Like Humpty Dumpty, the body of Christ has broken into many pieces. Nowadays, there are tens of thousands of Christian denominations and ministries around the world. But is this how God wants it to be?
Jesus prayed, in John 17, that all of His followers be one. He went on to say that it is the unity of His followers that will convince the world that He is from God. So what has happened?
Human organization! Over the centuries, people have sought to assemble, define, and organize the body of Christ, themselves, rather than simply allowing Jesus to build His own body. The result is vastly more flavors of Christianity than there are flavors of ice cream.
So, is Christian unity a lost cause to be left to endless negotiations between high ranking church officials; formal, annual “unity meetings” of local pastor associations; and occasional ecumenical Sunday pulpit exchanges? No! There’s much more to it than that!
Since human organization has driven and solidified church splits, it will not (and cannot) bring unity. The best human organizing can do is uniformity (the appearance of unity hiding deep divisions).
Genuine unity in the body of Christ goes much deeper than uniformity. It is a unity stronger than family. It is a spiritual kinship, the witness of the Spirit bearing witness that the Christians you disagree with are indeed your brothers and sisters in Christ. It is a heart-to-heart coming together of Christ-followers, around the risen Jesus and nothing else.
So how can that happen? It’s really quite simple. We Christians need to lay down and step out of our religious boxes (fortifications). Then we need to go to Christians who we aren’t attracted to and get to know them as sisters and brothers in Christ. That process can start by one person inviting another to lunch. Try it and see.
Then the Holy Spirit will take over and begin a process of connecting hearts, that will spread and grow. Jesus is waiting for us to take the first step. Will you? If you need some confidence, encouragement, and/or guidance to begin your personal journey toward unity, google the book: ONE: Unfolding God’s Eternal Purpose From House To House. It can help get you going!