One of the bigger problems I see in the Christian community today is the lack of unity between the denominations. Many Catholics and Orthodox will flat out tell you that their way is the only way. Many Protestants will point out what is wrong with how Catholics and Orthodox worship. Some go as far as calling Catholics, “Satan Worshipers”. Seriously google it, it is wild stuff.
One of the hardest denominations I’ve been around was Orthodox. I went to an Orthodox Church as a child and they always made it a point to show how old their beliefs were and their lineage. Many scoffed at the idea of any other denomination and some in the church would give smiles to other Christians, listening to them but finish with a “why you’re wrong” statement. As a matter of fact Orthodox in Greek translates to “correct belief” or “right opinion”. Of course I had many great interactions with Orthodox Christians, don’t get me wrong, but today I am just writing about division that I have seen.
I recently had a disheartening experience at my old Church. My father (who was also no longer a member of the Orthodox Church) had recently passed away and at the request of my mother I attended her church one Sunday. The priest gave a sermon about unity in the church and banning together. He talked about the crisis in Syria and how many Christian’s are being killed for their faith. However the problem was he kept saying we need to save “Orthodox” Christians, he only talked about unity in the Orthodox Church and the crisis for “Orthodox” Christians. I talked with him afterwards, he began by telling how sorry he was for my loss but as soon as he found out I was going to a different church, he began to point out how the Orthodox Church was before my church and how he couldn’t believe I left his church. He even criticized the fact I wasn’t getting married in his church.
I asked him “What about unity in the Church?”
He said, “There is plenty of unity in my Church”.
Then he turned his back on me.
It’s unfortunate that people behave this way over theological differences. God made it pretty simple for us on how be Christians. The two most important commandments are, love the Lord God with all your heart and love your neighbor as you love yourself. Why are we fighting over human made traditions?
God is looking for praise and for us to glorify him through works, we need to show the World God is good and make it a better place. We are the body of Christ, not the leg of Christ, or the arm but the whole body. Every part of the body has different working parts that are essential to a person. The same should go for the Christian community. We all have a purpose to God.
As far as arguing over how people worship, God is looking for praise and love. He is not looking for the how, he is looking for the why. He wants us to love him.
Differences are okay, but there is no need to argue. Pastor Steve Cioccolanti (you can watch him on YouTube at Discover Ministries) pointed out that there is 4 Gospels covering the same story. We have 4 different perspectives on Jesus’ mission. Different perspectives are okay but tearing each other apart over them is not.
Let’s all focus on using our abilities to glorify God, coming together and loving him.