I only cheer for one player on the team. Regardless of who’s on offense or defense, that one player gets all of my attention and support. The rest of the team is irrelevant. That one player on the field is the only one I believe in. And that one player is the only one who can win the game. When that is put into the context of a football, baseball or basketball game that sounds pretty absurd, even if that one player is the superstar. In our culture, we understand that it takes a team to win. So why doesn’t that translate to our faith?
Our allegiance to one particular church or denomination is even more absurd, with much higher consequences. The spectators of the game don’t know who to cheer for. All they know is that on the field everyone is claiming to be the best player who can win the game. Actually, it would be a miracle if everyone even showed up to the same field. In many ways, the religious elite are doing more damage to the body of Christ than any sinner who has yet to be saved by grace.
Unity and Diversity in the Body
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. – 1 Corinthians 12:12-14 (NIV)
One body mean that we all are to work together … as a team. There isn’t room for egos and self-righteous attitudes. There isn’t room for accusations and condemnation. Everyone on the team will fumble from time to time, even the superstar. And likewise, everyone on the team will contribute to winning the game. The overall focus is supposed to be on working together. While our team is quarreling about which field to play on, who is supposed to be quarterback and who needs to sit on the bench, the opposing team is actively playing the game destroying the hope of the spectators who are watching.
Our field is the world, our communities, our home. Our team is everyone who believes in Christ, every other Christian church in our communities, our home church, our families. Our call is unity. Our goal is salvation. Our hope is Jesus. If any of that is missing, we’re doing it wrong. And if we participate in doing it wrong, we are not part of the solution.
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