I love that no church or leader has the ‘whole’ of it all.
We as the church are brought together in our DIVERSITY to make up ‘the whole’ body of Christ.
We must learn to embrace each other with our diversity in realizing that we have different fingerprints that make up ‘the hands & feet’ of Jesus in all our forms, Pentecostal, Charismatic, Apostolic-Prophetic and so on.
Being in one Spirit, heart and mind is not about being the same, it’s about understanding that we are ALL grafted into the Church together, through Christ! It’s our likeness in HIM, in His LOVE that makes us one!
Our understanding of the HOW to execute Matthew 28:18-20 may differ from denomination to denomination but as we know in the Affirming church, being different does not equal being wrong. (Referring to proven doctrinally sound churches.)
A spirit of religiosity will rise up in those that don’t understand Kingdom and the need for diversity that makes up the global Church of Jesus Christ, and this is what can cause division.
We must also be mindful, that incorrect training in the Scriptures, or lack of training, coupled with those that have experienced deep woundedness and betrayal from the Church and its leaders; can also be the cause of a religious mindset and or a very distorted selective reading or understanding of doctrine of the biblical texts, including misinterpretation which can sometimes be for ‘self preservation’ rather than objective exegesis.
It is essential for us to rather focus on the commonality we have in the Christian Creeds (Nicene or Apostle’s Creeds etc.), which come from the Scriptures, that guide all Christian churches. Further added to this, are statements that identify us as Spirit filled churches.
For example: The Trinity; Jesus is the one true Son of God, He is incarnate, He died on the cross and rose again; that He, Jesus will return for the Bride; that all must be born again, belief in the activation of the gifts and differences in the emphasis of the role of Holy Spirit in the Church, and how the mandate of Christ is carried out in His Church.
Another example is that in an Apostolic-Prophetic church, we believe and recognise over 27 gifts, as opposed to just the nine as fundamental to the Body of Christ.
That way, we don’t limit Holy Spirit, and people that don’t seem to fit into the category of the ‘9’ are included and can participate in their area of gifting. (This comes from Apostle C. Peter Wagner’s teaching.)
Focusing on this, instead of focusing on our differences, is key to building Kingdom together; rather than thinking others are wrong, because they belong to a different Ethnos, or have a different doctrinal understanding of that mandate.
The Book of Acts describes the believers having one heart and mind as they came together:
“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.”
Acts 4:32 (NIV)
Why? Because Holy Spirit unites and in the presence of God there is peace!
Amen & Selah!
“…then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.”
Apostle Deborah Bell
DGFC & DGAN Network of Churches & Ministers