I’m reading The Eternal Church by Dr. Bill Hamon. It was the textbook for a Bible college class I took years ago. The book is pretty long, but it gives an excellent overview of the church through the ages and Christ’s love for the church. It’s worth the read.
When talking about the different reformations and the churches that grew out of them, Dr. Hamon said,
It is comforting to know that the Holy Spirit does not lower or limit Himself to man’s doctrinal differences
It’s an awesome quote, I even tweeted it (you should probably go retweet it right now). He was talking about two specific denominations that came from the same reformation, but were divided because of a doctrinal difference. People were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues at both churches.
God doesn’t seem to care if we have everything right. There are some things that the Bible specifically teaches that we must believe, but beyond those few things, God seems to manifest Himself to and through every Christian church.
The Orthodox Church and my church differ in almost every way. They are very liturgical and there is a huge sense of holiness in their churches. The women wear head coverings and the men and women stand on opposite sides of the sanctuary. Their pastors wear long black robes and grow long beards. When you come into my church, you’d hardly believe we are of the same religion. You’d hardly believe that we serve the same God, but we do.
Every year, God manifests Himself to the Orthodox church through The Miracle of the Holy Fire. A man is sent into the Church of the Resurrection with two unlit candles, he then returns with both candles lit. He doesn’t lite the candles, there’s no one else in there with him, God literally sends fire from heaven. The Holy Fire is passed throughout the crowd from candle to candle and each person runs the fire across their hands and faces and are not burned. It must be an amazing sight and I’d love to one day get to see it myself.
God manifests Himself to the Orthodox Church in a beautiful miracle that we don’t see in Pentecostal churches, but God manifests Himself through speaking in tongues that you don’t see in Orthodox churches. God doesn’t lower Himself to our doctrinal differences, He manifests in every Christ serving church. He may manifest in different ways and according to each’s own faith, but He is present.
Each day, when a man gives himself to the Lord, it’s a miracle. This miracle takes place in Pentecostal churches, Lutheran churches, Catholic churches, Orthodox churches and every other Christian church around the world. If God doesn’t make a differentiation, why should we? Our doctrinal differences have separated us for centuries, but they haven’t stopped God from moving. If God can set aside doctrinal differences, maybe we should to.
I just finished writing a book about this subject! United: Christ’s Plan for His Church will be available in the coming weeks! Sign up for my Email Newsletter to stay updated on my upcoming book and other great things going on at JosiahDouglas.com!