As the apostles James indicated, we are greatly blessed when Jesus is Lord and we have one master rather than two or more. Paul urged that we have one husband who is Christ, rather than two or more husbands that we mistake as christ. Christ is one and never two.
We enter into an intense fullness of life when Christ alone is our life and we follow where He leads rather than attempt to contain Him in that which we have corralled ourselves. Some make an identity out of the fence in which they have imprisoned themselves.
We might convince ourselves that following our own ideas and Christ’s gospel is the same thing. Particularly are we vulnerable to debilitation when we convince ourselves that following our own denomination is the same as following Christ - when the scriptures clearly indicate that it is not. This orientation means we have two centres to our lives rather than one. Such an arrangement is called an ellipse.
THE TWO-CENTRES SYNDROME
“Barth believed that the ellipse was inherently unstable. It always openly or secretly resolved itself into a new circle in which the second source and norm usurped the center that belonged exclusively to Christ. Christ himself was effectively relegated to the periphery. No matter how much he might be officially honoured and praised, he was no longer the exclusive source and norm, the sole object and content, the true controlling center, of revelation. He had instead become like a satellite rotating around a different planet.” (1)
ONE CHRIST, ONE GOSPEL
This is why there is one Christ and not many, one gospel and not a plurality and one new and living way and not ‘every which way’. There is one Body of Christ and not several bodies of death posing as the Christ.
As individuals and communities of faith we are free to be who we are incarnated with Christ. But we are not at liberty to be of a different gospel with a different christ. A God who is not the I AM Himself but a construction of our own - makes us less than ourselves and an impediment to the advance of the Kingdom of God.
(1) Hunsinger, George. Evangelical, Catholic, and Reformed (p. 92). Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.. Kindle Edition.