I was reading a book today, that my wife got me for Christmas, called Red Letter Revolution. I find it interesting as it coincides with a lot of my own personal feelings of how off track the church has gotten. In the current chapter I am reading, the authors point out an interesting fact about John 17.
John 17 is Christ's longest recorded prayer. In the midst of that prayer He prays "The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me." - John 17:22-23
Christ's desire for us was to be unified yet with over 32,000 denominations we are far from being unified. We have a huge lack of unity.
Now, I have to admit I am one to distance myself from denominations. I have felt so much pain by people of the church so focused on what the denomination believes over what the Bible teaches that I have wanted nothing to do with any denomination. As I was reading through the book however, I was reminded that no one is perfect and that I have made my fair share of mistakes. We have to look beyond the differences and realize (as one of my friends put it) if it's not an issue of salvation, it doesn't really matter.
I wonder how much more unified we would be as the Bride of Christ if we focused more on His teachings and being the Body than perfecting our dogmatic beliefs. I know Christ has called us to so much more. I feel Him stirring in my life and challenging me to be something more than what I currently am. I admit at points I am terrified to give up my comforts that I have become so accustom to, yet excited for what God has in store.
On a side note, I also read another great thought I just had to share. The book didn't list the author, but it said, "I heard one gospel preacher say it like this, as he really wound up
and broke a sweat: “We’ve got to unite ourselves as one body. Because
Jesus is coming back, and he’s coming back for a bride not a harem."