January 24, 2014.
There are two things you never talk about with someone who may have a differing viewpoint than you if you want to get along: religion and politics; when you break it down, really it is just religion, as political stances are usually rooted in some form of religion, whether or not you call it religion. Why is this? Whey are we so divisive on the topic of God? On the topic of morality? Shouldn’t morality be a good thing that we all agree upon?
While I admit that this may be a naive approach and there are many complex things that go into this topic, I still believe that there must be a reason why we are so willing to tear friendships and families apart over sticking to dogmatic principles. I think Christ had something different in mind when he established the church, as you can see through biblical writers.
“Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”
Now, before you write me off as not sticking to sound teaching, let me explain what I am trying to convey. I believe in absolute truth. I believe that there are things God wants us all to know, and in this knowledge, we should have unity. I believe that if God decides a matter, that settles it, whether it fits our cultural norms or not. So why am I so against division? Because Paul was. And James was. And John was. And certainly Christ was. (Peter seems to have struggled with this actually, but he was told on multiple occasions that he was in the wrong for this.)
“I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?”
(1 Corinthians 1:10-13)
What is the problem? I don’t know if there is a magic answer to that question, but I do think we can call out a major player- pride. Surprise, surprise, right? Sometimes I just don’t understand how we can look at something that is directly written in the bible, and then disagree about it and cause a division. But then again, a lot of things go into this division, at the top of the list being the years of upbringing in with a certain way of looking at things. However, whereas these may be valid reasons, they should not serve as excuses.
So what are we to do? I would like to challenge you here, to really reexamine your beliefs. Why do you believe what you do? Is is biblical? Or were you just told it was so? And perhaps most importantly, if you were to find something biblical that is different than what you have always believed or even different from what you like, would you change? These are very hard questions, but I think they are very profitable in our Christian walk. Try it out, little by little. You will be blessed in the end. I’m always here to help if you would like.
Suggested Daily Reading: 1 Corinthians 6, 8, 9, Ephesians 4
May The Lord bless you in your journey.