Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Unity and Diversity

Gal 2:8 for He who worked effectively in Peter for the apostleship to the circumcised also worked effectively in me toward the Gentiles,

The ministries of Peter and Paul were similar, but different. For one thing they were sent to different groups of people. Peter's ministry was primarily to the Jewish people, whereas Paul's ministry was primarily to the Gentiles. Ministering to a Jewish crowd was not the same as ministering to a Gentile crowd. Yet God used both of these men affectively. Peter and Paul  were not in competition with one another.  They both had the same goal in mind, the conversion of lost souls to Christ. I believe this is important of us to remember within the body of Christ.
God has given different gifts and abilities to people within the church. There are different churches that minister to different groups of people in different ways. We are not to be in competition with other churches or ministries. There are some people that can get so busy picking apart other ministries that they are ineffective in their own ministry. The people they spend their time scrutinizing are not compromising the essential doctrines of the Christian faith, but they may possess a different philosophy of ministry, or a different presentation. However if the goal is to see people saved and discipled and growing in their faith, we ought to rejoice. Granted there are certain essential doctrines of the Christian faith that are not open for discussion. But if the dress code of that church is suits and ties, and your church wears jeans and  t-shirts; that is not a big deal. If your church uses instruments in its worship, and their church sings acapella,  that's awesome. We should not get hung up on doubtful things. 
Calvary Chapel has been, and I pray continues to be, an affective part of the work of the ministry around the world. At the same time Calvary Chapel is not the only ministry that God is working through. 
There are many great churches and pastors outside the Calvary Movement that the Lord is using powerfully. They may do things differently then I would do them, but that doesn't mean God is not using them. I believe a great balance is found in the following statement: 

"In essentials unity, in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity"-Augustine