Thursday, June 14, 2012

In Essentials, Unity. In Opinions, Liberty. And in All Things, Charity.

The church I am working at this summer just finished up a series on Church History, ending with several weeks on Restoration History. Before you click the "back" button because I said the word "history", I promise this will not be a history lesson.

The great thing about history is that it helps us see where we've been, where we are, and where we're going. I've grown up in Churches of Christ (this post need not be strictly read by those in this movement) and learning a little bit about our history has really helped me see where we've been, where we are, and where we're heading. We truly started off as a unity movement, one designed to bring people together with Christ and His Word as our center. There have been rough patches along the way because of one factor that always seems to mess things up: people. I was once told something that is not entirely accurate, but struck me very deeply and does have an amazing amount of truth in it: "Churches do not divide over doctrine, churches divide because two people with big heads desire power and come up against each other." There are most definitely exceptions to this, but the truth is that most splits happen because of strong and misguided opinions disguised as doctrine.

We do two things that are truly tragic. The first thing we do is allow preferences to become matters of disfellowship. The second thing we do is allow sometimes obvious truths to slip by as preferences. It's quite a messy deal. There are most assuredly things addressed in Scripture that I believe we should cling to ever tightly, while being very respectful of those who might see it differently. There are also things very much not addressed at all in Scripture that might have validity in the arguments for either side, but mostly come down to a matter of preference.

As far as our future in churches across the board with every kind of name and background, I hope that we do all things in love. I pray that we study diligently and find out what our lives should look like according to Scripture. I also pray that we come to a point where we can honor and respect each other's opinions and preferences and seek to find where we are the same, not where we are different.

I end this post with a quote that when googled, does not seem to have a definitive author, but could not be more appropriate a charge for the church today.

"In Essentials, Unity. In Opinion, Liberty. And in All Things, Charity."

No comments:

Post a Comment