The news daily reflects a growing unrest amongst the population. Reports show that hostility against Christians in America and globally has increased and will continue to do so. The very essence of our way of living – our very freedoms – are all being attacked.
The good, honorable men of virtue, integrity and valor – heros like Lou Zamperini, heros like my Grandfather, no longer recognize the country whose soil took their youth, their dreams, their blood and their friends.
Recently, a conversation ensued between two individuals. One individual said to the other, “It’s a good thing that Jesus wasn’t born in the 20th century.” The man asked, “Why do you say that?”
The other man replied, “Because when Jesus healed the blind man and put mud on his eyes, one group would call itself the ‘Mudites’ while another group would call itself the ‘Anti-Mudites.’ But it wasn’t the mud (or lack thereof) that healed the man… it was Jesus.”
In the same way, let me ask you… when you open your Bible, where are the verses see the denominations “Apostolic”, “Assemblies of God”, “Southern Baptist”, “Pentecostal”, “Orthodox”, “Catholic”, “Mormon”, “Jehovah Witness”, “Presbyterian”, “Anglican”, “Lutheran”, “Adventist”, “Four-Square”….
While you may find some terms to be present, you won’t find specific denominations. Why is that?Because denominations are man-made. Jesus simply said “Follow me.”
“And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19
With a culture where many can’t even make up their mind whether they want to keep their own God-given gender, I believe we must have more unity IN JESUS + ethnic and cultural diversity within the of body of Christ. Jesus came for everyone.
The organizations who have yielded the greatest success has been those who’ve structured their key decision makers to consist of a diverse group of members that reflect their buyers/constituents. In the same manner that the body of Christ is multi-ethnic and diverse, so too shall the key decision makers of a loving, thriving, growing and discipling church be reflective of their people.
The Bible informs us that prior to the arrival of Christ, our time on earth will become more challenging. However it’s not a time to be a “debbie downer” or give up, because as believers, we know we stand in victory.
For this manner, it is incumbent upon us to bend our knee to Christ alone, and recognize that it is Him whom we serve. How did Jesus treat the samaritan woman? To Mary and Martha? To the adulteress ready to be stoned?
In Genesis, God said:
Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground. God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” Genesis 1:26-27 (NIV)
The First case for unity and diversity was modeled for us within the Trinity. If God were a monad (a single entity without the Tri-Unity), then the language of the Bible would not make sense. Think about it. When the Bible talks about “God loving and God communicating” – if God was a monad – then who would He love? Who would He be communicating to?
The very word “communicating” implies “co=two” which shows there are two involved. In a monadic concept, love becomes a vacuous term except that the infinite needs the finite in order to express that attribute of love.
But in the trinity itself, you have God, community – in the trinity – where there is love, co-equal in essence and triune in person.
The greatest search of the Greek philosophers was for unity in diversity. If you read Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, you’ll find that this was their GREATEST search. They were all looking for unity in diversity. That’s why they started universities! They were looking for “unity” + “diversity” = UNIVERSITY.
This is how America was founded E pluribus unum which came from the latin to mean “Many Translating to One” or “Out of Many, One.”
Why do we search for unity in diversity? I believe because there was unity in diversity within the first cause – the Trinity. In the Godhead where there is love, fellowship and the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we see Unity in Diversity in the Community of the Trinity. That reflection is given to us, and if you go through the scriptures, that’s what God has modeled to us with His TriUne relationship.
It’s the responsibility of the church – You and I – to teach our children to think well about God’s Word and how to apply the Scriptures to our daily life. Obedience to God’s word is not just a “duty” to fulfill or a ladder to climb higher to achieve a feigned prominence. Friends, it is an inner transformation of the workings of Christ and incredible JOY of what He’s done within our hearts!!!
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18
“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:12”
Friends, the ultimate purpose of life is one of meaning, purpose and loving relationships. We must be strong in heart, united as one, disciplined in conviction, compassionate to the hurting and faithful to the end!
May the Holy Spirit unite us all in love, Godly conviction, Biblical discernment and discipline to pursue the greater good for the Glory of God!
Your Sister in Christ,
Christy Demetriades, Ph.D.