we are ONE body

6.25.2012 |

i'm (not surprisingly) at strange brew drinking the finest house blend in all of the world.  i am meditating on parts of our sermon yesterday.  i have tried to elaborate on what chip taught us yesterday.  lately i have been asked about my denomination, what i agree/don't agree with in my denomination, and my stance on certain issues like predestination.  my honest response? "uh.....i don't know and i don't care, i just want to love jesus more."  maybe i should care? but i still don't. (smh)  issues like that and denominational differences are not important to me.  i truly just want to love jesus more. maybe i will one day have an interest in sorting out the major differences in the body of christ, but for right now, i love jesus and want to focus on loving him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.  so here i sit, sipping on strange brew house blend, meditating....

house blend and forgiveness
if you are like me, you are set in your ways and your views and denomination as a jesus follower.  you regularly attend your home church, rarely branching out to other denominations.  i grew up in a non-denominational mega church in indianapolis.  it was perfect for me growing up because of the enticing youth group, but past that, jesus was no more real to me than were my barbies and fairy tales.  that time in my adolescent life could be labeled "unfruitful" but i was able to learn the beautiful reality of the gospel.  my college years presented countless opportunities for me to fall and stand, fall and stand, fall and stand.  a vicious cycle of trying to be self-dependent, but after exhausting all possibilities and going through all the motions, when i became absolutely broken, jesus became real to me.

the more i seek You, the more i find You; the more i find You, the more i love You

i was forced to figure out who jesus REALLY was, or waste away lonely, broken, leading a life of pretending.  i was determined to know who jesus was and who he was not as defined by cultural "christians" and slanderous media.  i set out on my journey, meeting strong, real jesus lovers along the way.  

i was adopted into the baptist church here in starkville, and this is where i have been growing for the past few years.  however,  i attend a wesley bible study, a non-denominational wednesday night service, a methodist church when i visit memphis, and am strengthened in fellowship with presbyterian friends.  wow, how eclectic is the body of christ!

"the human body has many parts, but the many parts make up only one body.  so it is with the body of christ.  some of us are jews, some are gentiles, some are slaves. and some are free.  but we have all been baptized into christ's body by one Spirit, and we have all received the same Spirit"
 –1 corinthians 12:12-13

"but God made our bodies with many parts, and he had put each part just where he wants it.  what a strange thing a body would be if it had only one part! yes there are many parts, but only one body."
–1 corinthians 12:18-20

"if one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad."
–1 corinthians 12:26
we are the body of christ, and until we recognize that we are all working together for the one purpose of glorifying and furthering the Kingdom of Heaven, there will be no real harmony among God's people.  we all have different gifts, unique personalities, special qualities that God uses to strengthen and advance his Kingdom.  

i say "we" in the context that you are a christ-follower because true christ-followers believe that there is only one Way, Truth, and Life and that no one is able to get to Heaven on their own accord, they must believe that Jesus died on the cross bridging the gap between our hopeless existence and his eternal satisfaction.  

we are the body of christ

denominations have been fighting for years over whose theology is the most sound, whose music is better, who can acquire the most disciples, and who has the most community involvement or best youth programs.  we are the body of christ, why do any of these questions matter!? we are all working together for one cause. we are all loving the same Savior.  if we continue to bash each other, we are only creating divisions in the church.  if one part suffers, we all suffer.  instead, the body of christ should be working in harmony.  here in starkville, i see the churches working almost effortlessly together.  so many of our christian churches here partner together, even when the denominations are different.

in 1 corinthians 12:12-13, you could very easily replace "jews, gentiles, slave, free" with the different denominations of true christianity.  as i said before, i have been involved in several different denominations.  i prefer to go to a non-denominational church that takes communion every sunday, baptizes new brothers and sisters in service, sings contemporary christian music with a loud band, where the echo of turning bible pages can be heard loud, and where i can worship with brothers and sisters who love raising/clapping their hands to the Maker of all.  this is what i prefer, but i know i can grow at any church where the gospel is being preached.  though the music at my church here in starkville is not my number one choice, this house of God preaches the gospel boldly and gets in your face for real world application.  i am able to grow significantly here, and i hope my growth is evident day in and day out by the choice i make and the convictions i act on.  

let's face it.  we are all different.  would you WANT to be the same as your sister, your brother, your best friend?  of course you wouldn't because then you wouldn't be YOU!  as christians, not only are the denominations in which we choose to grow different and unique, but each individual making up the local church has unique and different skill sets and gifts.  reader, please embrace those!  see it as your duty to represent jesus in every way possible with every quality jesus has blessed you with.  because you don't possess a gift that some one else has, don't try to emulate those skills.  work with what YOU have in order to carry out your purpose in life: glorify jesus.  if you are a foot, go. if you are an eye, see.  but if you are a foot, don't try to see.  do what jesus needs you to do, you were uniquely designed for THAT purpose.

WHAT A STRANGE THING A BODY WOULD BE IF IT HAD ONLY ONE PART!


1 comment

  1. Love your art journaling! i agree there's been too much bashing, but not that theology is unimportant. i listen to whoever seems to have God's Spirit, drag what i learn back to the Bible, and evaluate accordingly. Glad i found you!

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