Our own foolish pride is the bad within the church that divides us. There
are three areas of pride where members of the church divide themselves.
We may have pride in a respected individual - perhaps an author or a preacher.
We have those that will divide themselves based on the interpretations of
men like Tim LaHaye, John Hagee, and Clarence Larkin In reading 1 Corinthians
we see two main factions hit on a few times. There is the group that claims
to be of Paul; they are the oldest group. "We are first," they say. Then
there are those who follow the great speaker Apollos. They are the the eloquent
group "We are best" is their rally cry. First or last, best or worst - it
does not matter only that which is given to Christ will last. I know whom
I have believed, and I am totally persuaded that he is able to keep me, heart
and soul, that which I have committed unto him. (2 Timothy 1:12) Christ -
not an apostle, not a preacher, not a pope, no man but Christ can keep us.
He is to be the one we rally behind.
Perhaps we divide out of a sense of pride in a group. We claim to be a member
of the SBC or AOG. "My church is Southern Baptist" or "Mine is Assembly of
God". Who cares? Have you ever stopped to see what each denomination believes
- the core of many is the same and it is this core that makes us Christian
not every nitpicky trivial belief or notion? Within these denominations we
may even subdivide based upon what fellowship we are pat of. My local church
or your church fellowship again should not matter for we are all to be a
part of the undivided body of Christ.
Perhaps the worst divider is pride in our self. We aren't that bad. We are
better than others. You can't believe what others may say; you have
to do it all yourself and rely on your own ability to properly interpret
scripture and research history. It's prideful arrogance - all of it. We say
that Sin is sin right? But do we practice it? No. We accept some sins as
part of the Christian life but not others. We accept liars but not murderers.
We can accept that a Christian might battle demons of alcoholism but we can't
believe a Christian would struggle with the sin of homosexuality. If sin
is truly sin why do we draw lines on the really bad sins? If some churches
are condemned because they make prayer requests through dead saints, why
is it OK for us to visit the graveside of a loved one and talk to them? See
we divide ourselves over sin and pride. My sins are OK but yours are not
so I have to separate myself from you. Wasn't this the look at me at least
I'm not like so and so hypocritical attitude of the Pharisees that Christ
It's all just prideful arrogance. Proverbs 16:18 warns us that pride leads
to destruction and arrogance causes falls.
And then there is the good.