Friday, September 30, 2011

How We See Other Denominations

The other day I saw this chart which, in a somewhat whimsical way, depicts how people of various denominations tend to see people differently based upon their denominations. 

I found it comical (and in many cases stunningly accurate).  Beyond this though, it caused me to think about how we should think of people who do not share our denominational affiliation. 

It occurs to me that the main issue in our attitude toward other Christians ought not to be one's denominational label, but whether they have been united with Christ through faith by God's grace.  Put simply, those who have, are in the family as our brothers and sisters.  Those who have not, are not.  As a result, we must always remember, there are many people outside our denomination who are in.  And sadly, there are people inside our denomination who are out.

Now I'm not saying we should eschew denominational affiliations.  I believe they are valuable as we seek to be encouraged and corrected in our efforts to faithfully live out our doctrinal understandings according to the Word of God.  But as we do this, let us always do so "with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (For) there is one body and one Spirit - just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call - one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." (Ephesians 4:2-6)

1 comment:

jbboren said...

I saw this also, and thought it was astute, if not outright funny.

I want someone creative (that ain't me) to add a few rows/columns. One for agnostics, one for athiests, one for Mormons, one for JWs, and any other unique groups (do I hear one for religions invented by novel writers named Hubbard?) of interest.