Our Lord and only Master Jesus Christ prayed on the night he was betrayed that his followers would be one, as he and the Father are one. (John 17:21) It is important to note that the unity of his followers was his greatest concern before his death. In fact, on the night of his last supper before the crucifixion, Jesus joyfully exclaimed:
““I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 22:15-16)
Jesus had eternally looked forward to the time in which he could sit with his disciples in intimate fellowship, celebrating the climax of an evil age through his sufferings, and the initiation of a new enlightened age and God-consciousness through the triumph and power of his tangible resurrection.
It is no secret that after the Apostolic age (first three centuries of the Church), that Christ’s disciples lost their way in doctrinal competition and the ambition of political ascendancy and control. The two main traditional streams of Christianity (West and East) excommunicated one another, using the excuse of petty, non-essential doctrines as a smokescreen in order to hide their ambition for primacy.
Although Christendom (both East and West) have made major contributions to humanity, including its role in inspiring and creating our modern secular society (not controlled by religious institutions), our divisions have produced more than 40,000 separate denominations who have divided over silly things as to whether we should use wine for Holy Communion, or Grape Juice.
Our divisions have fostered erroneous ideas regarding a person’s salvation. For instance, the Christian message centers around the fact that we are saved by grace through faith. Meaning, that salvation is an unmerited gift from a gracious God, which is attained through the mystical gift of faith (belief) that makes us able to grasp the harmony, unity and fellowship with God through Christ’s merits. (1 Tim 2:25; 6:12; 1Cor. 1:9) Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV) says,
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
The most perfect example of salvation by grace through faith is the Biblical story of the crucified thief (traditionally known as Dysmas), who tried to console Jesus by saying to him: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” Although he did not know anything about Christ’s divinity, the Holy Trinity, the personhood of the Holy Spirit, Christ’s Sacramental presence, or the plenary inspiration of Scripture, Jesus said to him:
“Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Luke 23:42-43 is a prime example of how plain faith in the PERSON of Jesus Christ is enough for a person to come into fellowship with God… But the reality is that Christians (especially Western Christians) have had a long history of disdaining, dividing, excommunicating and declaring one another “heretics” simply for not believing exactly, point by point, whatever standard of orthodox teaching is popular at any given time.
Such is the case today with Kim Davis, a Oneness Pentecostal Christian who is in a denomination that does not adhere to the traditional, orthodox doctrine of the Trinity. Her tradition believes that the nouns “Father, Son and Holy Spirit” are titles that represent different functions of the One God. An example would be the case of a man who is a “Father, Husband, and Pastor.”
It is interesting to point out that when Kim Davis’s life was transformed by accepting the person of Jesus Christ as her exclusive Lord and Savior, that the power of her life-transformation was not based on a perfect knowledge of orthodox doctrinal standards, but rather, a personal encounter with Jesus Christ through the message of the Cross.
Yes…she was saved through simple faith, just like the thief next to Jesus.
Someone once said that Insanity is to do the same thing, over and over and over again, while expecting a different result. Our denominational divisions ARE NOT BENEFICIAL FOR THE CHURCH, and they will never be. The Christian Church has suffered extensively, even to the point of Western society persecuting us through political intimidation. America has become a modern “Sodom and Gomorrah” mostly because Christians have abandoned their influence in the public square, while remaining isolated in their respective little communities. They feel powerless in the midst of a highly organized attempt to overthrow any concept of righteousness and inalienable rights that proceed from God’s providential grace.
Insulating our denominational distinctives can no longer be the priority of our churches. Unless the members of the Christian Church learn how to respect, affirm and learn to work together for our mutual defense under the Cross, we will be doomed as a people. Unless we change our divisive mindset, we will continue to work against the desire of our Lord Jesus Christ to become ONE, as he and the Father are ONE. The oneness does not depend upon our traditional distinctives or preference..but rather it serves to affirm the people of the Cross in the soteriological essence of salvation by grace through faith, alone.
I find it amazingly amusing that God would not choose a Trinitarian Christian in order to unite the Church in the cause of Religious Liberty. God has chosen a A ONENESS PENTECOSTAL CHRISTIAN to stand in the gap that countless Trinitarians have been unwilling to stand for fear of being disliked by the secular society in which they live.
Even today, many Christians who considered her denomination to be a Christian Heresy, remain silent because they know that God chose a non-Trinitarian, new convert to Christ, to promote Christian unity under the Cross and Religious Freedom for all.
This doesn’t mean that we must now renounce our denominational distinctives. On the contrary- our denominational distinctives are actually a picture of grace that tangibly serve as a visible example of the manifold wisdom of an infinite God who transcends our ability to grasp the enormous complexity (and simplicity) of his divine mind. (Ephesians 3:10)
Kim Davis is a gift of grace that proves that the only thing we need in order to have fellowship with God, is to simply have Faith in Him and the work that He has accomplished through the Cross and the Resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ.
Its time to embrace our diversity under the Cross- because otherwise, the rabid secularists of the day will drive us to the sea, destroying the only true bastion and bulwark of FREEDOM left in the whole world: The United States of America.
WE LOVE YOU KIM! We will stand with you all the way- because JESUS IS THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE. And because you remind us of the fact that everyone who takes hold of the Cross, is part of THE CHRISTIAN NATION. (1Peter 2:9) Onward Christian Soldier!