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Strengthening Each Other, A Thought On Today's Christianity

Updated on December 27, 2014
Some churches are full, some are nearly empty. What's to be done?
Some churches are full, some are nearly empty. What's to be done? | Source

God, being perfect, doesn't make mistakes. God being omnipotent is capable of turning man's mistakes into His triumphs.

I am impressed by the attacks which non-believers and sectarians choose to level on persons of faith and persons of differing beliefs.

The non-believers, of necessity, strive to make their case for their disbelief, For, after all, if they are wrong there might be a consequence.

The sectarians, on the other hand, are persuaded that they should persuade other believers over to their views, fearing those who believe falsely may do so at risk of damnaton.

For the moment, the non-believers concern me less than my concern for the sectarians.

I suspect that at one time or another all Christian faiths have been considered "cults" and persecuted for "strange beliefs" which "warred against orthodoxy," sometimes resulting in inhumane prices for our ancestors' "acts of conscience"

"Evil eye," "the earth is really round," "the sun revolves around the earth," "coffee is bad" later changed by a later pontifical leadership to "coffee is good," etc.. and the whole concept that it "would be better to burn on earth than to burn in hell," justifying acts the world of today finds barbaric.

That one God, one Savior, one Holy Spirit, unchanging and eternal, could result in such conflicts in the name of that universal God, that universal Atonement, and a Holy Ghost capable of acting in every life in the name of love, makes such conflicts incomprehensible to me.

To me this speaks of the concept of "divide and conquer." All efforts at ecumenicalism that could actually become worldwide, have seemingly been doomed from the outset by intractable stands based upon sectarian differences.

Can it be that Christians around the world can worship the same Savior whose birth is celebrated each Christmas, and then treat each other's worship of that Savior with such disdain the other 364 days of the year?

From that sectarianism, at times, comes an unwillingness to cooperate for the greater good which could otherwise transcend doctrinal differences. The Church, often referred to by most Christians as "the body of Christ," continues to find it fraught with difficulties to unite for the common good, if doing so in unity might give prominence, imagined or real, to some individual element within a common effort.

One faith will say, everything would be solved, if all the other faiths would just join us. Another will say, because we hold the "restored truth" others must join with us.

And so, the ages old problem of "a house divided against itself... cannot endure."

Christ himself said that a tree is known by its fruits and is either a good tree or a bitter one. By denying His church the strength it could have by being united, we war against ourselves as believers. Far from being of "one mind" we are settling for being a dismembered body, reminiscent of hands and eyes having no need for feet and ears.

May I suggest that, even as the small group we are, and coming from different faiths as we do, we might be united at least in not minimizing the faith and devotion we each have in and for Jesus Christ and the Father?

While we would all preach of a risen Jesus Christ, we can perhaps accomplish that best by encouraging and sustaining such faith, rather than harping on doctrinal differences which count for so little when compared with what we could accomplish with as much unity as we are actually fully able to muster.

All of us fall short of the glory of God. If we are trying our best, as best we know how, does the amount of our shortfall need to be subject to measurement by anyone else's standard? I suspect not. I refer to Ephesians 4:10-16 (which we can each read and weigh for ourselves) in the belief that this writing of St. Paul counsels us to seek to work together now, as it did the church at Ephesus to whom he gave that counsel.

In any given year, isn't it just possible that (by our doing so) something really good could happen?



Source

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Copyright 2011 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.

A question to ask ourselves....

Have we ever worked with Christians of another persuasion to accomplish something Christ would have us do?

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    • Perspycacious profile image
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      Demas W Jasper 4 hours ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Today we are engaged in great struggles of what we each believe to be man's destiny here on earth. The greatest struggle may well be a struggle between a doctrine of love and service with other doctrines of strict orthodoxy dictated by some who claim a right to impose their version of orthodoxy.

      Love and service always win, even when sacrifice is called for.

    • Perspycacious profile image
      Author

      Demas W Jasper 7 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Those who read my 2016 Christmas Day Hub may find this Hub of 12/27/2014 equally thought provoking....in a good way.

    • Perspycacious profile image
      Author

      Demas W Jasper 2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      As has happened several times in my own lifetime, today there is a new Pope at the head of the Roman Catholic Church. This Pope seems more grounded in what I view as each Christian church's obligation to help the poor and the needy in all aspects of their needs, and regardless of their race, color, or creed. If the varying churches can agree on this one commandment and unify in our efforts to fulfill it, our opportunities for service are limitless. If we can do so in the spirit of storing up treasures in heaven, we will have no need for churches to seek credit for their own contributions to such an effort.

