There is something brewing in the consciousness of Christianity. It has been going on for about 50 years now. We want to be together. My Dad's generation, the baby boomers, grew up during the golden years of the Baptist Church. Within a span of 40 years the Southern Baptist Church had spread missionaries across the Continents and was a vibrant and Grace-filled Denomination. However I don't think it is or was God's plan to make everyone Southern Baptist. And these days you don't have to be a genius to know that the Southern Baptist Church ain't what she used to be...
There are many wonderful Southern Baptist Churches and I belong to one of them right now, but as a convention, well, just read the papers.
A few months back I was having lunch with a new friend from another Church down the road. We started talking about beliefs. We started expressing reservedly, then enthusiastically that we don't really care about Denominations. We are of the generation of "I don't care." Why is this? First of all our generation is realizing that we don't have the luxury of wasting time caring if ministers or missionaries can drink beer or not. The world is hungry and those kinds of disagreements are complete lunacy to a nonbelieving world. No, a lunatic can't help it. It is idiocy. A man and his family is helping a village across the planet dig a well so the people can have fresh water. He is told he is no longer a minister or a missionary affiliated with the aforementioned denomination because he drank some wine offered to him by a family. I say this mindset will find you alone, screaming your Gospel of fear from a cold desolate mountain with only your own rules and a mirror reflecting something resembling the brood of Vipers that Jesus reprimanded a few thousand years back...
A year before I married I lived with one of my best friends while I started a Doctorate in Composition at Rice University. This friend was and is a devout Catholic. I was introduced into a 500 year old grudge that is just now ending. I was also introduced 1700 years of Saints and stories of our faith that would made me weep at times. I was challenged, stretched, and challenged again. I am still being Challenged. (btw there is a great discussion going on down at the "Authority" post)
You and I are part of a vast body of believers. Saints that have gone on who are more with us now than they ever were. Sometimes I close my eyes and I imagine myself in a journey through different ages and feeling what Christians felt at various times. They are a part of me and I a part of them. My mind takes me through the consuming fire where the martyrs burned, blessing those who cursed them. I drift to the present day where missionaries are being killed this very day in countries as they offer the Manna from heaven to those who would recieve it. Then I am taken to the Holy Spirit-inspired imagry found in Hebrews.
"But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel."
The Body of Christ is a beautiful and mystical thing.