Various denominations carry a statement of beliefs—designed to display how their particular denomination differs with others. Supposedly, this, therefore helps whoever would be looking for a denomination that naturally identifies with the person concerned. But this does not take away the fact that there is no denominational organization that represents the truth.
It may be true that there are denominations that make a person feel more comfortable, than would be the case in others elsewhere. However, that conjecture, alone reveals how far from the truth the person concerned would be. Our model is Jesus Christ.
Looking for comfort is what justifies a person to remain in darkness and therefore without liberty. Did Jesus ever look for a religious organization that would make Him comfortable in His ministerial activities, here on earth? One thing we know about Jesus is that He was born in an extremely uncomfortable environment.
Within a few years after His birth, there was threat to His life, due to the political establishment at the time. King Herod wanted Him dead. Egypt became a place of refuge, necessary, to serve His infant life. But it was not necessary for Him to remain in Egypt, to safely and conveniently initiate His ministry.
Scriptures show that the most serious opposition to Jesus was Jewish religion, in which He was born. Would it not have been convenient for Jesus to establish a separate religious organization, without involvement with the legalistic Jews of His time? Jesus could also have chosen a different nation, in order to practice Christianity, without the oppressive environment in Jerusalem.
Jesus represented the way, the truth and the life, for the entire humanity. He did not need to go anywhere, as attracted by people who would agree with Him. It ought to have been those in darkness to be attracted to Him.
Simple truism is that it is not darkness that goes to the light, but the light goes to make a difference where there is darkness. The affected people need to apply His principles to make a difference wherever. Light is needed more where there is darkness, and it is darkness that disappears where light is presented.
Being dissatisfied with a denominational organization that one belongs to, does not require separation. It requires communication, whose purpose is to clarify whatever confusion there would be. Human beings should not be categorized in classes of being wrong or right. All are wrong and only God is right.
“By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written, “That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged” (Romans 3:4) (ESV).
True Christians do not need to argue on the basis of who is right or wrong. They need to communicate on the basis of what Jesus said. Splinter groups may have felt justified to leave, having failed to convince the established authorities.
However, all that would not have been necessary at all, had the nine components, comprising the fruit of the Spirit been utilized: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23) (ESV).
How can it be possible for anyone to part ways with anyone, when the above nine components are in existence? For secular organizations, it may be advisable to leave—where divergent views may be irreconcilable.
Secular organizations are not governed by the Holy Spirit. But separation cannot be the case in Christianity, where the Spirit exists. What splinter groups fail to appreciate is that there is no way one can condemn another Christian without condemning self.
Matthew 7:1-5 is very clear on that principle. Being in Christ implies appreciating being your brother’s keeper. This implies laying down your life for your brother, just as Christ laid down His life for all of us (1 John 3:16).
To give further weight to this, John declares: “If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen” (1 John 4:20) (ESV).
The perennial problem of division in Christianity, is basically centered on Law and Grace. Those emphasizing on Law-keeping find those emphasizing grace, unacceptable. Both are wrong.
I could cite various Scriptures, supporting the proponents of law-keeping and yet at the same time be able to cite those in support of the proponents of grace. But all that is unnecessary. See [Unpacking the myth about Law and grace].
What is right does not need support, but what is right influences what is wrong to also become right. Just as light has power to drive out darkness, what is right has natural power to remove what is wrong.
Attitude remains suspect, as people want to listen to what they prefer to listen, instead of applying objectivity. It is not possible to apply objectivity when attitude is present. Most of what could be easily corrected in this world remains uncorrected, because of attitude.
However, attitude drops out when applying the principle of treating the other person as one likes to be treated (Matthew 7:12). When applying this principle, everyone accepts what is true, without, necessarily having to credit anyone. Here is a parable:
Supposing five comrades, with common interests, are caught up in a desert. They go out on different directions, looking for some hidden treasure. They eventually dispatch signals to each other, respectively indicating the possibility of having discovered the hidden treasure.
Each would have his own reasons to support the assumption of possible discovery, based on vantage position. But the treasure would only be located in any one of the five points, respectively identified by each of the five comrades.
The direction that each of them pursued, respectively, did not give clues, as to the possibility of locating the hidden treasure. Would they need to spend time arguing, over whose claim would be factual or not factual?
I suppose common sense dictates that the five comrades put their heads together, in verifying each of their comrades’ claims. Each spotted area is verified, until the required treasure is sourced, for everyone’s benefit.
