I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. I Cor. 1:10 NIV. Yep he did. And despite what the masters of Church Doctrine and denominations have tried to sell us, that Paul really didn’t expect such agreement, knowing the frailties of men and our desire for individualism and liberty of thought, that we could just politely agree to disagree about the teachings of Christ and carry on without doing serious damage to the Body of Christ. Wrong as both Jesus and James have emphasized elsewhere. It is our fallen nature that Satan has exploited by dividing to conquer us. He knew this was the one thing we could never get right, unity.
We are all born rebels, nurtured in an enviroment of selfish desires and individual achievements, so the more we disagree the more we have opportunity to excel among our peers, and we thus invent issues rather than solutions. You need but look at the political condition of America to see that, which also reveals itself in our Churches of many denominations, practices and interpretations. We refuse to die to ourselves, and as Paul says he’d have “to speak to us as little children”. The trouble is always that we want the other guy “to die first”. In the end it won’t matter if we fail to agree, it will matter if we didn’t try. As Peter says, “be at peace with all men so far as it depends on you”.
We note with sadness the passing of an era of civility among even Christians. We remember when, bad manners, rudeness and “poor taste” were summarily opposed in polite society (which in itself seems to have disappeared). Today anyone is fair game to oppose and judge with partisan fervor. Hate is now the prefered weapon of discourse . Egged on by the media, we lambast opponents, and take pride in our positions as being superior to the feelings of others. Taking sides, wearing labels and proclaiming the weighty importance of every little situation that we encounter is now our justification to “speak out” and take a stand. Well whoopee, but we Christians should before opening our mouths ask ourselves two things, “is this impertinence”, and most importantly “is this the mind of Christ” ? WATCHMAN
Jesus said “I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” John 17:23 NIV
Paul said “I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.” 1Cor. 1:10 NIV
So, then Christians, why do we never hear this preached from the pulpits? And why, if we do, is it only used within our own groups to keep peace but not in connection with the whole body of believers? Could it be that “the hirelings” are more concerned with promoting their own interests, protecting their own status, and gaining power by isolating their flocks from other believers who hold different understandings about Scripture? How does that comport with Romans 14:1 “accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgement on disputable matters.” “Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” Romans 14:4, ? Well of course it doesn’t! And, it won’t as long as we believers maintain our sense of spiritual pride about the viewpoints we hold and the denominational beliefs we cherish above the unity Christ calls for. Somehow we forget that we are all “looking thru that dark glass dimly, ” and that we only know in part”. We must get out of our little spiritual boxes and fellowship with the whole body of Christ insisting that our leaders stop being critical of other Biblical teachers, stop “lording it over others”, and respecting only their own kind.