Recently I was saddened to hear that a Church I knew had undergone another split and that there were members of the Church that got offended and went their own way. Don’t get me wrong I'm all for Church planting as its the reason the faith has gone all over the world.
What I do have a problem with is when Churches split because they just can't seem to find the oneness of mind and heart that we read in Acts Chapter 4 verse 32.
Why can't we seem to all get along? Why can’t we put our offences aside for the greater good of the Kingdom of God and particularly us his Bride. I often think that Jesus as the bridegroom is sitting in that back room of the Church and waiting for his Bride to be ready so he can take his position at the altar and receive his glorious beautiful bride.
The problem is that it seems like there are just too many brides going around that are to busy bickering about the colour of the table cloths at the wedding reception. I do totally understand there are different types of churches and they meet different kinds of people, but I still don’t think it was God's idea to have so many.
Over the past twenty years, I have had various Church experiences ranging from the tea totalling Baptist experience to the swinging chandelier and miracles flavour type of gathering. Honestly what I can say that while I find myself in the Pentecostal variety that I do not identify as a Pentecostal, but rather as a follower of Jesus.
So simply put what matters to me is the Gospel of God who would send his only Son to take our place, die and be resurrected to make a way for us to be restored to our amazing heavenly father. This is good news that sets us free. This is the good news that breaks the chains of sin and life. This is the gospel that leads us to living a life that is meaningful and purposed to make a great impact into a lost and broken world.
This is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and when we read in Acts Chapter 4 verse 32 we read of a community of believers that were responsible for bringing the Roman empire to it knees without even raising a sword. It was oneness of mind and heart aligned with this Gospel I speak of that made the followers of Jesus such a world changing movement.
I can't help but think that we have too easily been ensnared into a bunch of distractions that lead us not into unity, but rather into disunity, dissension, and offence. As I reflect on this I realise that a lot of offence is because we have just became all so damn needy.
Neediness is not Godliness
It is in this truth, while harsh that God has been showing me that Neediness is not Godliness and in fact the neediness that permeates all Church denominations is I believe a very big reason we can’t seem to put our offences aside.
Have we forgotten that the Gospel of Jesus is the reason we are of one mind and heart. It's not the preaching style, the worship choices, a greater focus on giving or a respect of the sacraments that makes us of one mind and heart. It's all about Jesus.
What's the answer to the crisis of offence and neediness? Well it's simple? It’s Love. People will know you are my disciples by the way you love one another. While the revelations keep flowing this means that there is a love that looks past offence. It's a love that doesn’t make your church life about neediness.
It means that you come to be one heart and mind because you are in absolute awe of Jesus and that somehow through a bloody sacrifice on the cross all the children of God are called into a family that loves with the same love that he showed us. A love that is not defined by the do's and don'ts but just is and was only made possible by his incredible, extraordinary Grace.
I'm pretty sure Just as I was longing to have my bride walks down the aisle to me and to receive her, that Jesus is pretty keen to get out of that back room in the church and take his place to receive us his Bride, his Church, his inheritance for His great sacrifice.
So it's up to each of us to get on with the love part not the offence and neediness.
Justin is married to his beautiful wife and together they pursue being his Kingdom agents through their intentional Jesus community house in Glenelg. Justin is also a prophetic artist under the label JR Faith Creations as well is pursuing a career in the entertainment industry with his new studies in VFX and digital illustration at university. He is a lover of surfing and anything adventurous.