Sunday, February 03, 2019

Divided Church, Divided Nation

The thread of unity is woven throughout the tapestry of the Scripture. Unity is the glue that builds the Body of Christ into a visible reality. The unification of Believers is an essential part of the Gospel message, yet diversification continues to divide the Church. Jesus emphasized that division will result in failure to exist. (Matthew 12:25) The evidence of that statement is shown with the demise of nations, communities, homes, marriages, and every type of socially displayed institution. Instead of pursuing a course of correction, Believers tend to ignore Biblical warnings in favor of acquiring Scriptural blessings.
Diversification of Believers is one of the greatest hindrances to the Gospel. How to get Believers to unify is one of the most difficult tasks in the Christian movement. As one studies the Epistles, one becomes immediately aware of the closeness of the followers of Christ. Any differences were inconsequential, for their goal was to be the fulfillment of Jesus' prayer for the unity of the Believers. (John 17:21) In Paul's letter to Philemon, he mentions ten people. All of them were interconnected with such words as "our brother, dearly beloved, fellow laborer, fellow soldier, beloved, my son, and fellow prisoner." Romans 12:5 and Galatians 3:28 both stress the "oneness" in Christ. There is a plethora of verses that exhort Believers to be of the same "mind," but these Scriptures tend to be ignored in favor of individual blessings that solidify personal growth in the form of prosperity and its sub-headings. Our Country illustrates the secular problem of achieving unity. Instead of striving to unify the goals of addressing poverty, health care, homeland security, and the equality of the individual, the Nation continues to undress both the Statue of Liberty and the Constitution. Partisan politics continue to rip the mantle of Democracy. I believe as the Church goes, so goes our Nation. If the Body of Christ continues to promote individualism, it is like crucifying Jesus again; only this time, it is putting to death all that Jesus came to do. We use His name so freely, yet we obey His Word so selectively. It is no wonder our Country is in disarray, for there is no unifying standard that acknowledges God as the source of man's existence.
Spiritual and political partisanship has weakened both the Church and our Country. From the religious community to the news media, speculations, innuendoes, and conjectures have dominated our interests. "Fake News" has no borders. Spiritual and secular facts have been interpreted to serve individual interests. It is no longer what is good for the Church and the Country, but what can best serve one's personal agenda. At the Battle of Gethsemane, Jesus cried out, "... not my will, but thine be done." (Luke 22:42) When will Christians stop pushing their interpretations of God's Word and start hearing what the Scripture is really saying? When will the politicians stop promoting what they want and start seeking what is best for our Country? When will the Church start putting God first and their denomination or non-denomination last? When will Believers stop pointing fingers and start offering the hand of fellowship to other Christians? Instead of looking for the flaws in others, let us start with ourselves. (Matthew 7:5) It is not about us, but about Him. It is not self promotion, but an attitude of servitude. It is not judging one another, but seeing Christ in each other.
The Country and the Church seem to be going down the same road. "Change the Constitution to cater to the changing times!" "Change the Bible to be more relevant to our times!" Political parties illustrate separation. Denominational groups define separation. "Freedom exhibited without restraints!" "Sin experienced without rebuke!" For the Church to be content in contentious times is to give license for evil to expand its tsunami effect on our Country. It is time for the Church to shed its choir robes and put on the armor of God and enter the battle, not only for the Church itself, but for our Country as well.

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