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There are two ways to look at this question. On one hand you can look at the different denominations and clearly see that those calling themselves Christians are not of the same mind. There are so many different views that some people make it a point to tell you how right they are and how wrong everyone else is.
On the other hand there seems to be a unification of all those denominations in the core belief in Jesus. We may disagree on many subjects but the central focus remains on Jesus as the Saviour. So is the church divided? The truth is that the church has never been divided and never will be.
1 Corinthians 1:12-13
12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. 13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
If we believe that Jesus and His church will last forever then we can not believe that the body of Christ is divided. Jesus Himself said that nothing divided against itself can stand (Matthew 12:23). Yet there does seem to be a problem.
1 Corinthians 1:10-11
10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
Even though the body is not divided there are differences in what we speak and think. These things are not right and need to be taken great care over.
The way we fight against each other and the way we disagree doesn’t mean we are not one. It does mean that there are wounds in the body though. That may be the best way to describe what is going on with the body of Christ. There are wounds, cuts and gashes, in the different body parts placed there by the lies we believe. These lies tear at the body trying to infect the members and cause them to be removed.
1 Corinthians 12:23-26
23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. 24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked. 25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. 26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
We have to stop looking at each other as though we are our own enemies. Think of these verses. Imagine that the parts of the body (the church) that are “less honorable” are the ones who are deeply affected by the lies they believe. These lies are wounds and they are bleeding all over themselves. That image does not look very honorable does it?
Just because they are weak and hurt does not mean they are not part of the body though. The body is still united even though infection and blood loss is fighting it. So how do you think the problem can be resolved? The answer is not another denomination. The answer is that even more honor is given to the wounded part.
…But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
All of the members of the body care for the wound. Just as we instinctively reach to cover our knee when it gets a scrape or quickly slap a wasp away from our shoulder with our hands when it stings the body. The stronger members protects its injured members.
Sometimes we have to gently clean a wound with the water of the word. Other times the medicine stings but it is for the better. No one wants to lose a limb so we do all we can to cure the wound and heal it. Amputation is reserved only for cases when the wound will not heal and we must protect the rest of the body…but even then it is a last resort.
So the church is not divided at all. We are still members of the body of Christ even if we have said we are not together. If we have been saved through the work of Jesus then we are one. We just need to care for each other and get the lies out that try to pull at our members.
July 14, 2015 at 7:32 pm | | 1 comment
What a wonderful perspective, Jason! May God help all Christians to focus on Christ and show our love for one another in Jesus’ Body and Name.