The body of Christ is often known more for its conflicts than its cooperation. At least, that seems to be the perception of the world, or maybe it’s just an excuse? (Sometimes I do wonder.) At any rate, I’ve been a pastor for nearly 16 years, a Christian since I was a kid, and what people are seeing in Joplin, Missouri has actually been the norm in my experience. For example, from our small, rural community -which is a good 3 hour drive from the tornado devastation- a team of 66 workers made up largely from the Christian Church, the Baptist Church, and the local hospital staff, spent a full day cleaning tornado debris with Samaritan’s Purse. Different churches with differences over a few doctrines, working together because of Christ. It happens more than you think, and there is probably less hesitation than you imagine. In fact, churches often jump at a chance to work together on such projects. I think there is something about enjoying unity and working together where names, titles, and buildings play no part whatsoever.
It’s just the way it’s supposed to be. The way it WILL be eventually.
Like the Bible says in I Corinthians 13:2… “If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing… there are more pressing matters than being able to figure out all the mysteries, or having all the knowledge, or accomplishing great feats of faith. With God, none of that matters if there isn’t real, lived-out, love.
It’s no accident that when telling 3 parables having to do with the end of the world and a coming judgment, Jesus final story was about love. In Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus describes the nations being divided before Him on judgment day, and the reason for the division was that one side had given water to the thirsty, food to the hungry, and had met the needs of those who were destitute and devastated. The other group had not. Continue reading