I just read recently that there are over 2,000 different Christian Denominations in America alone… not to mention tens of thousands of independent and/or non-denominational churches. All claiming to be followers of Jesus, though most have divided over doctrinal issues or in the ways they express their faith. And what is even more disconcerting is that each feels their way is right and the better way.
Christians claim to be followers of Jesus, a man who reproved the religious leaders for their adeptness of missing the whole point, was frustrated by their religiosity that shut out and judged most in first century Judea, and made it clear that prostitutes and sinners were welcome in the kingdom of God. Yet, these same Christians excel at focusing on the gnats of theological positions.
As many of you know I was raised in a conservative Pentecostal home. And what I believed was right; at least that is what I believed for many years. After graduating from a conservative Bible college I began to expand by reading and study to include those who were more on the “liberal” side of the theological spectrum. And what I discovered was that they love Jesus just as much as I do, and have a heart for the word of God just like I do. And more than anything they want the truth just like I do.
So, now I would consider myself a person of the “center” of the liberal – conservative spectrum. I can appreciate both sides…and actually isn’t it sad that I would say “side”? We are all on the side of Christ… just different views, different interpretations, different tastes… all the same Jesus though. It's sad we squabble.
I hope that in my life-time (over the next 60 years) we’ll see a shift in the Church/Christian culture and see less divisions and more unity amongst those of us who follow Christ. I personally feel this is a mission of mine… to break down the walls that divide us, and let’s unify!
*I am currently reading a great book that addresses these same issues called, Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White by Adam Hamilton.