By Dan O’Deens, July 11, 2020
If the Church is divided, how can a Nation be united.
“Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls.” Luke 11:17
“I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgement.” 1 Corinthians 1:10
Perhaps the problem is not with the White House but with God’s House. Brothers and sister, this ought not to be!
“Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?” 1 Corinthians 3:1-4
In Paul’s letter to the Church in Corinthians he begins and ends with love and grace. But, in the middle he confronts a problem in the Church. They should have been more ‘mature’ but they were acting like a bunch of babies. You are not acting like Christ followers and you look more like the world than you do Christians.
I only wish to address the quarrelling and division we see in verse 4. Some followed Paul, some followed Apollos. Paul was saying to even ‘his’ followers, stop choosing sides. We are on the same team. We are not to be competing but completing.
How can the nation be united when the Church is divided?
I am not suggesting uniformity neither was Jesus or Paul. They were suggesting, too easy…they were demanding unity.
Good division. Only one reference in all of the Bible refers to division in a positive sense. Luke 12:51. Jesus said, “Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.
Separation from looking like the world, to imitating and looking like Jesus.
Bad division. Includes breaking up, discord, hostility and dissention.
Is it time for a self check? Quit looking at a piece of saw dust in someone else’s eye, when you have a log sticking out of your own. I did not say that, Jesus did.
Characteristics of a Divisive Person
(From Romans 16 and the book of Jude)
- They cause offenses – they cause others to stumble (Rom. 16)
- They quit following the Word and rather follow the world – they choose a different gospel. (Rom. 16)
- They do not serve Jesus – they serve their own agenda and ideology (Rom. 16)
- They seek to gain the allegiance of people to follow their viewpoints (Rom. 16)
- They seek recognition among their brethren (1 Cor. 11:18-19).
- They don’t care about other members of Jesus’ body (1 Cor. 12:25).
- They are grumblers and complainers (Jude 16).
- They walk in their own lusts (Jude 16).
- They flatter people with their speech in order to gain an advantage (Jude 16).
- They are mockers (Jude 18).
- They are worldly-minded (Jude 19).
- They do not have the Spirit of GOD (Jude 19).
Jesus’ prayer for UNITY. John 17
Jesus prays to his Father not to take believer ‘out of this world’ but instead to remain ‘in the world’ but to protect them from the world. (IN IT NOT OF IT). He prays for unity, that ‘they/us’ would be ‘one’ as He and His Father are One.
How can we the Church be united even when we have differences?
- Be persuaded in your own mind that what you believe is actually borne from the pages of Scripture.Is it black and white. A conviction is a strong word, it actually means that you will die for it. Whatever it is, is that important.
- Do not judge your brother who may choose to believe different than you on any given subject matter.
- Use the word, ‘wrong’ less.Wrong is strong. Is it sin? Or is it simple a difference and a matter of personal opinion.
- Realize that as you ‘air’ your opinion(s) on public platforms that you are broadcasting a message that may appear to be dividing rather than uniting.Love does not divide. Choose love. Jesus said that the world will know Him, by our (the Church’s) love one for another.