“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” (Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV)
Over the years, I have been a part of many conversations on doctrine and denominations. Some were intriguing, but many became downright contentious. The end result boiled down to the belief that doctrinal purity was not only attainable, but absolutely necessary.
We see “through a glass darkly” this side of heaven. And while God has been absolutely clear throughout Scripture on certain issues, on some He has not been as clear. He has left these areas to be discerned through the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we work out our faith daily in the process of sanctification. If we are serious about our Christian walk, we must be constantly course-correcting in order to accurately represent Him in love.
There will be no denominations in heaven. God never intended that the “piece of pie” we are given here should represent the whole pie. We are to come together, bringing what we have been given. We are to be as “iron sharpens iron” to each other within the body of Christ.
It doesn’t matter whether we are apple pie, blueberry pie, peach pie, cherry pie, pumpkin pie, or pecan pie–pick your favorite flavor. We are all still “pie,” the flavor (denomination) not so important as the fact we are seeking to walk accurately with Him in what He reveals to us in His Word. The study of doctrine is not a chess game where we “win” with “check mate.”
We are to be like a team of horses pulling the same wagon–all working in tandem, heading the same direction. This isn’t supposed to be about which horse leads the team, and most certainly isn’t about us. It is about the fact that we make it to the “finish line” having done what Jesus Christ has commanded–make disciples of all nations.
At the risk of being too blunt here, we need to get over ourselves. While we bicker and sleep in our comfortable denominational and doctrinal pews, the enemy makes continued inroads into our culture, our nation, and our world.
Jesus Christ is returning for a ”bride without spot or wrinkle” (Ephesians 5:27).
As far as I can tell, we still need a good wash and iron.