As I engage this somewhat difficult subject, it is imperative for the reader to understand that I have no malicious intent in mind. My comments should be received as unifying, not divisive. We live in an ever-changing world, not just in the realm of technology but also in the sphere of opinion. What was known as fact yesterday maybe fiction tomorrow. With that in mind, we should unite around that which we know will never change i.e. the Word of God.
The place where Christians worship is typically called a “church.” This “house of worship” may be known by many different names yet it remains the rock-of-Gibraltar for many believers. This seemingly impregnable fortress or stronghold has become the link to heaven for many a Christian, yet at the same time it has also replaces the very Creator of the heavens, earth, and all that is within. That which was intended to aid the believer has mysteriously subjugated its occupants.
If you were to look up the definition of church you would find, “a building for public worship.” A religious dictionary may explain that the “Church” is the collective gathering of all believers in Christ, i.e. “the body of Christ.” Both descriptions are true. One focus is on the meeting place, while the other is on the people. However, neither the building nor the people are called to be the head, i.e. “the person in charge” of the church. That ownership belongs only to Christ. “And He [Christ] is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence” (Colossians 1:18). Therefore, our allegiance should be given first and foremost to Christ, the Head of the Church. This is not an attempt to weaken the authority God gave to the Church. It is my utmost desire to reinforce that which Christ has established in His Church, that being said, one must note that His Church is not comprised of merely one group of believers but of all who call upon His name through faith. That which we call church today, should be more appropriately called “a member.” “For as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:12). “For the body is not one member, but many” (1 Corinthians 12:14). In short, all the denominations within Christianity should be properly called “members.” Sadly, however, man has crafted an empire within the body of Christ. For denominational king-pens, it has become a quest for wealth, no room for unity at the top of this manmade mountain.
I personally view denominations as tools for the trade. Let me explain. I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed.” I think Christ has some dull tools in His shed. That’s not Christ’s fault it’s ours. Tools are made to assist a person desiring to achieve a certain task. In this case the job is the great commission. Some denominations get it, while others don’t. In Christ’s care we, the Church “can do all things.” Think about it, if all the tools were prepared for service and no one tool tried to upstage another, how great a harvest the Master could reap! While we spend time arguing over who’s right and who’s wrong the harvest is expiring on the vine. Please understand, a hammer will never become a wrench or a wrench a screwdriver, yet together they are all tools. Denominations cannot save you. But Christ can! Working in our God given sphere we permit the kingdom of God to advance. Christ the Head, prayed, “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me” (John 17:21). The kingdoms of this world will crumble even the denominational kingdoms. Those who put their trust in man will fall with man. Only the Kingdom of Christ is eternal, and this kingdom in comprised of many different people from many different denominations who understand their role as sharp tools in the hand of Master. If we view ourselves as figures of authority over God’s heritage we have missed the mark. If we elevate ourselves above others in the body of Christ we have sinned. “...God resists the proud, but gives grace unto the humble” (James 4:6b).
I am not against denominations as long as they remain sharp and in service for the Master. That being said, I must reiterate, no one denomination is God’s prize possession. We are all in this work together. We all see through a grass that is darken, “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away” (1 Corinthians 13:9, 10). Our world is changing ever so quickly. We need each other in order to complete the task. My prayer is that through our differences we may become one united body, strong, invincible, and undefeatable by the power of Christ’s Spirit pulsating through this one body of Christ.