Pastor’s Column Rev. Earl Randall Guest columnist

 A unified church in a diverse community

For many decades, Eatonton has been a diverse community. Diversity is a good thing when we are able to share a common purpose in Christ. Christ is looking for a unified Church operating in His power, not just for unity sake but to fulfill His divine purpose in the earth realm, which is to reconcile the world through Him back to the Father. Unity produces power, but division produces powerlessness. In Ephesians 4:1-6, the Bible says, “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” In this scripture, the Apostle Paul gives a clarion call for the Church to walk in unity. The Apostle Paul is calling for Church unity not based on individual discretion but on divine vocation. Unity is the outward expression of us walking worthy of our inward calling as Christians, which is motivated by love. Jesus said the world will know us as His Church by our love one for another. One of the problems facing the Church is a rising tide of religiosity masquerading as Christianity. We know how to have a church service, but not how to be a service church. A service church is one without walls, open to everyone and reaching out to everyone. Once we are born again our lives are no longer dictated by our secular culture but by a divine culture. How the Church impacts culture as a whole comes out of our transformed lives as Christians. The Church is a Christian culture, it is not a Black culture, it is not a White culture or a Hispanic culture. Therefore, anything in our human ethnicity in opposition to us uniting in the faith must be discarded. We must have a Christ-centered view of others, which is not based on their culture, but the content of their character. When the barrier of ethnocentrism, which separates us, is removed from the Church, the Holy Spirit will have full expression within the Body of Christ. Those of us who want to see God’s will fulfilled in His Church must make every effort to bridge the gap, to change mindsets and to transform culture to the standard of Christ until we all come into the unity of the faith. By Earl Randall, was a guest speaker recently at Marshall Memorial Baptist Church. He pastors Cross Culture Church in Lithonia.

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