It goes like this:
During the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia, the minister of religion organized a meeting. All the Evangelical and Protestant pastors were invited: Baptists, Brethren, Pentecostals, Methodists, other free churches, etc. At a meeting, the Communist minister addressed the pastors telling them that they are the worst hypocrites he ever knew in his life. And then he told them why: took the Bible in his hands from one of the pastors and asked them why were they not living according to the good Book?
It appears that the secret service informed minister in details about what was being preached in the churches and spoken about other Christians and other denominations. He heard that almost all denominations were in a dispute with all others, for whatever reasons.
The minister then asked all present whether the Bible does not speak about loving your neighbor and your enemy, and also loving the Communists? He then went on asking the shocked pastors whether their Jesus is the same one also in other churches and denominations.
Then the minister said, so the story goes, that he can order all of them to be closed, as they are not religious communities but social clubs, performing some sort of a show. Listening such words from an unbelieving person, all the pastors were speechless.
After that meeting things changed for better. Criticism from the pulpit stopped, pastors started to speak in accord with one another. Unity among the believers were growing to such extent that the government started to respect them and the term ‘sect’ left their vocabulary. Even the dominant RC church quit looking at small evangelical churches as some sort of a ‘foreign sect’ but as local denominations.
Pastor Jan Kriska, who shared the story with a friend of mine, was a renowned evangelist and preacher of his time, in all of the Czechoslovakia and beyond. And the minister, the one who rebuked the pastors, 11 years later gave his life to Jesus. This is a true story, as I am telling you what I heard from my friend, who heard it from Pastor Kriska, who was one of the participants in these events.
Jesus said in John 17:20-22: My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one…
Do we need a new rebuke nowadays?