Wednesday, October 17, 2012

U - Unite (Part 2)

In my first posts on "Unity (Part 1)", I briefly described the concepts of dogma, doctrine, and belief. It is important to remember that Kingdom people may not agree on everything, but hold certain elements as critical. It has been said, we do not need uniformity, just unity.

The apostle Paul wrote of unity. In Romans a large part of his message was for Jews and Gentiles to be united. Likewise, he discusses this in Ephesians, and other letters. However, his letter to the church in Corinth is filled with helping people be united. His appeal in 1 Corinthians 1 is that no divisions should exist (v. 10) because Christ is not divided (v. 13). The context of this letter sounds much like the church today. Instead of Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, etc, they were the Church of Cephas, Church of Apollos, or Church of Paul.

Ultimately, it is Christ that we follow. He is the King (Messiah). Jewish believers refer to Him as Yeshua Ha'Moshiach (Jesus Messiah). It is He that is King. Thus, we unite under Him. Are denominations important? They can be helpful because different people have differing beliefs, and understand doctrine differently. What is important is that people connect to God, and if different approaches to worship provide that connection, then so be it.

A difference in denominations does not mean others are not Christian. It does not mean that partnerships cannot be formed to share the gospel as we are faithful to Christ. Personally, I am baptist, and much of that is due to the doctrine of baptism. However, my first responsibility is to Jesus Messiah. And regardless of your affiliation in a denomination, or even if you are not affiliated with one, if you are a citizen of His Kingdom, your responsibility is to Him as as well. Thus, we are united, and should live that way.

After all, the question we will face upon leaving this life for the life to come is not how good of a Baptist, Presbyterian, etc. we were, but rather  how we responded to our King.

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