January 9, 2010

Is Christ Divided?

Posted in Unity tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 2:59 am by tclickenger

My first blog post ever.  What is Koinonia about?  The short version of what it’s about is Christian unity.

One of my brothers in faith recently posted on his FB wall, “One Mind One Body One Purpose thousands of Denominations? Go Figure!”

I don’t know what he meant by “Go figure!” but I believe this multitude of division is a terribly serious condition that warrants strong consideration.  Does The Word of God, the final authority in all truth, have anything to say about why we would have this sort of condition in the church?

The Apostle Paul had something to say about this in 1 Cor. 1:11 For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions (disputes) among you. 12 Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” (divisions, denominations)

Does this sound familiar? “I am a _______” you insert the denomination title. The term “denomination” has its roots in mathematics. It is a division of a number. You are probably most familiar with it from working with fractions, where we have a numerator and a denominator.

13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?

Continuing in this thought, Paul begins to compare the wisdom that starts and continues these divisions with the wisdom of God.

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” 20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

James had some writing that was very similar to Paul’s on this topic.

James 3:13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, (Would you consider these attitudes that would cause disputes and divisions?) do not boast and lie against the truth.

Is this such a serious condition that we need to concern ourself about it?

15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.

Sounds pretty serious to me. In fact it is so important that Jesus said that being ONE is the one and only way that the world will know that we believe in the word of Jesus!! Paul even wrote in the book of Ephesians that being ONE was the ultimate end purpose of God in creating all things (Eph. 1:9-10). Wow! You can’t get much more serious or important than that.

Notice again, James compares the wisdom that is behind these attitudes with the wisdom of God.  He even goes on to say that this is evil and demonic.  So what is the remedy? In all the many voices claiming to have a lock on the truth, how do we recognize God’s wisdom?

17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

I pray that any pride I have in myself is destroyed and never sets my thinking up against the revelation of God and His truth.  Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the Sons of God.