I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 1 Corinthians 9:22
In 1945, after the Second World War, Germany was divided by the victors into two countries. East Germany was controlled by the communist regime of the Soviet Union and West Germany was a democracy supported by several Western nations. The former capital city of Berlin, although entirely within the borders of East Germany, was also partitioned into two segments. In 1961 the East Germans erected a one-hundred and sixty-six kilometer barrier to separate East from West Berlin. The Berlin Wall was a concrete and iron curtain that blocked free access in both directions for 28 years. At least 100 people were killed trying to cross the Berlin Wall.
In 1989, the Wall was opened. East and West German citizens could once again travel without restriction. Families were reunited after years of enforced separation. Official destruction of the Wall began on June 13, 1990. By November 30, 1991, the Wall, with the exception of six commemorative segments, was completely razed. This paved the way for the reunification of Germany.
Reflecting on the destruction of the Wall, German writer, Peter Schneider said, “Demolishing the Wall in the head will take longer than it will take for a demolition firm to do the same job.” Schneider makes a good point. Most of us struggle in our heads to demolish the walls that divide us. But it’s time to demolish the walls. The fences that keep us apart need to be torn down. Our walls of arrogance and ignorance must be destroyed. We must give up on the things that separate us. We must choose to live at peace with one another. Common ground must be found and misunderstandings dealt with and put away. This needs to happen individually, with families, with the community, and with the Church.
Concerning the Church: It’s time for the “cold war” of denominationalism to come to an end. Religious pride must crumble with compassion for a world going to a lost eternity. We cannot allow ourselves to continue to be divided on nonessentials. There’s strength in unity. We were never meant to be ostriches with our heads buried in the sands of separation due to matters of conscience or personal preference (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:10). Instead of breaking communion with one another it’s time to make communion with each other. It’s time for barriers to be immersed and cleansed in the blood of Christ. If the kingdom of God is going to advance then believers need to demolish the walls between them. We cannot allow the past to impede the future. Unity must be our heart cry, the cry of each Bible believing Spirit filled church, the cry for our cities, and the cry for our nations.
Now that’s not to say that churches should join together in an ecumenical brotherhood. Far from it. Unity is never achieved at the expense of sound doctrine. There can be no unity apart from the Fatherhood of God. The Bible is clear, God is Creator of all but only the Father of those who are born again, born from above, born of the Spirit. Thus the unity that is needed is for born again believers to serve each other in love. For by this all men will know that we are His disciples (cf. John 13:34-35; Colossians 2:2).
So as for me, by the grace of God, I volunteer to be a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: the religious and not yet believers, legalists, immoralists, the poor, the rich – whoever. I don’t intend to take on their way of life. I’ll always strive, in the power of the Spirit, to keep my bearings in Christ – but I’ll endeavour to enter their world and try to experience things from their point of view. With God’s help I’ll become just about any sort of servant there is in attempts to lead those I meet into a vital relationship with Christ. I do all this for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I don’t just want to talk about it; I want to humbly and actively live it for His honour and glory (cf. 1 Corinthians 9:19-23).
Will you join me?