Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Tragedy in Arizona and the Church

As I watched the news last evening and this morning my heart broke for the families who lost someone in the senseless killing in Arizona. They are in my prayers - as are the families who have a loved one in the hospital. The conversation on the news covered a wide spectrum, but focused a great deal on the "atmosphere" in the country and questioned if that contributed to this horrible act. I believe we all have the right and responsibility as citizens of this country to be involved in our government - whether by making informed votes or running for office. However; once the ballots are counted we then need to do whatever we can to work together to try and make this country a better place. The vicious language spewed from both parties is not appropriate.

As I thought about all this, I thought about the church. Far, far too often we also divide along lines of doctrine, version of the Bible and our own lists of "do's and don'ts". This should not be. I came from a very conservative part of the country - in my teens I thought the KJV was the only Bible and others were from "corrupt" manuscripts. I didn't believe people from non-Baptist or Bible churches were actually christians. I was so wrong. Thank God He brought people in my life who were able to show me there is a better way.

When we separate ourselves from other believers because of things like the version of the Bible or denomination, we do harm to the name of Jesus. There are so many things we have in common. Take for example, Vacation Bible School curriculum. I've reviewed them all over the years and have found they all teach the Bible. Some use more activity to teach God's Word than others do, but they all teach the Bible. It makes me sad when I see a curriculum publisher claim their curriculum teaches the Bible and others do not. This is not accurate. Nearly all the publishers include accurate, correct information on how to become a Christian and have the goal of seeing children reached for Jesus! We can come together and rejoice over the number of children who will make decisions for Jesus this summer in VBS ministries in churches across this country and around the world!

There are so many things we agree on - we need to come together on those things and support one another . . . not allow the things we disagree on to divide us. Jesus said others would know we are His by the way we love one another. Let's endeavor to live in such a way and talk about others so thay will know Who we belong to by the way we love one another!

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