Many moons ago I purchased a CD, called Bravehearts. No, it had nothing to do with the movie, Braveheart, but it did contain a lot of Scottish music. I love Scottish music and this CD was a modern collection of new Scottish music.
My favorite song on this was Blair Douglas' Nelson Mandela's Welcome to the City of Glasgow. It incredibly blends South African music with Scottish music. It sounds unlikely. Doesn't it? Somehow it succeeds and takes on a greater life of its own more than it could if it were separate. There's a term for that: Synergy, which, according to Mr. Webster, is "the increased effectiveness that results when two or more people or businesses work together." (1)
It makes me wonder. Why couldn't this work for Christians? We fight and bicker more with each other and convince the world that we do not practice what we preach. That mysterious-sounding song, "They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Love", doesn't mean anything to the world because they don't see it in us. Of course, this is a sweeping generalization, but to me has a ring of truth to it.
This reminds me of Paul's first letter to the Corinthians, where he says, "For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:12-13). Paul goes on to expound on that analogy of the body. A body cannot consist of just an eye, but has different parts to it, all working together with Christ as our head.
Probably the biggest struggle we have amongst each other is trying to determine who is a part of the Body of Christ. In this area we have failed. We are not the experts in this matter. The only one who can determine that is Christ Jesus himself, who judges as to whether or not someone belongs to him. How have we failed? Just look at all of the Church splits: the Latin and Greek Church Schism, the Protestant Reformation, which resulted in the Peasant's War and the 30 Years War. Look at recent history with the Civil Rights Movement when white pastors insisted that racial integration went against Holy Scripture (2). Dare I say it? Loot at how the Church has treated our LGBT siblings in Christ.
Is this Christ-like? Does our hate for those who are different make us better Christians? Let us not kid ourselves either. Our hate for those whom Jesus loves separates us from Christ. Let us instead love without judging and leave that up to our Lord.