On the day of Pentecost 3,000 souls were saved by the grace of God and added to the church. Several days later, thousands more were added. The church had remarkable growth through faith in the work of Jesus Christ for them. But you have to wonder what kind of people were saved. I suppose some were shepherds, some farmers, some homemakers, some businessmen, some tradesmen, some artists, some teachers, and so on. But they all went to the same church. They went to the same church and they worshipped God together. They were in unity with each other through the blood of Jesus Christ. They came together, they worshipped together, they sang together, and they served together. They had all things common.
This fact makes me question all those speciality churches. You know what I am talking about. Churches that are for only cowboys and for only motorcycle riders and others that focus their church on the specific needs of these groups. I wonder why that did not happen in the first church. Certainly there were diverse groups in those saved and added to the church.
As reported in USA Today, March 11, 2003, the Cross Trails Church, Fairlie, Texas, has the following Ten Commandments: Just one God; Honor yer Ma & Pa; No telling tales or gossipin’; Git yourself to Sunday meeting; Put nothin’ before God; No foolin’ around with another fellow’s gal; No killin’; Watch yer mouth; Don’t take what ain’t yers; Don’t be hankerin’ for yer buddy’s stuff. Baptisms are performed out of a horse trough, and “Happy Trails To You” constitutes the sung benediction.
What’s next? A skateboarders’ church? A Valley Girls’ church? A Fat Peoples’ church? A Factory Workers’ church? Where is the unity of the saints and the unity of the church if we are constantly dividing into smaller and smaller divisions? Where does it all end? A man sitting in a closet with his wife? Unless I have exactly the culture, the language, the music that appeals to me, I guess I can’t worship with anyone else. And so the course we’re on is a course that will divide and subdivide the church further and further. The worship wars are raging, tearing apart churches and denominations, and giving shape to the life and piety of generations to come.
The Worship of God should not happen according to our likes, dislikes, preferences, or specific needs. The Worship of God should happen as the Word of God demands it. God has every right to dictate how worship of him should take place. We must remember the words of Jesus, “Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.” It is not where we worship or with whom we worship but who we worship. I am afraid that we are attracted to a church not because of unity that Christ provides but a unity that I provide.
I think we miss what God has for us when we avoid diversity and differences in church. We are all so very contrasting to each other but the one thing that brings unity to our worship together is we have been born-again by the power of God in and through the finished work of Jesus Christ. It is Christ that brings us together and not my Harley or my new horse.
People are coming to church and just hearing a bunch of talk and singing a bunch of songs. But faith comes by hearing the word of God, and if it’s not being preached, sung, read, and prayed, and if the content of our services are decreasingly Biblical, it is an ominous thing that is happening – a tragedy unfolding before us of monumental proportions.