Why are there about 20,000 different denominations within Christianity, when the Bible is very clear on the unity of the Church?
I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.
1 Corinthians 1:10
How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! Psalm 133:1
Along with a multitude of other verses, God makes it quite clear through Scripture that he wants his people to be united. So why do some Christians refuse to do what God sees as right?
Often times Christians would rather be comfortable rather than unified.
For example, think about a time when your parents were mad at you, so you ran up to your room. You ran to your room because of comfort, rather than to understand them and listen to them. Human nature is often to avoid conflict, so when someone reveals that they believe something different than we do, we rarely challenge their beliefs. We say, ‘Some people are just wrong.’ and move on with our lives.
There is also the complete other end of the spectrum. Sometimes, within the church, there can be major theological disputes. These result into church splits and a divided church. This is not what Jesus calls us to do.
Who is Jesus? The Good Shepard. He goes after the one. He helps the lost sheep. The Good Shepard leaves the 99 and goes after the one because the Good Shepard loves the one just as much as he loves the 99.
The Good Shepard does not ignore the 1 and continue to protect the 99 others. The Good Shepherd takes care of the one misguided sheep first, brings it back to the flock and celebrates that he has his sheep together again.
The Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became man for no other purpose.
As Christians, we have often struggled to be good shepherds. We have not gone after the one as we should have. If we did, the church would have never become so divided.
God wants his flock to be unified. He wants us to stop dividing over minor theological disputes and he wants us to love one another enough to leave the 99 and help the 1.
But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.
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Nice post on Ecclesiology! But how do we do it (the Unifying part) practically?