Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Unity

Yesterday The Music Man My and a few other people from our church, went to a local post office and handed out free stamps to people bringing their tax returns in to be mailed.  He later told me enthusiastically how much fun he had doing it.  He enjoyed watching people's reactions.  Some couldn't believe that they would do something like that, others were just quietly grateful, while there were even some who ignored their offer of something "Free" all together.  

Then there was this guy in particular that I just had to tell you about, because it made me so sad.  He is an local police officer and was surprised to hear what my husband and the others were doing.  He said he thought it was a great idea.  He then told my husband that he was of a different denomination than ours (I've chosen not to say which one, because it doesn't really matter, but I will tell you it is a large, Bible-based, gospel-preaching denomination with some of the most amazing teachers and preachers I've ever heard).  He said that because he was this other-denomination, he couldn't accept a free stamp from our church.  That absolutely floored my husband.

It just made me sad.  To think that there are people in this world that would call themselves believers and Christ-followers, yet allow something as petty as denominational differences keep them from supporting other believers is mind-boggling.  You would think that no matter his religious affiliations, the fact that we serve the same almighty God would be enough to garner their support.  It just broke my heart to see so blatantly how denominations have fractured the greater Body of Christ in this world.  

I have grown up in the Assemblies of God most of my life.  I went to North Central University, the premiere AG university in the nation (as far as I'm concerned--trust me--I've seen what else is out there), and graduated with some of the most amazing young leaders of my generation.  But even though we all graduated from an AG school, many of those amazing people are no longer affiliated with the Assemblies of God.  They're in churches of all denominations; Lutheran, Baptist, Church of God, and a whole slew of non-denominational churches.  I won't try to tell you that the Assemblies of God is the be all and end all of what God is doing, because I don' believe that for one second.  They have been good to me and to my husband and I fully support them 100%, but that doesn't mean it's a fit for everyone.  God has led my friends elsewhere and I love that!!!  He can move anywhere and in any denomination!  All He wants is willing servants.  

I think that's why this other-denomination cop's reaction to a simple random act of kindness so saddened me.  What if it had been him and his Fraternity of Police Officers that had decided to do a random act of kindness such as we did and a fireman responded to him the way he responded to Scott?  He would be shocked, possibly hurt, and certainly confused because there is a sort of brotherhood between police officers and firemen.  How much greater is our brotherhood in the Lord?  It needs to surpass denominations and affiliations.  

How good and how pleasent it is for brothers to dwell together in unity. Psalm 133:1

May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. John 17:23

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus. Romans 15:5

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:3

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:14

2 comments:

  1. God has been so purging me on this issue!!! Just the past few weeks! I even wrote a little about it in my blog yesterday! I have been weeping and mourning in my spirit because of not being united in the church! We are all one body! Every believer, race, nationality... God never meant for us to be so dis-unified...(if that is even a word.) This is what has been burdening my heart the last few weeks. Actually one of our main focal points in this ministry here in Iron River is to bring unity between all of the "churches" in this area. I try not to really use that word lately because "We are the church!" All of us no matter what denomination. Anyway, just wanted to let you know...maybe God is burdening the people He know will listen because He doesn't want his body so divided! Good Word SISTA!

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  2. Before Tony got the job working with the two churches we're at now, I didn't realize how much people associated themselves with their denomination. Now I know.

    The bad hair day photo is great.

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