[CF Devotionals] 2010-08-27 - Division in the Church

Part 3

  1. The Bad

    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 repeatedly condemned?

    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.

  2. The Good

    The false makes the good more apparent. In I Corinthians 11:19 Paul writes, "For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you." Leave it to our wonderful Jesus to turn Satan's attacks and our own weaknesses into a strength.

    There must be some disunity. It makes true belief look better. If I want to look tan I'll stand next to my wife Dana. She makes even my faint tan apparent. Likewise a true believer is obvious with phonies around. The "send me your money" preachers make true servants that struggle to make ends meet while preaching the Word look more obvious. Sects that have deviated from orthodox beliefs like Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons make true Christians more obvious.

Why is this my problem?

Well we as a group are OK so why should we worry? Why should we be concerned? Why should divisions be a concern? There's an old story of a man that prayed for himself and his wife and children saying. "Thank you God. Bless us four and no more." How absurd. There are three reasons why we should be concerned.

We will examine these three reasons next time.

Until then.

IHFHBOH
Adam

[email adam] adam@cfdevotionals.org
http://www.cfdevotionals.org

All verses are from the King James Version unless otherwise specified.