In the study that I am wrapping up with New Hope's Women Ministry, Nehemiah, it is apparent that God is giving me a lesson on the Body of Christ. You will not find the words "body of Christ" in the Old Testament Book but you will see a model of how the Body of Christ is supposed to function. In 52 days, the children of Israel came together (under amazing leadership of Nehemiah) and built the wall of protection around the city in need of rebuilding. They had the grace of God and with God all things can be accomplished.
It reminded me that our church is like this today. We are supposed to be working together but often times we have the Baptists and Catholic's challenging each other or worse, they won't even speak to each other. We have the Nazarene's figuring out if dancing is okay (Give Grace Here, they have come along way... Fun Note: The McMasters' are Nazarenes). We have Methodists doing whatever Methodists do. We have fights on if baptism has to be full dunk or a sprinkle. We challenge the Holy Spirit's call on women because scripture clearly states women should not teach and we forget to take in the culture and times when the scripture was written. Now, let us get this completely up front in the open. Yes, theology does vary among the different churches that make up the Body of Christ. Some of this theology does need addressed but if it is not a salvation issue. If it is not something that will keep you or they out of Heaven.... is it really that important that we do not look at each other as brother and sister? Some Christian's won't even say Catholic's are Christians.... it kills me. I married into a Catholic family. My husband is the only one out of his brothers and sisters that left the Catholic church. And I don't think it was a bad thing. For the most part, his big Catholic family loves God with their whole heart. They are amazing children of the Most High. They grow close to God in their church, they know Him, they serve Him... but for my husband it was difficult for him to know, love, and serve God in the Catholic Church. It was like my husband was just in the wrong part of the body... much like the finger does not belong in the heart. I, myself, did not thrive in the Catholic church. Some can pray to the Saints and remember they intercede on their behalf. Well, I can't do that. Saints become mini gods to me... and that is not okay. I have to pray to Jesus and God alone because my heart quickly become polluted with idols.
So let me be clear on something.... Just like Jesus was clear with Nicodemus in John 3, you can have the knowledge of theology. You can have the Biblical smarts. You can have verses memorized. You can think you need to be fully dunked at baptism, etc.... but if you do not know Jesus and have a personal relationship with Him, all that knowledge is useless. Knowledge will not save anyone. Jesus and who He is.... that is who you have to know. It isn't so much what you know but who you know.
In Nehemiah, the nation of Israel came together to build a wall. What if the Body of Christ, I mean every Christ following church, every Christ following believer.... would just work together to build the Kingdom? If you and I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God and we confess Him as LORD and Savior. We should be able to hold hands and build the Kingdom together. But so often times we see the denominations as a barrier... "oh, that is the Nazarene church... I only help the Baptist church".... so the arm is not willing to help the leg. I hate to tell you but I won't be a Nazarene in Heaven. You won't be whatever denomination you are. We will simply be Kingdom people.
As Kingdom people on earth, we have work to do. We have a witness that is meant to be shared. So let's stop taking wind out of brothers and sisters sails and start breathing life into others.
Who wants to "build a wall" with me? More like, who wants to Help Jesus build the Kingdom?