    • Perspycacious profile image
      Author

      Demas W Jasper 2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      As has happened several times in my own lifetime, today there is a new Pope at the head of the Roman Catholic Church. This Pope seems more grounded in what I view as each Christian church's obligation to help the poor and the needy in all aspects of their needs, and regardless of their race, color, or creed. If the varying churches can agree on this one commandment and unify in our efforts to fulfill it, our opportunities for service are limitless. If we can do so in the spirit of storing up treasures in heaven, we will have no need for churches to seek credit for their own contributions to such an effort.

    • Perspycacious profile image
      Author

      Demas W Jasper 5 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      There is so much more that Christians agree on and revere, it seems unnecessary to live so as to indicate our differences when there is so much we are called to do in unity of purpose. God is one and to be the focus of our lives, our doings, and our praise. Doing "it" unto one of the least of these, and spreading the gospel is our commission, regardless of distinctiveness which seems to divide and diminish our efforts.

    • Angie Jardine profile image

      Angie Jardine 5 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

      Well put, Perspycacious ...

    • Perspycacious profile image
      Author

      Demas W Jasper 5 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Being true to Buddha's teachings, and/or the teachings of Jesus Christ. is not likely to be "self serving" for both Buddha and Christ did what they did, and taught what they taught, for others in keeping with the highest form of "self." Either set of believers cannot go far, if seeking perfection stops with "self." "Selfless" has some place in both faiths.

    • Angie Jardine profile image

      Angie Jardine 5 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

      If one tries to do good as well as one can all one's life, one can certainly hope that one has a chance of progression in the next. I don't actually believe it is so much a 'progression' as a 'chance to experience' another aspect of corporeal life.

      And I almost can guess what aspect that might be too, after what I have been through in this one. :)

      I agree it is not entirely irrelevant but then I also don't think it should be necessarily a self-serving exercise. After all taming the ego is also a Buddhist principle.

      Perhaps I'm not a Buddhist after all? Perhaps I am more of a spiritual independent?

    • Perspycacious profile image
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      Demas W Jasper 5 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      As a Buddhist is it perhaps important to your eternal progression that you live your life in ways that further that progression in your next incarnation? If so, what happens when you die is surely not irrelevant, or is it?

    • Angie Jardine profile image

      Angie Jardine 5 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

      Sorry, Dave ... although I believe in Jesus as a well-documented leader, healer and teacher, I cannot believe in the vengeful God of the Bible.

      But as a Buddhist I do believe the soul goes onto another incarnation ... but, also as a Buddhist, I am not evangelical about this.

      What I think we must not forget is that a belief in God is not the only way to live and do good. Whatever happens to us after we die is surely irrelevant, merely a thing of the ego.

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 5 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      As you have pointed out so well, it all boils down to belief. If one believes in God and Jesus, then death is a physical thing and the spirit goes on to enjoy life after death.

      If one has no belief, death is still arrived at, but their spirit also faces death, in a separation from God eternally.

    • Angie Jardine profile image

      Angie Jardine 5 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

      It's simple really ... surely all we have to remember is Jesus' tenet of 'Doing unto others as one would have done unto oneself'.

      The only reason we make it more complicated than that is because each religion is jockeying for what is considered the superior position ... and that is a totally human failing.

    • profile image

      Sueswan 5 years ago

      Amen!

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 5 years ago from US

      I think yes, as long as Christ Jesus is number one we can unite in all around that, but God Himself tells us in Revelations that He does not like the churches not fired up about Him and I would never want to be spewed out for being so mellow as it seems is most popular, accepting everyone as right or simply being politically correct.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 5 years ago from The Caribbean

      I really like this: "we might be united at least in not minimizing the faith and devotion we each have in and for Jesus Christ?" I think this is just basic respect for ourselves and others; but it also shows our commitment. Thanks for this hub!

    • picklesandrufus profile image

      picklesandrufus 5 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

      AMEN! I have nothing to add. Vote up!

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 5 years ago

      This was really good. I think of Christians as one body. I do not hold one religion. I guess non-denominational is the word I guess I could use. I look out and see the body of Christ (those who believe) taking the body apart piece by piece and it saddens me. Jesus taught love foremost... does not mean we agree with everything but we should walk in love and by example. I know I fall short so many times..This gave me much to think about. Thank you.

      God bless,

      Sunnie

    • Perspycacious profile image
      Author

      Demas W Jasper 5 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      To a Christian, the "right religion" rests in the example and teachings of Jesus Christ. As God is a supreme being, and one of order, it must be man himself who has caused the church Christ established to be so fragmented instead of unified. (My opinion, of course.)

    • anndavis25 profile image

      anndavis25 5 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      The religion we choose only gives us an avenue to practice our faith. There is no right religion. The answer is the same for all who believe. God.

      A great hub. Up, interesting, useful.