Let me settle your fears right away. The division I speak of is not the mathy kind, but of division amongst Christians. But I am getting ahead of myself.
A few days ago, I entered into a discussion with a superior at my office, and we eventually chatted about church, and spoke of the Lord Jesus. I was mildly surprised by this since I wasn’t sure of where he stood in relation to the Lord. To be honest, I am still not sure, but that is something I don’t have to worry about since I am not his judge. I do hope I can speak of Him more often with my superior.
The story I want to share has a sadness about it, that I’m afraid many, if not all that read have had some experience with.
During our chat, he mentioned that the church he attends was allowing musical instruments during one of the main services, and that this was causing much concern among some of the parishioners. I expressed my shock that this would become a sticking point within the congregation, and he continued sharing of another church from his youth.
The body of believers at the time decided to consider allowing instruments into the worship service, and the fallout was a complete church split. Hundreds of believers torn away from brothers and sisters. How sad to hear of a passion to “be biblical”, and yet not exercise love for their brother and sister.
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Somewhat shortsighted, possibly even a bit blind may I suggest?
2 Peter 1:5 – 19
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.
For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.
It is easy to point fingers at believers decades ago that suffered through a church split due to a divisive spirit, but what of us? Do we seek to find differences between our brothers and sisters, or do we seek to find the one similarity, the one unifying truth that we all need to focus on.
He is the One we are to seek after. Can you love a brother or sister that has a different perspective than yourself? Can you find fellowship with a believer of another teaching?
Remember, the commandment was to love one another, not necessarily agree with one another. His disciples came from extremely different occupations, from fishermen to tax collectors to zealots. These are surely strange “bedfellows” and yet they were specifically chosen by the Father to exhibit a microcosm of the church.
Try to understand your brother and sister in the Lord, and look beyond the noise to love the person for whom Christ died. The alternate isn’t good news!
But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.
Thanks for dropping by Considering the Bible. Hope you found encouragement and a bit of a challenge. Please leave a comment if you have a few moments to share.