Unity on the Foundation of Christ

I feel like I am on top of the mountain with God! I just got home from a Beth Moore simulcast and it was awesome. I know I have to come down from the mountain eventually, and probably sooner than I’d like, but before I do I want to share what I learned.

The live event that was simulcast was held in Chicago, but it was simulcast to 596 different locations, in 11 countries, at host sites comprising 30 different Christian denominations. In all there were 125,000 women and “a few brave men” attending this event, which consisted of worship time and Bible study led by Beth Moore. The topic of the day was Proverbs 31:25 and the “law of kindness.” But I don’t want to write about the eight points about kindness that Beth talked about. You’ll just need to take one of her courses to hear about that, or maybe I’ll write about it in another blog post. It was really good stuff, so I probably will.

What I wanted to share was what God showed me about the unity of His Church through this event. As I’ve mentioned before, I am working through a Bible-in-a-year reading schedule, and right now I am in 1 Corinthians. Something I read the other day really bothered me.

I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.”

Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul? I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, so no one can say that you were baptized into my name. (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) `For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. 1 Corinthians 1:10-17.

The reason this bothered me is because there are so many denominations and divisions in the world. In addition, the church I attend recently split from another church and it has been very difficult for everyone involved. I wondered what God must think of all these divisions and denominations.

But today, women from 30 different denominations were united in worshipping our Lord and in learning from God’s Word about kindness. We were all united in our faith in Jesus as our Savior, as the appearance of God’s kindness and love on earth. Beth Moore mentioned Titus 3:3-8, which shows God as the first and greatest philanthropist because He gave more to the cause of mankind than any other when in Christ Jesus He died for us on the cross. Paul wrote in Titus:

But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone. Titus 3:3-8.

This is what unites us — our trust in the redeeming sacrifice of Jesus and our recognition that we can do nothing on our own. As Beth Moore said, “This [life] is a war and we have to stand shoulder-to-shoulder on the truth that Jesus is Lord!” Paul continued in Titus to talk again about division.

 But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned. Titus 3:9-11.

None of us is capable of keeping the law on our own, but can do so only by the power of the Holy Spirit. As Christians, we must stand united on the truth that the good works we do are God working in and through us. The kindness we show is a fruit of the Holy Spirit living in us. Christians may be made up of many denominations who have different ideas about how they want to worship or differ on some minor aspects of the law. But as long as we all stand firm on Christ as our foundation, we remain one body of Christ in opposition only to the world and the evil one. Today, I saw that in action as 125,000 women from 30 different denominations in 11 countries worshipped together in peace and love.

I am a Jesus Freak, and I don't care who knows it. I am a wife, mother, sister, aunt, daughter, and friend. My blood family is only part of the larger family of Christ that I belong to. I love to write, especially about my dear Savior.


5 Responses

  1. Hi Linda,

    This morning I just thought I’d read your “top rated” post, so here I am. (Overall, as I “listen” to God (see your post the other day), He seems to be telling me to back off some on my blog reading and commenting, because there are a couple other things He wants me to do, and there isn’t time to do all of it. So, I’ll ration my blog time.)

    But I’m glad I read this one. Not only well done, and thoughtful, but very encouraging. Why? Because I and my family have been saying the same thing, but without any success here where we live (btw, that’s one reason why we think God wants to move us before the next “stage” of our ministries begins. No kidding, in this town the ministerial association broke up because NONE of the churches here were willing to work together. We tried to gradually find a group who’d be willing to work together to “love and help their neighbors” – but did not succeed.

    If you’d like to see my and my family’s view of your topic (very favorable), right now my manuscript on “loving our neighbors” is up on our family website. Chapter 9 is on “Loving Christians from other churches.” It’s at http://www.sparkleofnature.com). (Right now looking is free, and you’re welcome to make yourself a free personal copy, if you want.) But it may only be temporarily because we’re trying to find a publisher, and when we do we figure we’ll have to take it down, – at best sell it there.

    Anyway, God bless you for thinking this way. And saying it.

    • Pete, So glad you liked this post. It just makes so much sense to me that we need to all focus on what we agree on – that Christ is our Savior. I’m reminded of the old hymn “They will know we are Christians by our love.” I have actually been to your site before and read some of your book. It is very good! I haven’t downloaded it or made a copy, but just read some online. As for trying to find a publisher, I suggest you get one of the books out there on how to write a book proposal so that you can improve the likelihood of success. Acquisitions editors are more likely to pick there next book from the stack of 30 book proposals on one side of the desk than from the 2 full manuscripts on the other. If you do part of their job for them, which includes telling them who your audience would be among other things, then you are more likely to get a publishing offer. And your book is definitely one that is worth being published. Peace, Linda

      • Hi again Linda,

        Thanks for the encouragement. In fact, I have one proposal out now, though I’ve found that most standard publishers won’t even accept those any more. The majority want authors to go through agents, who, unfortunately, are just as hard to get as publishers (rejection rates are generally in the high 90%s. The book did get approved by the Writers’ Edge Manuscript Service a few years ago, and many major Christian publishers cite that and one other service as some they follow, and they contact those authors whose books interest them. I did get a few inquiries, but all from “subsidy” publishers, though one major directory for authors says one of them (Winepress Publishing) is of excellent quality. They’re interested, and I’ve liked the people I’ve talked with there, but right now we don’t have nearly the money it would take, so we’re still feeling out some regular companies.

        In the meantime, I do keep finding more good material to put in, so (I think) the mss has kept getting better and better – and will make an improved book when things finally do come together.

        Again, your encouragement was very appreciated. Thank you. And I hope you get to read more of it.

        Pete Ahlstrom.

  2. Linda,
    Wow, I often think the same thing, am so bothered by all of the divisions in Christ’s church today. Why is it that when we meet someone from down the street, and they state they are a Christian, the first question is where do you go to church? How may I classify you, to which group do you belong. Yet when someone from China defects to America, and declares their faith as a Christ follower, we don’t ask if they are Baptist, presbeterian, Calvary, or any other. We are just glad they are saved. When you have to risk your life to worship Christ, you don’t have time for semantics and squabbling over whet each person thinks is the most important doctrine to adopt. You study, pray, sing and worship. God bless

  3. I love your excitement and experience of being united in Christ! If it can happen through Beth Moore’s bible studies, it can happen at other times too . . .all the time! Hope you stay on that mountain just a little longer . . .it’s so contagious! You pull us up with you! love, deb

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