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Built by Design

by Jim Rowe

(Just come thoughts)

     Some time ago, I worked with Habitat for Humanity in constructing houses. The thing that was obvious about the task of building a house was that there was a set of plans for that structure. Also; there was consistency in the end product, regardless of where or by whom the house was built.

Whether it was in the north or in the south, “if” the plans were followed, the houses in either place would be the same. (Of course, there might be differences in the paint or flooring colors depending uponthe choice of the owner, but all else would be the same.)

     It is therefore confusing in the religious world. We people, even in the same geographic area use the same identical plans come up with such a multitude of “end products” of the Church of our Lord.

There are differences in virtually every aspect of the worship, organization, leadership, etc., each group claiming that their end product (denomination) is the correct “plan' given in the Bible.

     While I had the experience of building houses from a common “plan”, may years were also devoted in the process of building household appliances. In these instances, we were working with a “generic'” plan; such as to a product to wash clothes or to dry clothes. In order to accomplish this task, there were/are a multitude of builders that have used this “generic” plan to build products that each will accomplish the noted task. However; the appearance and detailed designs of these products have almost nothing in common, and no parts other than things like screws, hoses, etc. could be interchanged.

     When we observe other products such as automobiles, trucks, etc. we find that the same “differences” are present, but the “generic” plan is the same. All brands of automobiles have common general characteristics (engines, transmissions, tires, etc.), but there is very little commonness in other areas.

    All of this is understandable since there was/is no common plan (design) for the builder to follow. As long as the end goal is accomplished, there is no problem with all these differences. (My Ford will transport me from one place to another as will my Chevrolet, Honda or any other brand.) The fact is that there was possibly more commonality between these products working with “generic” plans than exist in the church which had a specific plan.

    However; getting back to the observation of the Church of our Lord. Each “Brand” (denomination) has used the identical “Plan” or “Design” and the resulting product(s) as numerous as most of us can count, and with only a few common areas of these end products. These differences are often more pronounced that that seen in the products using “generic” plans. The question then arisesas “Do these multiple end products accomplish the intended purpose?” That is; Do they lead us to claim and receive the Salvation provided us by our Creator and paid for by our Lord Jesus?

    The confusing part to me is “Why” can moderately educated persons follow house plans and end up with products that are in complete uniformity while so many highly educated persons cannot do the same with the plans provided us in His Word? Is it possible that the high degree of education makes us think that our plan is better?

I confess, I am confused.

Jim Rowe


Jim Rowe resides in Louisville, KY, and is a student of the Bible.


One Response to “Built by Design”

  1. Frank Preston says:

    Great article

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Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

2 corinthians 1:3-4