I grew up in a religious silo. I knew nothing about other denominations, what they believed, or how they worshiped. Indeed, when I was young, checking such things out was anathema. But that didn’t stop me. Tell me I can’t read a book, and that’s the first book I’ll read. Maybe that’s why I found church history so fascinating, with its saints, sinners, critics, and reformers — regular fallen people.

Church History in Two Minutes

Our Christian church, like the tree above, is rooted in Judaism. Jesus was the perfect jew, of David’s line, and called the Lion of Judah (one of the 12 tribes).

The trunk, the catholic church, rises above its Jewish roots. The church shared the same beliefs always and everywhere. In other words, it was catholic, meaning universal.

Then, in 1054, the church divided into two branches, eastern (Orthodox) and western. Soon, Rome became the seat of the western branch, so became the Roman Catholic Church. Despite this, the three Christian historical creeds — Apostles, Nicene, Athanasian—unite us as Christians.

The Reformation branched away from the Roman Catholic church, and hundreds of years later, many protestant denominations filled out that tree further.

Blooming Today

In Mark 4:30 (NIV), Jesus said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.”

Here in Tennessee, I counted 13 churches in the 8.7 miles on the way to the church I attend when I’m in Crossville. That’s one fat mustard tree!

When I interviewed pastors and ministry leaders of various Christian churches for newspaper articles, their passion for their purpose, and love for Christ, showed me how truly united we are. And I loved getting to know the outstanding pastors who faithfully unite to promote the National Day of Prayer in Rochester each year.

Wired for a Purpose

I believe Jesus had a reason for those many branches in His kingdom. He made each of us unique, and what lifts one person’s spirit can drive someone else nuts.

For example, I grew up singing Gregorian chant, hymns in Latin, and believing that J.S. Bach is the best composer ever. So you can imagine how I embrace contemporary Christian music (not). But for others, contemporary Christian music elevates their soul and Bach would put them to sleep.

Sometimes people have bad experiences in church and vow to never darken its door again. Perhaps a person simply dreads going to church, like it’s something to be “gotten over with,” as someone once said. The services just don’t fill their spiritual buckets and they “fall away.” Satan loves that!

Fallen, sinful people fill the pews of every Christian church, because that’s what we are. You’ll never find a perfect church, but if you ask Him, the Lord WILL lead you to your spiritual home, the place where your wiring fits its grid.

If you’re breathing, there’s a place for you in God’s kingdom on earth. Don’t let anyone threaten your eternal life if you need to step out and find your path to Christ. The church is enormous enough for everyone.

As a wise person once said, “In the big things unity, in the little things, diversity.”