Denominational Disorder

The number of disorders that are presently recognized by the medical and psychological communities is staggering. People are being diagnosed in record numbers and being properly (or improperly) medicated and counseled to deal with their problems.

I’ve recently read of everything from Histrionic Personality Disorder to Intermittent Explosive Disorder to Translocation Chromosome Disorders (say that one three times as fast as you can!). The definition of disorder can be summarized as something “that disturbs the normal function of the physical or mental condition.”

At the church where I serve we have been blessed of late with many newcomers from various denominational and non-denominational churches. From interviewing many of these fine Christians I’ve discovered a new disorder, a denominational one. [Before I go any further, please note that I am not anti-denominational and I applaud the efforts many in the denominational community are making for the building of the kingdom of Christ.] What I mean by “denominational disorder” is this: with so many different denominational groups to choose from, with so many differing ways of not only doing church, but even of theological systems that are followed, I believe that it is disturbing the normal function of the church as God intended it. With so many “official” opinions and creedal statements determining for us what we should and should not believe, which “isms” are and are not theologically correct, and which positions we should take on every conceivable issue, it would appear that many are confused and that the concept of being a Christian has become much too complicated.

The cure for this disorder is not to trash denominational churches, because the disorder is common in non-denominational churches as well. What I propose we do is simple, and hardly unique to me. I recommend the following:

1) That we accept all who claim Jesus as Lord as our brothers and sisters in Christ;

2) That we emphasize what the Bible clearly teaches rather than what it doesn’t teach;

3) That we first and foremost point the unchurched to the Cross of Christ rather than to a particular expression of His Church;

4) That we become known as Christ’s disciples, primarily through our genuine display of love for one another;

5) That we seek to understand those who differ with us, before we seek to be understood by them.

Well, that’s the whole list! As you can see, it is so simple that anyone can follow it. The best news is that it is a formula for unity without compromise, and gives us the freedom to build the kingdom as Christ intended, without the confusion so common in modern day Christendom.