(Maybe you have not heard of Emo, but I bet you have heard of his cohort, “Weird Al” Yankovic…) In fact this story about differences in the Christian faith was voted the #1 joke of all time in 2005 by the Ship of Fools website (according to Emo).
Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, “Don’t do it!” He said, “Nobody loves me.” I said, “God loves you. Do you believe in God?”
He said, “Yes.” I said, “Are you a Christian or a Jew?” He said, “A Christian.” I said, “Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?” He said, “Protestant.” I said, “Me, too! What denomination?” He said, “Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?” He said, “Northern Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912.”
I said, “Die, heretic!”
Can you relate to this? Sadly, it seems that our human nature leads us to emphasize the differences in the way we follow Jesus instead of the similarities which should unite us in our faith. This trend has always bothered me from the time I became serious about being a “disciple” of Jesus. I think Christians are missing a lot of the joy of our faith when the focus is on “what divides” the family of faith.
With that in mind, please meditate on the counsel of the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Church at Ephesus:
“I …urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism,one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4: 1-6, ESV)
I believe Paul was on to something, and Emo Philips seemed to know what he meant. Or, maybe I’m just a heretic, too...