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Why So Much Division Within the Body of Christ?

Thu, Nov. 06, 2014 Posted: 11:38 PM

For the Body of Christ, do we not have the same Father who created us in His own image? Have we not all confessed the same Savior and live by that profession of faith? Do we not feed spiritually from the same Bible as the source for living and for life itself; and though diverse do we still not cherish the many and various versions of the inspired Word of God? Do not even the many and various versions of the Holy Book still lead us to the same essential truths! The same holy blood that was shed at Calvary for one, is it not the same blood shed for all? On the most part, we assemble ourselves together on the same day, and for the most part for that same and very sacred moment, seeking the opportunity for those intimate and personal as well as corporate moments of praise and worship to our God! Do we not sing basically the same songs of worship and praise? Do we not all hold to the truth that there is one Lord, one Faith and one Baptism! If these things are a resounding “YES” to all, then why are we so at-odds over some of the most basic and fundamental teachings that the Bible offers?

We observe and practice the Holy Communion, though globally-dispersed, we all obediently and willfully succumb to the quiet, peaceful request of Christ himself, “This do in remembrance of me!” Yes, we are all our father’s children, and are eager to “Let or lights so shine!” Do we all not rejoice and express and shed tears of gratitude for the perfect work of Christ in our own wretched lives, spiritually transfused to us through the first sinner Adam, but transformed within us a new nature by the second Adam, Jesus? Are we not filled and guided by the same Holy Spirit, whose indwelling presence brings us all into the spirit of unity, brotherhood and fellowship? He is that presence we may not hear during the heat of battle, but certainly audible in the quite of the night as we lie in the bed of reflection of our day’s events. Do we not share that same presence? Most importantly, do we all not express in some shape, form or fashion our devotion and undying love for our Savior Jesus, the Anointed One of God? If so, then why does it seem that we and God’s word are so often in opposition?

Though we may be similar, we often find ourselves at such great odds. We are the Christians, or at least we are supposed to be! Did Jesus not pray to his Father that we be one as He and his Father were one, so that we in turn also become one in Him and in the Father? So if we have all of these essential things in common, then why are we so much at odds? What is it that causes us to be so different? Perhaps one of the reasons stems from the ways we were brought up—our neighborhoods, our schools, our families and ethnicities. Maybe our individual experiences in life dictate how we approach, process and execute God’s word from day-to-day. But those events are B.C. and if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature. The intervention of Christ in a person’s life changes his life’s course and manner, thus making way for the “new creature” to form and develop. Yet something causes great division within the household of faith in spite of our calling ourselves Christians!

Perhaps it is in the way we view ourselves in terms of what is important as members of the body of Christ. Although the word of God instructs us to “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness…” how we view, understand and accept this great principle is crucial. If Mathew 6:33 truly has a life-changing effect upon me, then my heart, soul and mind will make His word an important part of my daily walk. If I were to describe myself, which adjective would be the most important: black, white, male/female, Democrat/Republican, father/mother, American, Christian, etc? Whichever is most important will be reflective in the most significant and crucial choices and decisions we make, which may bring us into direct conflict with the Lord. But if we all sought to live and move as seekers of the kingdom, then unity would draw us unto one accord. But again, we find ourselves at odds, even as fellow believers.

Finally and perhaps the root for our schism is the way we view the world and address sin! “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid!” this means that the church has a duty to address the matter of sin, not accommodate it. It is the Christian community that has been given the charge to address the issue of sin within the people’s lives in the right and proper manner, meaning in the way Jesus himself would handle it. At times, He was staunch and direct, but at other times He was gentle, compassionate and forgiving. He even healed sinners of their sicknesses. One thing is for certain, the church is not of the world, and vice-versa. The world is the incubator for sin, and the church is the eradicator, but when the church becomes the world’s co-partner in accepting or even redefining what is sinful, it loses its saltiness! This causes disunity within the church while the world celebrates. The call of every Christian believer is to seek and to save those who are lost instead of providing zones of comfort. In conclusion, let us take to heart the Apostle Paul’s plea for unity. “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” (1 Corinthians 1:10). For these reasons, there should be no cause greater than the cause of Christ!

Dr. Melvin Johnson