Approaching the throne of grace is a wonderful privilege God extends to humanity. For me, there is little more satisfying then when I have made a petition to the Lord and left it at His feet. In faith, I then go about my business, knowing full well in God’s perfect economy, my prayer will be answered.
Lately, I have been struggling with this idea of “community” or “unity” in the church. Something that seems like truth dangles before me, but something inside me tells me, “Don’t touch it!” Can you relate?
The problem with false teaching, and it has always been present in the body of Christ since its birth, is that so much truth comes attached. If we are walking without looking where we are going, we will eventually stumble. This fact is so simple.
Some people today accuse those in love with God’s word of carrying a religious spirit. But the more we feast on it, the more strength we gain, and the less likely we are to stumble. In fact, we make good leaders, because we have insight to where we are headed.
Do you know how a bank teller can identify fraudulent bank notes? They handle real bank notes all day long, day after day. They know what real bank notes feel like. When something fake slips through their fingers, alarms go up. Are you tracking with me?
Today, in the midst of a conversation with a brother in Christ, he said something profound, something I needed to hear. It was an idea the Lord placed on him during prayer. In fact, it was the answer to the question I left at the feet of the Lord regarding unity.
The idea of unity can be packaged nicely. With a charismatic speaker, it can be delivered in such a way we swell up with warmth and get emotional and think it is something we want. Unity within a church, within churches, denominations. Yes, we want to be unified as believers.
But unity in faiths, or to be a church striving for unity, this can be a deception, because, in the words of my friend, “Unity in a church looks for the lowest common denominator.”
What happens next?
Lowest Common Denominator
“Church groups are banning together with the hopes that by uniting, they will gain strength…establish their unity by the lowest common denominator – only those beliefs to which all participants can subscribe. The result is the erosion of the authority of God’s revelation to man and the discarding of the cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith,” states Cyril J Barber in his book, “Nehemiah: An Expositional Commentary.”
What should we strive for then, if not a common denominator? Barber brings up the idea of koinonia. And I actually address this topic largely in my book, “What Every Woman Should Know: A Journey of Liberty.”
When we think of “koinonia” we might be inclined to think of holding hands around a circle while singing praise songs. But it is so much more. It is really a spirit we bring or that we have sprouting within us provided by the Holy Spirit. Such a longing stems from inside us to look for other people with the same faith-principles and to share with one another. It is a spirit that binds Christians together naturally, organically, with no effort.
I am so afraid we have lost it in the church today, as we have lost our focus. People are selling us strange doctrines, even with the best of intentions, and we cannot identify the fake bank notes. This koinonia leads us into the dirt where we press down hard with our heels, and with sweat and hard work, we labor in love side-by-side with our brethren. We learn to bear the burden of the weakest of us.
Unity does not imply we cannot be diverse, either. God gives us unique gifts and talents to be able to reach every type of person on the planet. When Christ is the center, though, instead of a lowest common denominator, unity comes. When we are attentive and submissive to the Lord, our Master, who is the Word of God in the flesh, we have everything we need to accomplish and succeed in our walk of faith together. It doesn’t have to be, it shouldn’t be, the “blind leading the blind.”
When I look upon this model, I can see where I have failed and where I need improvement. It is just like my friend said, “Forget the lowest common denominator and make God the highest factor.” Become one with God. It might be a lonely road, but I promise, everything else will fall into place.
Written by Jori Sams
Jori Sams is a Christian author and freelance writer with nearly 2000 published pieces on the Internet, with over 1500 being published by Yahoo. Her books are published through Writeious Books. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her following the sun…