Also published on the Christian Women's Resource Network
Since mankind first became aware of the divide between good and evil, we have been creating divisions. Cane and Abel were divided over whether it was sufficient to give God an offering or whether they should offer God their best. Today we are divided over such things as stay-at-home moms versus moms who work outside the home; private school, public school, or home school; legalism versus grace; and even blue carpet or beige in the sanctuary. If you live in St. Louis, you know the most important division is that of Cardinals versus Cubs!
Yesterday I saw a commercial that reminded me of another great division. A company is now promoting paper towels for the home bathroom to avoid re-infecting hands after washing. Yep, it's the argument of germ-free sanitation versus save-the-earth-from-more-trash!
God knew the people he created would find ways to divide up over almost every topic they could possibly discuss. It seems we can't agree on anything. Jesus prayed during his final days for all who would ever believe in him through the message of the disciples (that's us!). He said, "I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one -- as you are in me, Father, and I am in you." (John 17:20-21, NLT) I'm sure that he and his Father are both woefully disappointed by the petty arguments we have over theological points, and especially non-theological points, that have broken our churches into hundreds of denominations.
It's frustrating to visit a church and have the preacher speak from the pulpit as if his or her particular brand of faith is the only one that counts. One quote I heard this week was "We (insert name of denomination here) put God in a box." Uh, don't ALL believers tend to do that? Why must we further segregate ourselves whenever we get the chance?
I can hardly imagine what the world would be like if all believers would drop their labels and seek to worship Christ in a pure, holy way. What a wonderful world that would be! I'd like to challenge you to step out of your denominational, or even non-denominational, comfort zone this week and try to seek God as Jesus prayed we would seek Him -- as a unified group wanting nothing more than to believe that Jesus is the Christ, sent by God for our salvation.
Oh, and by the way, if you find a good way to dry your hands in a sanitary and earth-saving manner, let me know. Until then I'm just wiping them on my jeans!