My cousin and friend, Mark Ellis, wrote an excellent article on his dislike for the denominations in the church: http://calcareviam.wordpress.com/2011/08/21/dirty-sandals/
Jesus prayed for Unity
“I’m not praying only for them. I’m also praying for those who will believe in me through their message. I pray that all of these people continue to have unity in the way that you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray that they may be united with us so that the world will believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me. I did this so that they are united in the same way we are. I am in them, and you are in me. So they are completely united. In this way the world knows that you have sent me and that you have loved them in the same way you have loved me.
Look around you. Look around your community. Look around your church. Is there unity? Are people taking steps to unite and work together as one collective unit? Or are they pushing apart and erecting divisive walls? Unfortunately, it would appear the church is crashing into disunity. As you drive through your city notice how many different churches and denominations there are. Why is that?
There are many possible reasons but one of the simplest are the disagreements between church members. Instead of being humble and seeking the truth, people often break apart and decide to do things their own way. The church is full of “leaders” but very few followers. The problem is the church doesn’t need more leaders, it needs humble, committed and devoted servants who are willing to give all to show the world Christ.
Back to the basics.
Often the divisions and disagreements in the church are caused by trivial and petty issues. Mark made a great point in his blog article Dirty Sandals. He Said: “I was brought up in a pretty strict Baptist home/church. Dancing, for example, was a huge no-no. Dancing, really? I mean come on… what’s wrong with dancing? What would Jesus do? He would probably and has probably danced. Denominations make trivial things important and make rules for or usually against them.”
Dancing is one example of many trivial issues that have created divisions in churches. These trivial issues latch on to some people and dig in deep, giving them the impression that it is important when it in fact is not. Why can’t we shed our childish ways and rediscover what is truly important, the church’s mission – To Love God, Love Others and show the world Jesus Christ.
Getting hung up on the little things severely hinders our ability to work towards our mission. How can we show the world the love of God when we are bickering and squabbling over someone dancing a jig or the way someone else is dressed – we can’t.
How can we achieve unity? I don’t have the answers for that. Considering how deep the divisions have become in the modern church, I’d say we’re facing a steep uphill battle; If it’s even possible.
Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God
Putting the church back together may be a job that God alone can do. But until Christ returns, I encourage you to humble yourselves and set aside the trivial things so that you can focus on becoming united. In this way, your unity will show the world that Jesus truly was sent by God, and you will be a shining light for Him. So shed your pride and your self-righteous attitudes and put on your dirty sandals and start breaking down some walls.