Diversity in the Body of Christ
There is something I see more and more on social media that really bothers me.
It’s this idea that the way my church does church is better than the way other churches do church. Lately, I have heard “progressive” church leaders say things like, “That church is just too old school. They need to change with the times and be more relevant.” And I have heard more “traditional” church leaders say, “We don’t need these lights and loud music... the church is trying to entertain instead of preaching the gospel.” I have heard denominations bashing other denominations, and I have heard some say that it's far better to be non-denominational than to be a part of any denomination. Quite frankly the church has enough attacks from the world that we don’t need more of it from within the body of Christ.
Have you ever considered that God wants diversity in the Body of Christ?
Have you considered that different styles minister to different people?
A progressive church with lights, the latest music, and casual dress is very different than a church that leans more traditional with hymns, southern gospel music, a pipe organ, and people that wear their Sunday best clothes. Although they are very different, both are needed and valuable to the Kingdom of God. Why? Because they reach and minister to different people.
Be very careful how you judge a church that is different than yours because God is using them to minister to and reach people your church can’t and won’t reach. Churches of every style have its place and are valuable... as long as they are preaching the truth of the Word of God.
If you look hard enough to find faults in any church or denomination, you will find them, but guess what... if they look at yours they can find plenty wrong with it too.
Well, what about their doctrine? This is wrong, or that is wrong. I have the feeling that when we get to Heaven, none of us will be able to say, "I had it all right. I was perfect in my understanding and interpretation of the Bible."
Don’t be prideful and think you know it all, you may be in for a shock when you get to Heaven. Besides... shouldn’t our focus be on ourselves first? You will not stand before God and give an account for what others do but rather, for what you did.
Doesn’t God’s Word instruct us to get the beam out of our eye before we try to remove the splinter out of someone else's?
If you think your church or denomination has a monopoly on the Holy Spirit, you are sorely mistaken.
John 3:8 says, “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."
The Holy Spirit can move wherever and whenever He wants. The Holy Spirit can speak through a mild-mannered quiet pastor who stands still, or the one who is shouting, running, and dancing.
The Holy Spirit can move with chandeliers or LED lights in the building. He can use the young and the old, the new Christian, and the mature believer.
Our enemy is not people who have differences in doctrine or have a different style of ministry. Our enemy is the devil who comes to steal, kill, and destroy. That enemy is using divisions within the Body of Christ to make us look like fools and push people away from God.
It’s fine if you don’t care for another church's way of doing things, you don’t have to like it, and you don’t have to attend there. But, don’t trash them or say God’s not using them. When we trash other churches, pastors or denominations we are only trying to make ourselves look better (which is pride) but in reality, we are making ourselves and the church the body of Christ look bad.
Instead, understand and appreciate those who are different. God is trying to reach people and minister to people you never will.
Together we can accomplish so much more than if we are divided.
If you are a believer, we are family, and on the same team. Let’s act like it.