Diverse voices praising God
If denominations in some form or another are unavoidable and if we believe that our faith points us in
some important way to Truth, then how are we to live together on a campus that has 38 different claims
on that Truth? Or in a community with 69? Or in a country with 15,000?
In the Revelation of St. John, we read that at the end of time a great multitude of people – believers
from every nation, tribe, people, language (and, I would add, denominations) – will gather together to
sing their praises before the Throne of God. About six years ago, a Lutheran friend called my attention
to this eschatological vision of all the various peoples of the earth gathering to sing praises to God and I
haven’t been able to get it out of my mind since.
I’m a Mennonite for reasons that matter to me. But in the course of my conversations with Christians
from other traditions, it has become more and more clear to me that all of history is ultimately moving to
a time when all of God’s people from every corner of the earth – all 38 denominations represented here
at Goshen College, all 69 groups in our community, all of the world’s 34,000 sub-groups of Christians,
indeed, all of humanity itself – is going to gather together in praise to God.
That’s where history is moving. And I want to be on the side of history, finding myself on a path that
is joining up with all sorts of other people who are also moving in that direction with the intention of
praising the One who is seated on the Throne of God. If you are on that journey of bringing your praises
to God, then hold your head high and sing out with gusto. If others are singing, then try to harmonize as
best you can.