Bishop James L. Lowe spoke at a pastor's conference hosted at his Guiding Light Church in Irondale, Alabama on Friday afternoon, in conjunction with Glenn Beck's "Restoring Unity," where he implored preachers and Christian attendees to find common ground.
"Why are we in the church so separated today? I want to encourage my brothers that are in this room that we need to unify," the black preacher said. "My God is far bigger than the average 'god' that won't let folk in because, 'You're not part of my denomination.'"
Lowe said that he believes Jesus died for everyone and asked, "If God can love us while we're still sinners, how come we have to keep pointing the finger at one another?"
The preacher shared a personal story about going to college years ago and making white friends who he said helped him develop a relationship with Jesus Christ for the first time.
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"I went around with all these little white kids and we went together to all these revivals," Lowe quipped to the multiethnic audience.
But then something changed. One of the white girls whom Lowe was friends with told him that her parents wouldn't allow her to date him, claiming that the Bible didn't permit interracial relations. When the other white Christians he had met said the same, Lowe turned away.
"'I don't want your religion. I don't want your Jesus,'" he recalled thinking, assuming at the time that Christianity was simply a "white religion." "And you know what I did? I started studying Islam."
But when he started reading and analyzing the Koran, Lowe said that he felt the holy spirit tugging at his heart.
"'I'm trying to find you,'" Lowe recalled telling God about why he was reading the Islamic holy book. He said that he felt God responding by asking, "Have you read the Bible?"
Lowe admitted that he hadn't. And then he had a revelation.
"I realized I had been unfair to God," Lowe explained, noting that he soon began to start reading the Bible. "The doctrines of men were making the word of God to no avail in my life."
After sharing that story with the pastors' conference attendees, Lowe implored his fellow Christians to stop "condemning one another" over differences in doctrines and ideals.
"We don't allow God to be big enough to bring others in that we don't understand," he said. "We've got to recognize our diversity. We've got to recognize, brothers, that everyone of us is different."
Lowe continued, "We fight one another. We tear one another apart, where we need to find points when we can come together ... unite with each other."
The preacher encouraged pastors, Christians and churches to work together "for the sake of the name of Jesus."
"There is one God. He is Lord of all ... one baptism, one God — and we've got to do this, because the devil wants to keep us separated."
Find out more about "Restoring Unity" here.