I’ve been a Christian for some 15 years now, and have had the privilege of working with all different kinds of faith communities. I’ve witnessed a lot of differing approaches to ministry some of which are wildly successful and others that are wholly underwhelming. What is interesting is that in all of these relationships I have witnessed a very consistent undercurrent within the universal body in America.
Human beings by nature are divisive. We like to categorize, control, and push away those who do not act or look like we do. The Church is meant to reflect a level of unity that puts the world on notice, and certify that the return of the everlasting King of the universe is immanent. We are intended to be a visible, physical representation of the kingdom of heaven. So the question then becomes, why are we so divided? Within American Christianity there are over 1,500 different denominations and world-wide there are as many as 41,000. That’s right; this is how many denominations there are in Christianity alone, not religions in the world.
Since my call to Christ some 15 years ago, I have heard many different ideas and concepts about death. Many of these ideas are ones that ascribed to for most of my life. Death is an uneasy topic…a topic that will quite literally send some out of a room faster than any other topic of conversation. It is…morbid…a thing that no person truly likes to talk about because…well it is inevitable.
A few posts earlier I made some comments about my hopes and dreams for my now newborn son—what I wanted him to become, what I wanted to instill in him. I am not a person taken back by much. I have seen my fair share of tragedy, heartache, joy, and elation, but I never expected this. Many friends who are already parents had told me how immediate the love for their child was; how when they were born it was literally love at first sight.
You know, submission is not a word that we like in our society. It is not a word that sounds like it denotes freedom and the pursuit of happiness. It is a word that pushes us to place ourselves behind others in priority and to consider others needs before our own. Obedience is another word that is not very popular, one that makes most people shutter at its very thought.