Loving the whole church
When we make a commitment to Christ we make a commitment to his purpose in the world, which is to have a healthy, unified body, the people of God. A few years ago
God showed me I had sinned many times: against the body of Christ. I had become judgmental of the larger body of Christ. I publically repented of my divisive attitude. God spoke to me about loving the things he loves: he loves his church, he loves the whole church – Protestant and Catholic, Orthodox and Anabaptist.
We have been called to love the things Jesus loves
I don’t mean he loves all the things different Christians believe and do. But in his heart Jesus deeply loves his body, those people who are born of the Spirit of God and who know the Father. We have been called to love the things Jesus loves, so we have no choice but to love the whole church – even denominations whose beliefs we may not agree with or those parts we do not understand.
We are also called to community, a sharing of help, gifts, resources, and problems. The early Christians often met in one another’s homes, ate together, and took a practical concern for each others’ material needs (Acts 4. 32). They helped each other with life’s many difficulties, “bearing each other’s burdens and… fulfilling the law of Christ” (Gal 6. 2).
Because of this closeness the early church was careful about conversational patterns like slander and gossip, recognizing how dangerous out of control tongues can be. They also knew how to keep confidences and protect each other.