Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Church as One

"Too many Christian denominations and churches around. This is confusing. I think all churches should be united. Well I'll start a church that'll do just that."
Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormon, had the same thought. He was troubled by the various denominations of his day, so he aspire to establish a true church. And he did. But whether is it true or not is another matter. But the fact that the organization that he started doesn't help to unite the already existing fragmentation. It only worsen it.

Yet efforts to achieve ecumenism are pressing on even though it seems impossible at this moment. Different churches are fine to stick together to fight for some common causes but it is another matter to talk about uniting them as one worshiping and social community.

The social reality of the church as the one body of Christ is serious enough for Jesus to pray for. "I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." (John 17.22-23, Italic added). Hence I have no reason to think otherwise except to continually asking for the same thing.

Some friends know that when I am asked which church am I from, I would say, "I'm from the grand heritage of John Knox." Yet if you ask whether am I open to embrace other denomination, I would say "Yes". I dare not think otherwise.

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