A Call to the Churches

A Call to the Churches

Sometimes I sit back and wonder why there are so many denominations.  I am not a member of the clergy, so maybe ignorance is bliss. But, I think if we were one giant community bonded together under Christ, we could get a lot more accomplished.

As churches distinguish themselves more and more through what makes them unique from other churches, I wonder what the church would look like if we stripped away the hype, power dynamics, and politics? When I read the Bible and look at the greatest Christians throughout the last 2,000 years, I don’t see a book and group of people trying to build hype and excitement to make the gospel of Jesus relevant.  The heroes of faith all have one thing in common: They put the needs of marginalized people first, and mold their faith in response to those needs.

When I read the Bible, it seems pretty clear on asking Christians to help widows and orphans.

In Deuteronomy 24:19-21, it says, 19 When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. 20 When you beat the olives from your trees, do not go over the branches a second time. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow. 21 When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow.

James, the brother of Jesus, says in James 1:27,  “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

These are just two of the thousands of passages stating the need to help the weak and oppressed.  Here we are confronted with the constant opportunity as a Christian community to set aside our differences, and be one force, and one body.  Writing this gets me excited, but also upsets me, because I have never seen the church united as one body in my time. There are thousands of different denominations, and people split churches over disputes about carpet color, song choices, and what the appropriate way to take communion is. Next year we might even hear about a church which splits because they couldn’t agree on how many bites it should take to eat a piece of communion bread.

How far away are we from Paul’s idea of the church in 1 Corinthians 12:12, “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.”

I know churches specialize in different areas and have different strengths but, I keep thinking how great it would be to show our united love to the world by jumping on a project that God very clearly is in alignment with.  Let’s join hands together, united, and show the world we can come together and feed our fellow brothers and sisters that are starving.

The baby on the left is an orphan. She was brought to our clinic in Jubilee, Haiti. Her parents had passed away in the earthquake and her brother brought her in. Her skull was caved in and we did not have the treatment to help her. We did our best and tried to arrange this little girl to go to the United States and get the help she so desperately needed. We all held and loved this precious girl feeling helpless, as she was motionless. Although we may not have been able to save her (no one knows if she received the help she needed) there are 14000 kids a day that we can save as we join together in the fight against hunger. God Bless

James Ahlschwede