What Do You Believe?
Have you read or listened to the news lately? Do you believe all that you read and hear? It seems every day there are more accusations put forth as the truth. There are so many contradicting statements it is difficult to discern who to believe. Political statements world-wide appear to consistently make bold and sometimes such outlandish statements it makes one ask”¦really?
Opposing parties wanting their viewpoint favored seem willing to make a plethora of statements whether true or not. Attempting to determine what or who to believe is exhausting and discouraging. Furthermore, there are often as many differing viewpoints even among those who appear to believe in the same concept thus destroying the main goal they set out to achieve.
It reminds me of a funny story about a family from New York that decided to raise cattle. They sold their property and moved out West to buy a ranch. When their friends visited and asked how they determined the name of their ranch. The father rancher replied, ”I wanted to name it the Bar-J. My wife favored Suzy-Q, one of our sons chose the Flying-W, and the other liked the Lazy-Y. So in order to satisfy everyone we’re calling it the Bar-J-Suzy-Q-Flying-W-Lazy-Y.” ”But where are all your cattle?” the friends inquired. ”None survived the branding!”
When a group that is to be unified by one common mission gets sidetracked by secondary issues it often destroys or at least harms the very concept they set out to do. We see that in the commanded mission of believers in Christ as well. Christians are all part of God’s family and as believers share a unity that goes beyond all other relationships. In today’s world it is more important than ever that we, as Christians, appear as a unified group to the world.
Christ Above All
Differences between Christians is not a new concern or problem as Paul spoke clearly about it in the 1st Century as he addresses the Corinthians. As we continue to live in a world full of turmoil, those who believe and follow Christ need to form as a cohesive group of believers remembering the main idea. Differences in doctrine of each denomination remain but as true believers in Christ it is our commission by Christ, himself, to witness effectively to the world. Getting tangled up in arguments or divided doctrine allegiances harm and sometimes destroy the very witness we set out to achieve. It is important for all of us to remember to focus upon Christ as our main doctrine of belief.
The church, as one under Christ, and in the words of Paul, is to be of one mind, united in thought, and purpose. (1 Corinthians 1:10) Divisions among believers often is the result of pride. Pride has no place in the body of Christ so certainly the pride of individual dominations would hinder witness to the world. But that is not to say that there needs to be only the pursuit of one doctrine. For we, as individuals, need individualized teachings, methods, and worship to fully explore our God in the most meaningful way possible to be effective in His plan.
We can be different and yet hold the same like-mindedness. Noted author A.W. Tozer eloquently put this in words in his book, The Pursuit of God.
Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshipers meeting together, each one looking to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be were they to become ”˜unity’ conscious and turn their eye away from God to strive for closer fellowship.
Changing the World Together
Christians, worldwide, that ban together in the belief of Christ will unify the body of the church, as a whole, helping the world heal by seeing a different way; the way of Christ. It is allegiance to Christ that the world needs to view for this is the unity that God desires. When the world sees discord among the main body the division between the believers and unbelievers grows greater and creates an ineffective witness.
There are two ways for Christians to find unity through Christ as penned by Dwight L. Moody; one is frozen together and the other melted together. Christians need unity through the melting of brotherly love for when we hold love in our hands we can expect to have the power to change things.
So let us all change the world, as one body of Christ, laying down our pride by recognizing the necessary differences between believers. Realizing that divided allegiances are more dangerous than differences of opinions. It is through our conviction in Christ that unifies all believers. For it is in the necessary unification of this belief that not only the power of witness is evident but that comfort abounds for believers for we, as like-minded individuals, stand ready to support one another in and through Christ.
Vesta Kelly once said;
Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look at what they can do when they stick together.
So let’s change the world by sticking together as the body of Christ!
Love in Christ,
Kansas City Chiefs former coach, Herman Edwards, once said, ”The players that play on this football team will play for the name on the side of the helmet and not the name on the back of the jersey.
Credits Houston Chronicle. (2010, January 6). Houston Chronicle. Moody, D. L. (1900). Moody's Anecdotes. Chicago: Moody Publishers. Tozer, A. (1948). The Pursuit of God. Chicago: Moody Publishers.
What are your thoughts? Join Us in Discussion
Do you believe that your belief in Christ can change the world? Have you fostered unity among the different Christian denominations in your community for more effective witness? Join us in discussion on the necessary unity between all Christian believers.