Last week in class we had to write about false dichotomies affected the church from our point of view and past experiences. I found the reading interesting and I wrote the following post. Please enjoy and let me know what you think…
Either you are either a certain denomination or you are wrong. This is a false dichotomy that is affecting the body of Christ as a whole. Dr. Kelly Kapic wrote “Technically there is only one Christian faith with a variety of expressions (traditions).”
My personal example that I will share comes from people I have met in my travels. They are missionaries that travel on a regular basis to provide food and health care for the people in need in certain countries. However, it has been inferred to me that “if you are not a certain denomination you are wrong.” They are amazing people and try their best to do good in this world, however, this is a very bad mindset to have in the body of Christ. Too many times I have heard of friends stop talking because of a difference in denominational beliefs. I know from my experience with these people, there are certain Christian topics I can’t talk about without a one sided discussion. I have noticed this is true with the older generations than the younger ones.
In Ephesians 2:19-21 (ISV) Paul teaches us that “That is why you are no longer strangers and foreigners but fellow citizens with the saints and members of God’s household, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, the Messiah Jesus himself being the cornerstone. 21 In union with him the whole building is joined together and rises into a holy sanctuary for the Lord.” If we take this scripture to heart, we can understand that we are all built on the foundation of Jesus Christ and together we are all a part of the same team.
Denominationalism can cause many disputes with fellow believers if they are not open to hear others interpretations of the scripture with a open heart and mind. If you sit and listen to the other side and study the word of God together, more saints will be able to find a common ground and both parties have spiritual growth. This also gives an example for others to emulate. This principle should be used especially by leaders in our church today because we are the example for others to emulate. We are to show spiritual maturity, but with this dichotomy holding us back, we will not be able to get out of our own way.
This example shows there is more than one possible outcome than being one denomination or being wrong. If we keep Dr. Kapic’s statement in mind with Paul’s teachings in Ephesians 2:19-21, we can start to change the denominational issues we face as a body of Christ. There is too much we must fight in this world such as our own personal sins of the flesh, the world, and spiritual warfare to be adding one another as well. As leaders we need to implement more humility and acceptance in our walk like Jesus Christ did in His ministry.
Kapic, Kelly M. A Little Book for New Theologians: Why and How to Study Theology. IVP Academic, 2012.
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