Community Contentions

Thursday, March 22, 2012 Posted by Debbie Legg

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Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”  

“Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us.”  (Mark 9:38-40)

It’s two thousand years after that conversation and the cynicism and suspicion in John’s statement still exist today.  Whatever brand of Christianity we belong to, I can guarantee there is a certain amount of “Not One of Us” in it. 

Jesus prayed in the garden, “that they may be one as we are one.” (John 17:22)   Paul explained that, “Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.” (1 Cor 10:17)

How have we been doing with that?

For all the differences in doctrine (and there are some doozies), there is still more that unites us than divides us.  Everyone wants the hungry to be fed, the sick healed, the poor cared for, Jesus’ message spoken to all the world.  It’s mostly the “not necessary for salvation” stuff that trips us up.  To robe, or not to robe?  Saturday or Sunday?   Communion every week?   Hymns or worship music?  Jeans or coat and tie?   Priest or Pastor? 

Whatever our opinions on the above questions and the myriad other points of contention, in the end, only one opinion matters, and guess what?  It’s not ours.  It’s HIS. 

Perhaps we would do well to follow John’s example.  He took his concerns about the demon driver-outers to Jesus and let him set the record straight.  How different our world would be if only we would do the same.

"If you are right with him you will inevitably be right with your fellow-creatures. Just as if all the spokes of a wheel are fitted rightly into the hub and the rim they are bound to be in the right positions to one another." — C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity 

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