Christ desires oneness for his people

Published 9:00 am Friday, September 15, 2017

By Don Stanley

The story is told (some attribute it to John Wesley) of a man who dreamed he was at the gates of Hell.

Knocking, he asked, “Are there any Methodists in there?”

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“Yes,” came the reply. “Many.”

“What about Presbyterians? Are there any of them in there?”

“Indeed,” he was told. “At least as many of them.”

“What about Catholics? Or Baptists? Or Episcopalians? Do you have any of them?”

“All are represented here,” was the response, to which the man could only shake his head in great dismay.

Then the man dreamed that he was transported to the gates of Heaven. Once again he knocked and asked, “Are there any Methodists in there?”

This time the answer was, “None.”

So he asked, “What about Presbyterians? Or Catholics? Or Baptists or Episcopalians? Surely you have some of them!”

“No,” answered the voice. “We know nothing of those names.”

The man pressed, “Then who is there? For I hear many voices raised in songs of praise to God.”

“The only name we recognize here is that of ‘Christian’” was the answer. “And of them we have more than can be counted, from every nation, race and tongue!”

Upon awaking from his dream, the man fell to his knees and thanked God for illustrating for him the folly of division among faithful men and women.

It’s a wonderful story, I believe. It reminds me of how grateful I am to be part of the Winchester-Clark County Association of Churches, where men and women from varied denominational backgrounds gather to support and encourage one another in our mutual callings — and to pursue the cause of unity among us.

Christ’s prayer for His Church was that His followers might be one (see the Gospel of John, chapter 17, especially verses 20-21).

May He continue to guide us into ways that our oneness might be expressed and demonstrated.

Pastor Don Stanley has been at Salem Church at Pinegrove since February of 2017. He can be reached at 859-737-3004, or by email at