Last night, I was blessed to be part of an event known as North Texas Praise and Unity Worship. I don’t know the exact count…given that the Garland Event Center holds 7,000, I might guess somewhere between 4K and 5K people attended. The event was put together largely by my good brother John Scott, who preaches at Saturn Road in Garland. We also honored those who have been preaching for more than 50 years. One gentleman was honored for preaching 79 years!!!!
The program was highly inclusive racially, geographically, and event at times, linguistically. It was a blessing to be a part of. And, I must confess, it was nice to experience the fellowship of those who might be considered to be on the "right" of the fellowship of Churches of Christ.
A decade ago, the question seemed to be whether or not Churches of Christ should fellowship those outside the Churches of Christ. The new question…though scarcely addressed much publicly, is, "Which Churches of Christ do we considered to be one of us?" This question is asked and answered on both the left and right of the movement. On the right, it’s often addressed from the pulpit. On the left, it’s usually done in less public environs, but addressed all the same.
For my part, I believe Jesus’ remarks in Mark 9, "Those who are not against us are for us…" needs to be received and implemented today as much as ever…and not only to issues pertaining to the Churches of Christ.
Back in November of 2004, I preached a sermon entitled, "Those who are not against us are for us." Click here to listen. You may also find it through the HOCC web site. The sermon was adapted for the printed page and became chapter ten of Jesus the Powerful Servant. You can order it by clicking here.
If we had a sense of how much unity mattered to Jesus, I think we’d try a lot harder than we do to "Make every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." I think we’d watch our words more carefully, give one another the benefit of the doubt more, and think twice before seceding from opportunities to work together or praise together.
We are called to follow Jesus together.