BEYOND CHRISTMAS AND EASTER
by paul hoffmaster
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BEYOND CHRISTMAS AND EASTER
Two times a year the Denominational and Independent churches lower their flags of separation and break out in the chorus, “We are one in the Lord.” Their interpretations of Biblical truths are temporally stored away in their closets of biased interpretations. The doors of their citadels are thrown open and the acknowledging of Christian unity is displayed. These two occasions are Christmas and Easter. During these brief “outings” the subject of the Birth and Resurrection of Jesus is displayed in open celebration. I would imagine even Heaven would be rejoicing at seeing the Bride of Christ adorned without rips and tears before the skeptical world. From a fragmentized and humanized church, to a resolve of “To God Be the Glory,” the Christian movement presents the Truth behind its proclamation of Jesus is Lord. The Church stands in harmony proclaiming the Birth of our Savior as well as the Resurrected Lord. The gathering places of the Believers are packed with both dedicated and determined Christians. It is hard to find a place to sit. Extra ushers are called into duty. Bulletin orders are doubled. Poinsettias and lilies keep the florist in business. Choirs outgrow their assigned seats. Plays, pageants and cantatas take center stage. Pastors bring out old messages with a freshness they hope will satisfy the congregants. Truly, the Church is in the limelight.
If only the Church would continue this unity the remaining fifty weeks of the year. But as quickly as the poinsettias and lilies fade away, the Christians retreat to their doctrinal fortresses, raise their flags of separation, and unlock their doors of biased teachings and beliefs. At the same time, they lock the front doors of their buildings and allow in only those they feel would fit their theology. Of course, to show they are not prejudice, they leave the message “All are Welcome” on the outside sign.
No group of Believers has a monopoly on Truth. Every Christian assembly has some truth; yes, even that Pentecostal, devil hating, tongue talking, shouting, holy roller in that rented store front. What about the “Jesus Only” movement? YES! What about the Catholic? YES! Even the Denominational churches? YES! The Independent? YES! Would it not be wonderful if we could all get together and share what we believe, and then together, search the Scripture to find what is Truth and what is fiction? Sadly, it would have to be a Divine interaction to bring Christians into harmony. So many churches have their own interpretation of the Word of God and to change would be nigh unto heresy. It would be easier for the Palestinians and the Jewish people to strike an agreement than for the Believers to stay unified beyond Christmas and Easter!
The Apostle Paul wrote to the divided church at Corinth to stop majoring on the things they disagreed with, but rather, to “…all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but ….be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” (I Corinthians 1:10) Let us believe together for a unity that will reach beyond Christmas and Easter, knowing that the more the Believers come together, the greater the opportunity for the world to know the power of God. (John 17: 23)
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