Unity in Diversity

Every once in a while, Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) finds itself at the receiving end of an individual who is upset at the broad range of publishers the organization represents.

For example, one small Christian publisher became upset when he discovered that CSPA represents Catholic publishers. He informed CSPA that he could not be part of an organization that allowed Catholic publishers to be part of it. Yet, many of the stores this man’s books were sold in included a “Catholic” section.

Christian Small Publishers Association is not a denominational publishing association. The organization represents “Christian” publishers. We recognize that this is a broad term and people attach different meanings to it. As the goal of CSPA is to help market books in the Christian marketplace, we represent those publishers who by-and-large fit this definition.

At Christian Small Publishers Association we have chosen to define “Christian” as someone who believes in the divinity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; that He became incarnate, died, and rose again to pay the price for our sins and redeem our souls; and that it is only through the shed blood of Jesus Christ that we can have a relationship with God.

I recently read an interview with Pastor Ray Pritchard who is the president of Keep Believing Ministries. At one time, Pastor Pritchard was the pastor of a large interdenominational church in Chicago. In the interview he stated that, in this church, he used the Apostles’ Creed to define the basic beliefs of Christianity and to bring unity.

The Apostles’ Creed, which dates back to about A.D. 125, is the oldest statement of faith outside the New Testament. It is the statement that defines the basic beliefs of the orthodox Christian faith.

Pastor Pritchard said something in the interview that I thought was very interesting. He said, “I taught my congregation that although we certainly believe far more than is in the creed, we don’t believe less.”

For me, this sums it all up. If you believe in what the Apostle’s Creed states, then, you fit both CSPA’s definition and the larger Christian marketplace’s definition of “Christian.”  It is possible to have unity even in our diversity.

The Apostle’s Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; The third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic church, the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.

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