When I reflect on many of Paul’s letters to the Christian church I am astounded that the challenges he faced are many of the same challenges we (the entire church… all Christians) face today, some 2,000 years later.
Philippians 2:1-5 "Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had."
Here Paul address a group of Christians in Philippi, who like us no doubt had differences of opinion of various topics… YET, Paul says, “…work together with one mind and purpose.”
I have worked side by side on various projects with people who had different political views then me, different theological views then me, different fashion tastes then me… but we worked with one mind and one purpose on the task at hand. Paul is saying the same thing to us here today… “Hey gang, forget about your little petty differences and let’s focus on the one thing we do agree on and that is Jesus… the one who is, and is to come… let’s spread His message of hope”.
The goal for a church (in my opinion) is not to get everyone to agree on “these” 5 things so we can check off the boxes… but that we are all in UNITY with the message of hope that is found in Christ.