A DIVIDED world needs a UNITED Church! That’s not my quote, I read those words somewhere last week. It’s true.
What we are experiencing in America is not unprecedented. There have been other times in US history when our nation was divided (Hello? We had a Civil War). I am not suggesting that opposing sides are ready to bear arms, I am suggesting that there are similarities. The healing remedy then and now is for the Church of Jesus Christ to come together in love and mission.
Today… it’s not north and south.
It’s left and right.
It’s not Yankees and Rebels.
It’s Conservatives and Liberals.
It’s not blue and grey.
It’s red and blue.
It’s not slavery v. freedom.
It’s Roe v. Wade II.
Read it again: What our divided world needs is a united church.
“Impossible,” you say. Churches are dividing more than ever (Exhibit A: The schism in the “United” Methodist Church). It’s not just our Methodist sisters and brothers driving in opposite directions on a divided highway. Churches, individual churches of all denominations, are divided more now than ever (Exhibit B: The Mask v. No Mask debates). Sadly, as we in the church debate such things, our world is going down the tubes.
Under our watch, we are seeing the greatest decline in Christianity in America. Read that previous sentence again. Slowly. We are living in a post-Christian America. It’s an avalanche. It’s happening in our families. People are walking away from the divided church in unprecedented numbers. Now think about what you are actively doing about this reality? The church must be united in love and mission to face this daunting task. Here’s (a seemingly novel) idea: How about if we listened and strove to obey Jesus’ final prayer for us, when He prayed:
I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. John 17:20-23
Could it be that those words of Jesus are the most unheeded and un-obeyed words by the church? According to Jesus prayer, when we are one the world will know and hear the message. If we aren’t one, how can they hear? If we aren’t one, how can they see Jesus?
What our divided world needs is a united church.