As “ecumenical” as I am. I still struggle with feelings of sectarianism…that my understanding of God is the right one, that there are other Christians that I just can’t work with in good conscience. And so, perhaps, I miss opportunities to be missional together and I miss opportunities to show the unity that is found in Christ Jesus. So, today, I found these words from John Armstrong helpful:
God designed the church to experience union with the Trinity in his eternal love. This love empowers our diverse relationships so that when the world sees us, especially in our respective churches, they should see that the Father loves the world (cf. John 17:20-24). By seeing us loving one another the world can come to know Christ! Simply put, unity would become the divine apologetic for the future as it had been in the ancient church centuries ago….
My friends, if Jew and Gentile were called in the early decades of the ancient church to share life together in the same household, and thus they were no longer to be strangers and aliens, then Christians of all persuasions, twenty centuries later, can find loving, creative and powerful new ways to live in the “same household” of God’s unity today. Could it be that our real problem is that our view of the church is “too small”? We think our church – our understanding about the church– is right and thus we gather with people like us and have nothing to do with others not just like us.