Crossing the Denominational Divide

The quadrennial national Nazarene convention is in Indianapolis this week. Since I am currently driving carriages downtown most nights this week, I frequently take a group of people for a ride who are a part of that convention. Last night, I loaded a group of six, and because space was tight in the carriage itself, one of the gentlemen in the group sat up in the box with me for the duration of the ride. We quickly established a common ground of discussion when I mentioned
that I am a pastor’s kid and he is a pastor. For the next 25 minutes, we had a very enjoyable discussion about all manner of things Christian.

Once I dropped them off and began my next ride of the evening, I noticed a curious phenomenon — I actually felt both energized and hopeful for the first time in a very long time. It was the first time I had left the presence of Christians (who are not part of my inner social group) feeling refreshed at the fellowship shared and hopeful about the state of the Body. And then I chuckled when I remembered that the group I had just fellowshipped with was Nazarene. While I do have some theological differings from the Nazarene Church, I was overjoyed to rediscover that it is possible to cross the denominational divide and enjoy good, Christian
fellowship anyhow. Sometimes, I think we in the Body can get so wrapped up in the idea that “so-and-so is part of that denomination, so I can’t fellowship with him” that we miss out on some of the greatest blessings of fellowship. Personally, I would love to see more people putting aside or ignoring the denominational divide and spending more time urging the Body to work together in fellowship and unity. Ultimately, I think it would benefit the Church as a whole
and might undo some of the damage done by the extremes that always seem to make the news and give Christians as a whole such a bad name.

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