It would not be necessary to give credit to the person whose prediction became accurate. The agreement by the five, settles everything, so that the other locations would be discarded, having zeroed in on the one with the discovered treasure.
The location of the treasure could not be changed by anyone. Though chance fell on the one where the location of the treasure was found, that does not make that person special. It would only be the discovered treasure that would be special.
In this parable, the five comrades indicated their claims, based on their respective locations. But the five were manly enough to verify each respective claim, before settling on the one that possessed what all of them were looking for. The discovered treasure will be celebrated as to evenly benefit the five of them.
The logic of this parable cannot be workable in our current civilization. The one discovering the location with treasure, takes all the credit. Call this capitalism or whatever, but it is based on self-centeredness.
Credit goes to the one who happens to be on the location with the hidden treasure. From then on, the rest are to be treated as inferior. The wrongness is in that, though the five comrades had socially and morally supported each other all along—the status of the other four, unnecessarily gets alloyed to inferiority.
Of course, this breeds jealousy and all forms of wickedness, as known to exist. With the mind-set of the current civilization—even the verification of the site with the discovered treasure could not be possible.
The comrade on the spot of the located treasure could be murdered, so that the other person could claim to be the discoverer. This happens to represent what is demonic about the current civilization. This can, actually, be worsened, where the five comrades would be diversely represented in five racial differences.
Embarrassingly, this also portrays the scenario in our Christian world. The reason why we have denominations is because each denomination seeks to be projected as being the one that holds the truth. The principle of objective verification, as applied by the five comrades, in our parable, cannot be applied, as each seeks to invalidate others’ claims.
But, certainly, there is no one who owns the truth, in this world, except God. Yet there is no time to listen, because of not belonging to the same group? Though the other could possibly be holding the desired truth? This indicates a scenario where the five comrades argue, as not prepared to listen to each from their different points.
The treasure would remain un-located, though being in one of the locations among the five claimants. How much benefits are lost, due to inability to listen? There is nothing that can surpass the benefit derived from Jesus Christ.
Various Christian denomination claim to have the truth, ahead of others. But the problems of the world indicate that whatever claims of discovered treasure of truth—value of such can still not be quantified.
Our educational system is mainly to blame. As long as self-centeredness remains in education, we are still in darkness. Yet there is no single human being who is valueless. All are valuable, as long as created in the image of God.
The suppression of the disadvantaged people is caused by jealousness. People are graded according to achievements. So that, whatever could be potentially discovered by the unrecognized, cannot see the light of day. Such people perish with whatever purpose for which God created them. See [False data stripping towards true leadership].
All this starts with title-holding, which gives undeserved prestige. We were all created in God’s image. But each of us hold different abilities that others cannot provide. This is just as we know that the varieties of fruits provide respective nutritional requirements, as valued in a human body.
The Bible is clear in that degrading another fellow human being is like degrading God who created the person. I suppose degrading other people is the sin of humanity that stubbornly remains—regardless of Jesus having provided methods of dealing with it.
While there are so many causes of pride, I find title-holding to be chief among all causes of pride. Those who fail to achieve school-grades that give the benefit of being regarded highly are reduced to depression.
I suppose the escalation of suicides in schools is due to title-holding, in scholastic achievements. All illnesses, related to causes of depression, are plainly associated with title-holding. Everyone seeks to be regarded as better than others, through title-holding. See [What’s in a title, if not to deceive?].
However, while Christians are supposed to bear the light, Christianity is entrenched in the Spirit of adulating personalities ahead of others. Christians practice self-contentedness, regardless of claiming to be the followers of Jesus.
This world would become a better world when Christians chart the way, co-operating with one another to establish the truth—as established in Jesus’ teachings. We do not need theologians for that exercise.
We simply need objective Christians who seek the truth, more than anything else. Theology could be a deserved resource, to understand truth. The only problem with theologians is that, instead of being objective, they allow attitude to creep in.
Theologians may provide good analyses, but could be trapped on the problem of attitude. That is when evaluating other people on the basis of educational achievement—thereby rubbishing whatever comes from those considered uneducated.
Invalidating another fellow human being is invalidating his Creator. (Proverbs 17:5). Though, the same attitude problem could also affect the uneducated, as all are susceptible to pride, from where attitudes come.
As long as anyone ascribes to Jesus, listening is prerequisite—for purposes of understanding or helping another person to understand. We are our brothers’ keepers. No-one takes credit—as to be regarded as superior to others. Only Satan bears that record, for which reason he had to be cast out of Heaven.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing reliefs to those having witnessed strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long awaited providential oasis of hope.
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