Every Saturday, my home is filled with 25 or so adults and almost as many kids. We file in, greeting one another with hugs, laughter, and joy. Eventually we make our way to our living room, where we gather corporately, where we re-confess that Jesus is Head, and we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us in our time together.
Jesus is so faithful. Never has a Saturday gone by when a clear theme did not emerge, becoming so evident where God was taking us, teaching us, leading us.
I imagine, that many who do not know what organic church looks like, assume that at some point we must have discussed theology or doctrine in our corporate setting. That somewhere in the midst of this time, Jesus must have led someone to bring up a doctrinal point.
And if you assume this, you’d be wrong.
In over a year of meeting, we have never had a corporate gathering that has lead us to a theological discussion. Even writing it, I feel a bit surprised. How can that be?
Yes, we are discussing theology in the sense that we talk about God–and that is the simplest definition of theology–the study of the nature of God. But, what I mean more specifically is I have never witnessed a member of my church family submit their own theology to the body, try to debate, or try to convince others that their beliefs are right.
Which begs the question, perhaps there is no need for such discussions, because we must all hold similar, if not the same, theologies.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
In reality, the individuals who make up my church family and I hold vastly different theologies. We differ in thinking regarding varying points including salvation, hell, Satan, sin, spiritual warfare, and the like.
Many of us have grappled with, struggled against, and wrestled with different parts of scripture allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us to a certain level of understanding (I say ‘certain’ because God still chooses to cloak much in mystery. Not one of us has the corner on Truth. We are fools if we believe otherwise).
And yet much of the conclusions we have come to as individuals within my church family, is still not the corporate theology we all hold.
Yet, despite where we hold different viewpoints, one central Truth remains and holds us fast together:
Jesus Christ is Head.
We are the Body and He is the Head.
That is what we know. That is what we hold. That is what we share. This is what we submit to– one another in Christ and Jesus as Head.
The more time I have spent with this body of believers, whom I count as my own flesh, the more and more I have come to conclusion that Jesus is not at all interested in homogeny. Of course, this should go without saying.
If you stopped a so-called Christian on the street and asked them if they thought God wanted everyone to look and act the same, most of us would chuckle at the idea and answer, “No, of course not.”
Intellectually we know that God desires for us to look more like His Son, but that does not mean that we must all talk the same, look the same, think the same, right?
Imagine if becoming a follower of Christ meant you had to have a certain haircut, wear certain clothes, and eat certain kinds of food. Such homogeny would fly in the face of the freedom Jesus came to bring, wherein He welcomes us as individuals and calls us adopted.
And yet, what I have seen happen again and again within the church is the desire to create a people who all hold the same theology. I have witnessed Christians, and whole congregations, exalt theology over unity.
But when Paul exhorted us to “being of the same mind,” he did not mean “Everyone must think the same on all points.” He meant that we should have the mind of Christ, “having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.”
Think like Jesus. Think on the things of Jesus. Think about the things Jesus would have us think on. Think about Jesus.
…Not following a homogenous Jesus, but a unifying Jesus. Where the truth of being His flock does not also mean we become a herd of sheep.
I feel overwhelmed with gratitude that I get to witness this played out each week–a group of believers seeking the mind of Christ, not their own. Again and again, laying down personal gain or benefit, for the unity of the whole body. It isn’t always easy, but it sure is beautiful.
Have you seen what I’m talking about? Have you been a part of either, where the mind of man is exalted or the mind of Christ? How do we act like His flock but not sheep?