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Pray for the many churches that are in conflict for one reason or another. I think this one breaks my heart most. You may think it odd that I would say this breaks my heart more than hearing about illnesses, deaths, war and other heart wrenching prayer requests. This tears at my heart so strongly because we are all supposed to be brothers and sisters in Christ and …..Well, I guess in fact we certainly all do act like brothers and sisters, constantly bickering and picking at each other because of usually very petty reasons. Forgive me, for being so blunt. I am either blessed or cursed (I’m not sure which) to be at the center of a sounding board for literally hundreds of churches from several different denominations. You know what? I see struggles, conflict, and even splits going on in every type of Christian environment. What does this say to the many unchurched people out there? We are supposed to be loving and be able to get along…We are the Christians. Why can’t we all work together for the Glory of Christ without bickering about the color of the carpet in the sanctuary or whether to have pews or chairs? Are we glorifying God when we complain about this Deacon or that Pastor not doing things the way we think they should do it? Are we really being a light for Jesus when we say “You aren’t Christian, you’re too Methodist, or you’re too Brethren or you don’t worship in the proper way. You allow too many “different” people to attend your worship.”? Who did Jesus heal? Whose sins did Jesus forgive? What company did Jesus keep? My prayer is that we will all take a good long look at ourselves, our own Christian walk, and how we represent Christ not only to the unchurched, but to our Christian brothers and sisters. Yes, I am including myself in this chastising. I pray that there will be unity in our churches, that we will look at the other members and our pastors and think, “how can I work with them to glorify God in this place we worship together” not “if things don’t change I’m leaving”
I’ve heard a lot of people say things like, ‘this new pastor just isn’t like pastor so and so’ or the new worship leader plays too many of those new fangled choruses’ ‘ those new songs do too much repeating’ (have you ever sang He is Lord?) ‘our pastor didn’t come to the hospital until 2 hours after I called him’ he should have been right there.’ (Truth be told, he was having his own family crisis when he got the call) Mrs. So and so (Church Matriarch) didn’t speak to me on Sunday, what a snob. (She was thinking about rushing home to meet her kids who were coming in for a visit)
Tell me, doesn’t that sound ridiculous when you read it? When you know the underlying circumstances how does it make you feel? Please pray with me for unity in the churches and agree to disagree agreeably with other members and your pastor so that together we might all be the SHINING LIGHT Jesus has called us to be.
OK, I am off my soap box. So sorry, but I have heard about so many churches in conflict over the past couple weeks that it has rocketed to the top of my “can’t take it no more’ list. I have to say something.
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