The Bible wasn’t written to us but for us
That simple statement got me thinking about how often many of us consider that the Bible is just any other manuscript with instructions from some guy up there telling us what to do and what not to do but there’s much more to it than that, the more we think about the Bible as a guide for us to get to that level where it’s part of us, the easier it will be for us to accept the lessons drawn from it. That said; let me get to the subject of my blog post.
Psalm 133:1 says that
How wonderful it is, how pleasant, for God’s people to live together in harmony.
This verse strikes a nerve especially for those that are so good at always finding fault in others, looking for a reason to start a fight or just plain hating on others. In the recent past, I’ve seen a good number of churches spring up in Uganda and the world over which in a way is a good sign that God’s work is going on seriously around the world but my concern is how much these churches(I mean Pentecostal churches) have divided us along religious lines, while I have no problem with the foundations of the churches, the fact that they are too many and each attracts a particular sections of people is what concerns me, In Uganda we have the “Anglican Church”, “Roman Catholic Church” and the “Pentecostal Church” while the 1st two groups have not grown so large, the last group has had a pretty steady growth, question is why?
I believe from the psalmist’s words, it’s very clear that we need to live together in unity, not just any worldly standard unity but Christian unity standing for what our faith holds as truth.
Personally I’ve had an opportunity to experience a good enough level of worship from different churches and I must say there’s not much that’s different, only that the order of service or the way activities are conducted varies according to what the leaders deem as the right way, that doesn’t make it wrong and in fact the creativity is good considering that each “order” brings a particular group of people to Christ but also one point we need to note is that the church is not the building but rather the congregation or the people that subscribe to the doctrines being put forward.
When I joined university a year ago, observed that a good number of students myself inclusive belong to different churches and so we tend to practice what’s preached in those churches, while the “what is preached” may not be different, the practicality may differ depending on how it’s received.
Soon after a few months into the semester, we decided to start a Cell(Small group of Christians meeting to share, worship, talk e.t.c) at campus and this cell was based on the guidance of watoto church which in away meant that it only attracted those that belonged to that Church while leaving out those from other churches, later on, even the other churches started their own cells and fellowships, now this created many groups of Christians that were each doing their business separately although it was all for the Lord, I felt that it created a division instead of uniting us for a common cause.
1 Corinthians 3:4-9 says;
..When one says “I follow Paul”, and another, “I follow Apollos”_aren’t you acting like worldly people?
All the different churches have founders and ministers that guide and lead the congregation which is not Bad, but the one area where I think we’ve gone very wrong is that attention has been shifted from God to the church leaders and what they say, how they dress, It’s common to hear Christians say that “ Pastor…. Says this”. While am not against looking at the lives of our church leaders as good examples, we should concentrate on that one Leader who was perfect, Jesus. When we do this, I believe we shall be united for a common cause and there will be less divisions based on which churches we subscribe to. There can only be unity in diversity if as Christians we re-focus, much as belonging to a church is important, when ones goes on to worship the building or the Leaders of the church, it’s a whole new and wrong path. For many it takes a long time to realize that they maybe loosing the course because it’s very easy to get lost in the crowd of followers but the sooner we realize this, the better.
I pray that as Christians, we shall look beyond the church buildings, names and Leaders, We need to work together because we were called to serve, Each of us has a role to play as part of the body of Christ but how will this be done if we cannot work together, I call upon church leaders to encourage the congregation to stop being rigid but adopt a flexible attitude that can accommodate everyone irrespective of which church they belong to.
If as Christians we have failed to be united, then what lessons will the unbelievers learn from us? if anything, our disunity pushes them further away from God
For further reading, John 17:23,Romans 6:5,1Corinthians 1:10,Ephesians 4:1-3,Colossians 3:10