Neither have many Protestant leaders, and here is the common ground for closing up the great divide. Father Joe is speaking here of his Catholic brothers, but his words apply to each and every one of us:
“God’s mind is one and His message has to have unity to give proper guidance to people. It cannot be taught in ways that are contradictory. That is why before he died, Jesus prayed to His Father that his disciples ‘would be one, even as you and I are one, so that people may believe that you have sent me.’ He foresaw what would happen, and prayed that that division would be healed, so his family could be united in belief and love. It is not right for God’s family to be divided and estranged from one another. I know it will take time, but leaders have to persistently work toward unity if they are to be faithful to Jesus.”
Now the Catholic view of unity is returning the lost sheep – that is, Protestants who are viewed much like non-believers – to the fold. In reality, we all need to make a move toward each other, starting with sincere and shared repentance for disobedience to Jesus’s commands. This is even truer for our leaders.
Streamside will one day provide a venue for this to happen, anonymously, beautifully, and with our focus finally on the right place – serving the needy together! The only tears flowing at that time will not be from shame – Jesus has already forgiven us. The tears we will share will be of lost family found and of a serious party breaking out, so that the world will finally meet the real Jesus for the first time!
Part 8 will have one final thought from Father Joe, with a chilling observation from me. Hurry back!