Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. Romans 12: 4-8
When I started this blog, it was mainly to write about sustainable agricultural practices (when I wasn’t ranting about politics and economics, that is). Then we went to Haiti. That changed everything.
So I started writing a lot about Haiti and our new friends at Danita’s Children.
Even though I am a seminary student and I love a good theological discussion, I’m certainly no pastor or Bible scholar. But lately it seems that more and more of my posts are just my rambling reflections on Spiritual and Biblical things. I know that lots of y’all don’t come here for that, and if you want that sort of thing you’ll find a blog from someone who’s better suited for it than I am.
But as John Lee Hooker said, in quite a different context, it’s in me, and it’s got to come out.
So here goes another little sermonette-type thought that has been on my mind a lot lately.
I don’t like the notion that we all should be in the same place on our spiritual journeys. And I don’t like the idea that we should divide into denominational or doctrinal camps and launch salvos of Bible verses at one another like Spiritual missiles.
I think the point Paul was trying to make in the passage I cited above, is that just as a human body is composed of different parts, each of which has a different function, so it is with the “body of Christ” (some other day I’ll spell out what that means to me, on the off chance that anyone reading this might actually care). And just as we all may do different things well, we might also come at things differently. So among those who self-identify as “Christian”, we have Catholics, Protestants, Fundamentalists, Pentecostals, Exclusivists, Universalists, a million or so denominations, and nearly every imaginable doctrinal nuance. All under one giant umbrella: Christ-followers. Just as we all have different gifts, we also have different minds. There isn’t a cookie-cutter Christian. Or at least there shouldn’t be.
When we were in Haiti we were privileged to meet two awesome young women who were giving up their summer vacation to serve at another orphanage in Ouanaminthe. They were a great blessing to those kids. The orphanage they were serving is run by a Haitian pastor who is a Lutheran. They are Catholic. Not for a moment was there any concern that there might be a problem with that. As one of them told us, “One of the great things about Haiti is that here we aren’t Catholic or Protestant. We’re just Christians.”
How awesome it will be when that is true everywhere.