The Church, as regards the totality of Christians, is obviously divided and can be traced to diverse things.
The Christian faith according to religious demographics on Wikipedia is practiced by 31.4% of the world’s population. Even in the Christian faith, we still have various denominations; few of which are discussed in Popular Christian Denominations in Nigeria. This segregation dates back to the days of the Bible where we had the Jews and the Gentiles.
I remember being in the city of Lomé for the first time about six years ago and I was only able to communicate in the French Language. Though it felt good, a large part of me was hoping to find some Nigerians in the city and I sure did find them within a week and voila! They became my family throughout my stay there.
This expresses Man’s innate need for acceptance and convenience. This need drives us to always concur with the trend that feels convenient and comfortable even in choosing our faith. We naturally flow with the company of people or ideas that are familiar to us whether or not they are morally right.
Ever wondered why there are various doctrines and beliefs in the Christian Faith and even other faiths? I have and I realized that just as we are diverse in tribe, language, culture and traditions, we are also diverse in beliefs and thought processes. We can not all have the same point of view as regarding the person of God or Christ.
I recently learned that we have agnostics which meant a different thing entirely from atheists even though they are similar. There is bound to be disagreement as in any gathering but what makes the difference is the ultimate language of love and the understanding that people’s opinion, though different, should be respected.
Unity in Diversity
The slogan “Unity in Diversity” is often times used to depict unity amidst a particular group of persons who, though bound by a common geographical location, economy, constitution or government, possess diverse faith systems, culture, traditions and social strata.
Diversity in itself depicts the understanding that every individual varies, is unique and is different in their own opinion, status, gender, abilities, race, age, experiences and so on. This understanding should naturally debunk the idea that whoever is not in our faith is against us and as such should pay for it. This will be like fighting a man because he wasn’t created female.
The Scriptures have it written in Galatians 3:28, that “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ”. (NIV)
To this end, study to know God for yourself. Only then will you realize the message Christ represents which I believe is the ultimate principle of love. Love in itself rearranges our priorities making us understand the need for unity more than concentrating on mundane things like fighting for God, hating homosexuals, seeking fame and power and monetizing the gospel.