I look at the divided America and it makes me sad.
I look at the divided Christian church and it makes me weep…
“United we stand, divided we fall,” turned into a motto of a utopian society, one that exists either in history books or the book of Acts in the Bible…
Ironically, many Christian believers today are more concerned with defending their political beliefs and belittling those who disagree with them than with being the light in the darkness.
“We won!” they scream. “Get over it!” they add, addressing their social media posts to those “libtards.”
All the while, pushing, no, kicking, those who need Jesus even further away…
Or could it be that they themselves don’t know Jesus? Could it be that so many who profess knowing the one who said, “My Kingdom is not of this world,” don’t know him at all?
My heart is heavy with sorrow over what is happening in our country.
But what grieves me even more is that the Christian church is partaking in the division, both politically and within itself.
We are helpless because we are divided.
We are miserably failing at the two most important commandments of all: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27)
Have you ever wondered about why there are so many Christian denominations today? More importantly, have you ever been bothered with the present-day division within the Christian church?
These questions have plagued my mind off and on for a few months now, especially in light of the political divisiveness of our day.
We argue about theology until we are blue in the face, while the lost are mocking us, “Look, they can’t even agree amongst themselves on what the Bible says!”
I am aware of the 16th century Protestant Reformation, which gave birth to the four major Christian divisions or traditions of Protestantism – Anglican, Anabaptist, Lutheran, and Reformed – from which many other denominations have been born.
I am not referring to the early divisions within the Christian church – some of which brought positive changes – but to the sad state of affairs plaguing the modern day Christian church.
Baptists, Pentecostals, Methodists, Presbyterians, Charismatics, etc.
And please, don’t forget that the Slavic Baptists in America are different from the Southern Baptists in America… Moreover, take great care to remember the eternally important differences between the “registered” and “independent” Slavic Baptists. (Sarcasm intended).
I only pick on the Baptists because I used to identify as one. Oh, and how proud I was of our most “accurate” interpretations of the Bible…
Everyone else had it wrong but we, WE, had it right. Everyone else was on the wide highway to hell, while we were on the straight and narrow path to heaven.
Even believers from other Baptist churches were under grave danger of going to hell because they didn’t believe the “right” things.
Reminds me of a joke I heard within the Christian circles:
One day a man dies, who was a devout Christian. Saint Peter meets him at the Pearly Gates and begins to give him a tour of Heaven. As the tour goes on, Saint Paul points out all the different Christians. “There’s the Catholics, there’s the Lutherans, the Methodists, the Presbyterians”, and so forth. As they come to this one group way off to themselves, Saint Paul motions for the man to come closer and whispers. “Now, for this next group, we need to be really quiet. They are the Baptists and they think they’re the only ones in Heaven.”
At the time I first heard this from a friend, I was a bit offended. I was, after all, a Baptist!
Needless to say, I didn’t stay Baptist for a very long time after that. (Not because of the joke but because God was blowing my mind with revelations from His Word).
I read Scripture passages like 1 Corinthians 1:10-12, Ephesians 4:1-6, and Philippians 2:1-3, among others, and I just don’t see any of this happening in the modern Christian church…
Today, I am a member of a nondenominational church.
It is not perfect.
It has flaws.
It has its weaknesses.
But this church loves Jesus and loves other people.
Yes, even those believers that do not interpret the Bible the same way we do.
Even the religious Baptists who think they are the only ones going to heaven.
How can I make this claim?
Because I see the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) in the lives of those who love Jesus and honor Him with their actions, not just with words…
And it hurts to hear a friend say, “I know that the church you belong to is not a church Jesus would be in.”
It hurts not because I am offended by her words but more because it pains to see this division within the body of Christ.
We are like a dysfunctional family, arguing with each other, always trying to prove each other wrong.
Perhaps it is because we have too much time on our hands? I wonder if the persecuted church in other countries is more unified than the church in the West?
Moreover, I am still pondering the following: If we all claim to have the same Holy Spirit, why do we have so many different interpretations of the Bible?
If you have any thoughts about any of this, please, share them.
“United We Stand, Divided We Fall.”
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