The Orange Leader
Twice in the brief 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians the Apostle Paul says, “For we know in part” (vs. 9) and again in verse 12 he says, “I know in part.” What he is saying is obvious; we don’t know anything perfectly. In a limited way this helps us understand why there are so many different church denominations. There is a vast area of agreement within most denominations but in each there exists certain core “truths” in which there can be no compromise and the difference is enough difference to make a difference and a new organization is formed to embrace that difference.
Isn’t there something ironic about this? We all agree that salvation from sin is possible because of one man’s death via one nation’s method of killing him—death on a Roman cross. Peter proclaims, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12). Does the name of Jesus come to mind when you think, “there is none other name under heaven…” It should, because it is. And, as a general rule this is enough to bridge the gap between denominations and individual churches.
Unfortunately, however, it is not always the circumstance. Doctrinal trivialities somehow intervene until mere doctrinal molehills become doctrinal mountains that divide. For example: one of my longest and very best preacher friends is a staunch Calvinist. I personally lean more toward the Arminian view on the matter of whether “I choose” or “God chooses” for me in the matter of salvation. While this is a major matter with some it is of less importance to my friend and I as we often fellowship. This is, as I believe, just as it should be among all Christians.
Why are our “spiritual arteries” so hardened that we desperately need a spiritual “heart transplant” to make it possible for all Christian denominations to see the value and importance of celebrating the life and death of Jesus? He made it clear: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). Isn’t this affirmation (and many others like it) enough to cut a channel deep enough for the waters of God’s grace and love to flow unrestricted and unabated between all believers?
Lord, send a revival. Let it begin today in me!