Friday, February 18, 2005
E Pluribus Unum
The motto on the seal of the United States is the Latin phrase “the many are one.” This should be the description on the Christian church. However, the reality of Christianity today is that we are fragmented and are daily becoming more divided. As more and more organizational church denominations spring up the fragmentation grows. What message does this send to the unsaved world? A South African bishop once noted: “The presence of denominations is Christianity’s testimony to the world about how much we hate each other.”
Sadly, the bishop’s statement is most correct. We cannot show forth the love of Christ if we cannot tolerate any shade of difference among the members of our own spiritual family (the family of God) The hundreds (and perhaps thousands) of Christian denominations that exist today are the result of our intolerance of each other that grows out of our insecurity. I believe that our denominationalism is the principle reason why Christians are seen by the world at large as being a group marked by intolerance. The world has no vested interest in church organizations and therefore has no reason to gloss over this shortcoming. For this simple reason, the world sees this situation clearly---more clearly than most Christians. No Christian should wonder why the person from the world is inherently distrustful of our intentions.
* Used by permission from my friend Bill Landon