It’s sad that Christianity is divided into so many different groups. We all have a little different interpretation of the bible and a little different understanding of doctrine. Obviously we are not going to agree on everything, but we certainly should be able to love one another and accept each other even when we differ on these things.
It’s hard to understand why this is when God tells us we are to be one, as Jesus and He are one. Yet, we understand that we are human and it is easy to lose sight of our first love. If we could only stay focused on Christ, listening for his voice and the guidance of the Spirit, loving God and loving others as God intended, then we could look past our differences.
The problem seems to be that we are unwilling to see any other viewpoint other than our own. There are those such as my wife and I that do not attend an organized “church”. There are those who attend a “church” every time the doors are open. Some attend a house church, some meet with fellow believers at cafes, parks, restaurants and others meet in their homes over dinner. We should accept these differences and love one another rather than argue over who is right and who is wrong.
There really is not a right or wrong way to assemble together. We need to stop expecting everyone to do things exactly the same way. We should respect others viewpoints and focus on loving them rather than expecting them to see things ‘our way’.
Focus on Christ
Things will not change until we start focusing on what is common in our lives rather than the differences. The common focus should be on Christ, the head of the body. After that, we should focus on loving others rather than arguing about the differences in interpretation.
We also need to keep in mind that we are all constantly changing as God brings new truth to us. We are all learning and changing as we are ready to accept new truths. The interpretations I had five years ago are completely different than some of the interpretations I have now. I’m sure in another five years they will change again as God leads me into more truth.
Sometimes we are afraid to accept others interpretations because we feel if we do not hold to our way of thinking, we are compromising and not standing up for what we believe. We do not have to give up how we interpret the bible, but neither should we think everyone else is wrong. Besides, we really are not responsible for convicting people of sin, or leading them into truth, or even saving them. That is the job of the Holy Spirit. We are told to love God and love others.
When we realize we are each equally important functioning parts of the body, and Christ is the head, we can start to change how we feel about those who don’t see things exactly the way we do. We can begin to accept our brothers and sisters in Christ as they are, as we realize we are walking as one with God together.