we move farther from God and become more and more splintered.
The Church needs to come back to accepting God’s Word as the final authority in our life. We need to reach across denominational lines to find common doctrinal truths based on the Word of God and not on how we are perceived by the world. We need to be more worried with bringing people to Christ rather than filling up the seats on Sunday. And we need to regain the oneness that Jesus prayed to the Father that we have.
Have a blessed day,