We know the Church is the global body of Christ, but how often do we really have the opportunity to get together with people of other denominations? Our Classical Conversations communities are a wonderful taste of such an experience.
What a treasure to hear the words of someone from a denomination that has always seemed strange and perhaps “off” to us. (Everything unfamiliar seems odd.)
It challenges us to listen for the shared truth, the gospel, that God is good to us because of His own goodness, not our deserving.
Frankly, for most of us, our ears are not accustomed to that kind of fine-tuned listening and though this can be challenging, I believe it is a beautiful chance to rise above our differences and do as Paul says, to bear with one another in our differences so that our fellowship in the gospel is not disrupted (Romans 14).
Since the goal of Classical Conversations is to know God and make Him known, the built-in outreach of this program creates the mixed crowds that are foreign to some local churches (which innocently congregate like-minded people).
However, since external manifestations of faith look different in various circles, we must continue to stand on the simplicity of the gospel. The raising of hands, methods of intercession, daily quiet times, fasting, healing, accountability, speaking in tongues, the laying on of hands: these words come loaded with meaning when tossed carelessly around in a mixed crowd of believers. Some are alienated and some exalted, with various man-made measuring sticks. Focusing on the one common bond and common goal is crucial.
Lifestyle and subcultural differences already threaten to tear apart organizations of women who share the subculture of homeschooling—how much more, religious differences.
So let us see it all as a treasure and allow the community of believers of various denominations to sharpen us and help us grow into maturity as the global body of Christ.
Let us see our giftings and callings as part of this global Body and boldly share what we have with one another, even when the outcome is uncertain. Let us trust the Lord that our Classical Conversations communities have been divinely orchestrated by Him, and free ourselves and others to fully live and grow up in Him, not conforming to one another, but listening to the Head and working together to manifest Christ on the earth.