“I have sent them into the world the same way you sent me into the world. I’m dedicating myself to this holy work I’m doing for them so that they, too, will use the truth to be holy. “I’m not praying only for them. I’m also praying for those who will believe in me through their message. I pray that all of these people continue to have unity in the way that you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray that they may be united with us so that the world will believe that you have sent me.” (Joh 17:18-21 GW).
Condition of the Church
A consideration that the church is divided by denominations is by no means a new observation. Since the ascension of Christ, the World Christian Encyclopedia (2001), reports that there are approximately 33,820 denominations of Christianity in the world. More than 2000 years of church history have not resulted in greater unity, but rather separation. These splints are motivated by disagreements over the interpretation of God’s word (theology). Bringing the whole church into a place of full agreement over theology is an unrealistic pursuit which is not likely to occur before the return of Christ. However, we believe that a very obtainable goal is to pursue unity at the foot of the cross and the affirmation of the empty tomb.
The Spirit and Culture of Our Fellowship
However, we are an inter/non-denominational organization which means that our membership consists of many Christian backgrounds: Baptist, Pentecostal, Methodist, Lutheran, Non-denominational, etc. These denominations exist because at some time in church history each group separated from a religious body and formed a set of doctrines that they believed were more aligned with scripture. Therefore, the very nature of a denominations is the concept that it is separated from the doctrines of other Christian bodies. We do not claim that this is necessarily wrong; however, the separatist attitude is not permitted here. What makes the NACM unique is that we are uniting under the name of Jesus, in spite of our doctrinal differences.
Back to the Basics
All believers (that we consider Christian) should be able to affirm that Jesus is the son of God, sacrifice for sins, advocate to the Father, Lord of resurrection, and full member of the trinity. It is on this foundation that all of Christianity stands. We may hold different beliefs regarding the administration of baptism, communion, practice of worship, etc., but these are not the things that are likely to forbid people from salvation or a place in Heaven. Therefore, we unite around the shared goal of advancing the gospel of salvation that is only available in the name and work of Jesus alone. As an organization, we believe this is our highest responsibility in service to God, and the fundamental purpose of our callings to Christian ministry. The Scriptures are clear that “God is not willing that any should perish” (2 Peter 3:9), and that we are commissioned to “go unto all the world” (Mark 16:15) with this hope. It is with this vision that we seek the unity of Christ so that the world will know that the Father sent Him, and call on his name for salvation (Joh 17:18-23).