Wednesday, September 5, 2012

So That the World May Believe

Our home church at Eastside in Colorado Springs is focusing their teaching and studies on unity in the body of Christ.  It's seems like such an easy thing ("can't we all just get along?") until you realize that unity has to take precedence over being "right" or fellowshiping only with only those who "correctly" understand scripture. That's hard.  But it's the thing that will make unbelievers think twice and believe someday. It seems like Satan has figured this out and does his best work when he convinces us to divide or take sides.  He stokes our egos and encourages us to stand up for "what is right" knowing that a church divided, the body of Christ dismembered has no believeable testimony for the lost in this world. 
This week we have seen examples of great testimonies of unity and those of selfish, divisive attitudes by area churches. One of our partner churches has an elder who has begun some questionable acts of worship and prayer and is now sought after and compensated monetarily for his services.  The church is reluctant to let this continue as it is contrary to their spirit of volunteer ministry and prayer.  But the brother claims that the church has no right to correct him, a founding member of the church and elder and donor of the land for the building.  It is disheartening to hear about their struggle and know that the rest of the community is watching them take sides.
On the other hand, another of our partner congregations in the area has had a difficult situation between members' children and has had to deal with bringing the situation into light and addressing wrongs done without dividing the church.  The community at large is aware of the problem and and stepped in to fine the offending parties' families.  But rather that take the matter further down the legal road, the affected family is not wanting to give a bad name to the church, and has asked the eldership to help them work through it.  We have been asked to help give counsel, which is humbling as we don't have experience in raising children, but we've seen first-hand how God's Spirit is working in this congregation to maintain unity, praise God. 
Please pray for the body of Christ here and throughout the world as we strive for unity that testifies of God's love for us.
20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

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