Shining Your Light for Him was a perfect theme for this year’s retreat. You can be a Baptist, a Catholic, an Episcopalian or Charismatic and if you let it, Christ’s light will shine through you. There is no partiality with the Lord. I saw Seventh-Day Adventists Spirit-filled worshiping God, Baptists praying next to Lutherans, a Methodist singing while next to them a Charismatic worshiped God with hands raised…and this was in the local church on Kwajalein, not just the missions group! This was the unity of the Body of Christ like I had never experienced before in my life – it was beautiful, humbling, anointed and I was awestruck at the beauty of Jesus.
There will be a Church, too large to contain in structural buildings, that is comprised of people in unity, reaching beyond denominational lines and it will be spread throughout all cultures, crossing over oceans with no more fear of each other or of not being accepted by one another. If we are in Christ, we are all accepted. His Church is comprised of His servants not mine. Some may say, ‘Ashley, this really is not practical, not possible, not rational’. That’s good. I like to hear that. Because God never does what is possible. Only what is impossible.
Some may also say, ‘but we already are the Church, there’s nothing else to attain to.’ But I’ve seen (and myself partaken in) too many disputes, too many derogatory remarks concerning different denominations’ beliefs, from all sides, to believe that we have attained to unity the way the Holy Spirit originally intended. Or do we think when Paul urges unity and peace between the brethren that it was intended only for the members within one church building? They didn’t even have church ‘buildings’ before ~ 230 A.D.
In Romans chapter 14, Paul tells us, and I paraphrase, let not the one who eats [moves freely in all the gifts of the Spirit] despise the one who abstains [is unable to accept everything God has for them at this time.] And let not the one who cannot accept pass judgment on the one who moves freely.
We have yet to attain to this.
But I have resolved to change my perspective and my confession on this matter. I will welcome those who are weak in faith and those who are strong in faith without passing judgment.
“As for the one weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions…be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.”