One of the most poignant experiences I have had was in Constanta Romania in 1997. It was not too long after the fall of the communist dictatorship. I went to the boardwalk area with Romanian friends from the church that organized the English Camp I taught in.
When we got there, we joined a large group gathered to sing worship songs. There were young people, college and high school ages, from various churches, Evangelical, Lutheran, Baptist and even Catholic and Orthodox. They were singing worships freely. The thought that hit me was that not many years before that, there was no way they could have done so.
They were gathered to worship a person-Jesus.
Yes there are doctrinal differences between the various groups, but their focus was on Jesus and worshipping him.
When Jesus was praying in John 17, at the end he prayed for all who would come to faith in him. He prayed for unity for those who would come to faith.
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.
That early evening in Romania was a picture of what Jesus was talking about. People who profess faith in Jesus coming together.
I am not saying we disregard doctrinal differences. I have no plans to join the Catholic Church for example. But would I worship together in an open air setting like that time in Romania? Yes.
What I am talking about in my post is our attitudes especially public ones. For example, when Lauren Daigle won an Emmy she came under attack by some Christians because she did not express her thanks the way they felt she should. Others criticized her for appearing on Ellen. In both instances I thought people were being petty and in both instances those who do not know Jesus noticed.
Those who do not know Jesus watch us and our attitudes about each other. Jesus prayed for our unity. Our unity does not mean we all have to think exactly the same. It is about our attitudes toward each other even though we have differences.
If Jesus prayed about it, perhaps we ought to pay attention.
Thank you for reading. God Bless.