The Assembling of the Church.Sometimes the church and church-goers can be known more for what they disagree about rather than what they agree about. There seem to be countless books, blogs and the like that are all about differences. Some are more cordial than others and the others are sometimes downright divisive. There are debates within the church about Calvinism vs. Arminianism, organic vs. traditional, contemporary vs. hymns,...the list could go on and on. Where does all of this get us? Nowhere really. It only causes division where there needs not be any division. After all, Jesus prayed for the church to be untied together as He and the Father are untied together (John 17:20-23). This brings me to the purpose of this post. I want to highlight an example of a brother in Christ who does not give in to this nonsense. His name is Alan Knox and he blogs at
My blog is not very popular. I'm lucky to get 50 hits per day. But the greatest source of traffic to my blog comes from Alan's own blog. He has linked to a few of my posts and has been very encouraging to me over the past few months. But here's the thing, Alan and I are different. Here are some of the differences:
1. We belong to different "tribes"--He's Baptist and I'm Free Methodist.
2. We have different styles of church gatherings--he meets in a more organic style church and I meet in a more traditional style church.
3. We have different theological perspectives--he leans toward Calvinism (I think) and I lean toward Arminianism.
These differences don't get in the way of Alan's ministry or our relationship. You see, Alan sees all believers as being a part of the same family. We may have some differences but the similarities far outweigh the differences. Here are some of the similarities:
1. We both believe Jesus Christ is the head of the church.
2. We both believe in the atoning work of Jesus Christ.
3. We both believe in actively living out what we profess to believe.
4. We both believe that we are part of the family of God through Jesus.
5. We both believe that the church exists for the mission of God.
There are more, but you get the point. What would happen if the different "tribes" of Christians focused on what is similar with one another rather than what is different? What if we encouraged someone else who holds different theological perspectives than we do? More often than not the differences that separate us are regarding doctrine or opinion that have no direct bearing on one's salvation (for example, infant baptism vs. adult baptism; drums in the church vs. an organ only).
Let us keep the work of God through Jesus Christ, His Son, at the center of everything and let us move on together from there.
And Alan, thanks for your encouragement and friendship, brother.