My Crazy Thought

We live in a time when the things that so easily divide are never far away, ready in an instant to explode in our faces. My wife and I were reminded of this yesterday when we invited a friend we hadn’t seen in quite some time over for supper. Between this individual, my wife, and myself we likely cover the entire political spectrum, with my wife being by far the most centrist, independent, and open-minded when it comes to her convictions. One off-hand comment about our current president and suddenly the decibel level around the kitchen table began to rise and hands gestured wildly and fingers pointed.

Thankfully there was no real personal animus behind our discussion, but it did make me think of just how easy it is for things like this to happen, even when the people involved are followers of Jesus. Sadly, division seems to be the norm for Christians, especially here in the United States, where we have officially listed over 200 unique denominations. So many ways to separate and divide with the world watching and shaking their head… but what if things were different? What if for just one day denominations didn’t exist and we were all just followers of Jesus called the church?

Does that sound crazy? Max Lucado does some crazy dreaming in his devotional “My Crazy Thought.” He starts by asking some questions as he dreams:

What would happen—I know this is a crazy thought—but what would happen if all the churches agreed, on a given day, to change their names to simply church? What if reference to any denomination were removed and we were all just Christians?

It’s kind of fun to dream isn’t it? So what would that look like, no denominations, just churches? Max says, “…we Christians would not be known for what divides us; instead we would be known for what unites us—our common Father. Is it a crazy idea? Perhaps. But I think God would like it. It was his to begin with.”

It reminds me of Corrie Ten Boom’s book “The Hiding Place,” when she and her sister Betsie were in the Ravensbruck concentration camp in Germany; as Corrie and her sister shared the light of Christ in that dark place, all notions of theological divide faded away. Who had time to worry about such things when death lurked around every corner and Jesus was so very close?

Of course the very good news is that someday we will all be united as one. I like the sound of that!