Jesus’ vision for his church was that we should be one and that we should love one another. So why do Christians disagree? Does it matter that Christians disagree?
Jesus said that it is by our love for each other that the world will know that we are his disciples (John 13:35). Jesus also said that it is by our unity with each other, and with him and his father, that the world will know that his father sent him. (John 17:21).
Right now, we Christians are not showing ourselves to the world as great examples of love or unity. And we can’t just blame this on other Christians in other churches or other denominations. All human beings make mistakes and get things wrong. I am a human being, therefore I make mistakes and get things wrong. So the lack of love and unity among Christians must be partly my fault, and therefore God expects me to do something about it. It must also be partly the fault of the church or denomination I belong to, and God expects me to do something about that as well.
Loving each other doesn’t mean that we have to agree with each other. We are members of one huge family and members of any family will disagree. So we disagree, but we do so knowing that the people we are talking to are our sisters and brothers and this means we treat them with respect and affection. It means we encourage them. It means we listen to what they have to say. It means we humbly acknowledge that we could be wrong. We are called to an affectionate, kind, respectful and listening love.
It’s time to stop criticizing each other and start accepting, supporting and encouraging each other. Then we will be an example of how God wants all his human children to live. We don’t need any new rules or organizations to do this. Each of us can start right now. Let’s pray and ask God to teach each of us to love our Christian sisters and brothers in a way that will convince the world that we are his disciples.
The change has to start with me.