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When Jesus came to this world, He came to bring the Good News of Eternal Life and being reconciled to God through Himself. Jesus desired for His people to walk together in unity with one another and with unity with Him. Sadly, not everyone received Jesus’ message. Those who did not believe Jesus’ words of His Kingdom were divided against Him. Fast forward 2,000 years to present day, we are witnessing that there are divisions within Jesus’s own Body, the Church. This ought not to be. When Charles Simpson, one of the leaders of the Charismatic Renewal Movement, had a recent conversation with VFVtv, they talked about the importance of unity to be fully seen within the Church.
Speaking from a lifetime of experience and wisdom, Simpson shares his perspective on the divisions that take place within Christianity. “I think the greatest scandal is the division within Christianity. In spite of everything we know the Bible says, that we’re to love one another and we’re to seek reconciliation, we’re to love our enemies even, and the lack of cooperation in the face of the sliding culture is criminal.” In responding, Greg Lancaster shares his own concerning observations asking why the very ones who prophesy about God’s presence are the ones who are the first to leave when God’s presence arrives. Remembering the beginning days of the Brownsville Revival in 1995, Greg continues, “the Church started uniting and immediately coming together, and all the different pastors came, and they’re being touched. But, there came a point in time where people started asking the question, ‘this could cost me MY church/MY kingdom,’ and all of a sudden people started pulling back when the could have been the very epicenter for the whole world being touched.” We cannot forget that following God costs us everything. When we are living for unity in Christ, don’t be shocked that the adversary fights against unity.
In response to the awareness of unity, Simpson shares his perspective on where unity needs to happen. “When Holy Spirit moves, there is love. I would like to see unity happen on a personal level. Where, if a person is born again, that they are interested in loving their fellow man… We can’t bring unity at an institutional level.” This is the very unity that was demonstrated and experienced through Promise Keepers when men had godly relationships with a handful of other men. These relationships filled stadiums. Simpson continues, “if I can experience unity with a few people, then I should be able to experience unity with a lot of people.” It’s these personal encounters and relationships that we learn about different personalities and how to communicate with one another. “I think it’s a certain type of person that can have unity, not just a certain type of institution. And so, I think we have failed at the Sermon on the Mount level. I think we have failed to deal with the real issues of relationships.” Simpson understands the Church’s attempts in this area but continues to speak on the outcome of these attempts. “We haven’t succeeded in producing a product that loves.”
While continuing to speak about the need to experience unity, Simpson shares an illustration of how some school districts are implementing ideas that have brought together collaboration in unexpected areas. “It’s collaboration with diverse components. It’s not just collaboration just among white kids, or black kids, or Hispanic kids. It’s collaboration in diversity.” Simpson points out that we need to “collaborate with people that are different than they are.” This is where the Western Church struggles. Simpson continues, “Christians have grown up in a mindset that, ‘I can’t do that, and I’m in the building over here practicing what I believe, and when I go out, I’m a different person.’” Simpson shares the urgency of what the Church needs to carry out, “we need to learn how to relate more lovingly and understandingly to the culture we’re in right now.” Regardless of the difficulties that we face and experience in this life, seeking to bring about the unity of Christ and experience His unity, a true disciple of Jesus has nowhere else to go. Jesus has the keys to eternal life.
It is so exciting and encouraging to remember the wonders of the Lord and how God has previously moved so that we can gain the precious wisdom for this coming next move of God. Be sure to see the whole conversation with Charles Simpson, and so much more. Also shared in this segment: the bayous of Louisiana, Catholic, baptism of Holy Spirit, divisions, unity, spiritual fathers, right relationship, Brownsville Revival, diversity, collaboration, communication, personalities, Promise Keepers, and good fruit.
Image courtesy of Storyblocks.com
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