[CF Devotionals] 2010-09-10 - Division in the Church

Part 5

What Do We Do?

The answer seems simple - unify. come together as one. We need to lay aside the weights of sin and come together in Christ. This is far easier said than done so we must start with ourselves.

Each of us can start by prayerfully searching our own hearts and letting go of resentment, bitterness, hatred, and fear toward those Christians who aren't just like us. Go to God and ask him to reveal the lines you've put down. Start pulling up the tape lines that divide us. As you prayerfully pull them up you'll notice where the lines were is cleaner as the dirt in us is pulled up as well. Take that which divides us and lay it at Jesus in effect placing the ball of tape at the altar. Work together for the one true God. As we each begin to act like Jesus is the one true way and not the Baptists and not this local church fellowship we can collectively begin to unify in 3 ways.

  1. Doctrinal Unity

    Doctrinal differences won't be solved by politics and heated argument. Yelling at a Catholic will never convince them of any errors nor will they convince me by shouting. But by reasonable defense and much prayer we will both be enlightened as we draw closer to God. Drawing closer to God will always draw us closer to the truth.

  2. Emotional or Heartfelt Unity

    We ought to care for one another. Love one another just as Jesus commanded. We should forgive and forbear as the scriptures tell us we ought to do Also, since we all share the same spirit; we hurt when others hurt and grieve with them If a brother falls even from another church we need to help them back up not condemn them. If a sister falls on hard times then go be an encouragement and help them however possible. Remember in Acts 2 when they were willing to sell their possessions to give to others.

  3. Incomplete Unity

    Perhaps, the most important way we can unite is incompletely. We never can have complete unity; we can expect some disunity by false prophets. And we should never be willing to forsake the message of God to shake the hands of men.

Closing

Over the past year or so I have struggled with this problem of how so many can claim to be the church and have so much different. I spent so much time looking at the differences that I failed to see what so many had in common - Our Savior and King, the Lord Jesus Christ. And if you have that you have it all. I have now come to realize that no matter how strange some one may seem or how odd what they do may be that if they are preaching about the crucified and resurrected Jesus then I ought to leave them along. In fact I should help them or at the very least prayerfully support them.

I may try to discuss doctrine and show them errors but it's not my job to judge them but rather accept them and know that like me they must one day give an account for what they have or have not done.

If Christians, despite their divisions, can grow ever more united in common prayer around Christ, they will grow in the awareness of how little divides them in comparison to what unites them. If they meet more often and more regularly before Christ in prayer, they will be able to gain the courage to face all the painful human reality of their divisions, and they will find themselves together once more in that community of the Church which Christ constantly builds up in the Holy Spirit, in spite of all weaknesses and human limitations." (UUS 21) - John Paul II, Ut Unum Sint (translated as "That They Be One")

What I am saying is nothing new; it's nothing earth shattering. It's simply a refresher course on a problem that has plagued the church since its earliest days but has been left largely unchecked for a long time and grown out of hand. I'd like to leave you with a challenge issued years ago by an evangelist far greater that I will ever be - Paul.

Ephesians 3:20 - 4:8
  1. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
  2. Unto him be glory in the church [the church is to glorify Christ] by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
  1. I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy
    of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
  2. With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
  3. Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
  4. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
  5. One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
  6. One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
  7. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
  8. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.


God. Search my heart. Give me the strength to stand with my brothers and sisters and the love to forgive and forbear. Show me the lines I have placed in your church and help me to remove them. Give me a kingdom focus not a congregation focus. Help me Jesus. Amen.

IHFHBOH
Adam

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

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