E Pluribus Unum
Our founders knew that many different people, cultures and customs could come together to form one body. They used these words in latin to describes, E Pluribus Unum; meaning from many one. Why can't we Christians see the same thing? 1 Corinthians 10:17 says, "Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake in one loaf."
Do we not all worship the same Almighty God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit? Why then do we find bickering, back biting, resentment, and pride filling our churches? Are we all not sinners unworthy of the salvation we are given. Romans 3:22-24 says, "The righteousness of God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ." How is that our churches have gotten so pumped up with themselves that they have the astounding gaul to believe they have a monopoly on salvation? There is no hierarchy amongst us. No second class citizens in the Kingdom of God. Romans 12:3-5 says, "For by the grace given me say to everyone of you: do not think yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think yourself with sober judgement, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members and these members do not all have the same function. For in Christ we, who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others."
It is all rather sad, how one group of Christians can think themselves more Christian and more deserving than another just because they cross themselves, preform certain rituals, or even slavishly holding on to the jewish tenets. It is not these things which save a person. Matthew 7:7-8 says, "Ask and it will be given you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." There were no stipulations placed on that. What saves a person is the belief that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God and He came to this Earth, when He did not have to, and led a perfect life until He was nailed to a cross for ALL our sins and rose again three days later to walk this earth forty days before ascending to heaven to sit on the right of His Father.(That sure was a mouth full wasn't it:))
Where does it state in the New Testament that we must preform rituals or customs(communion and baptism not included) to be part of the body of Christ? Does not Matthew 18:20 say "For where two or three come together in my name, there I am with them." Jesus didn't say He was with them only if you do this or that ritual. Jesus put no qualifier nor prerequisites on His gifts or on these popular words of John 3:16-17, "For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that who so ever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him."
Truly do you think God really cares if you are a strict Orthodox, a Messianic Jew, a "Bible thumping" Baptist sitting stoically in the Pew, a "holy rollin'" Pentecostal jumping and hollering in the isles, or anything else in between as long as we are all Baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit? John 5:24 says, "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes in Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned."
When we let ourselves get so wrapped up on our own little piece of real estate we are not giving God the full glory He deserves. To say he can only save the people of this Church places limits on God that we are not allowed to place. There is no box that can hold Him and none should try. We are not saved in the name of a church, and if you are you may need try that again. We are saved in the name of our Risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Luke 9:49-50 says, "'Master' said John 'we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.' 'Do not stop him,' Jesus said 'for whoever is not against you is for you.'" Was not this group different from the Apostles? Sure they had to be, the Apostles didn't know them, yet Jesus said let them be we are all together.
God has called us to come together as one body, one body with many different members and parts, to further His kingdom and to stop worrying of our own meaningless little fiefdom.