Things that Divide Christians
Posted on June 20, 2019 by America's Keswick in Freedom Fighters
THINGS THAT DIVIDE CHRISTIANS
I Cor. 1:10 “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.”
John 13:35 “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
How can we be so different? The “facts” are the same, but our perceptions and interpretations are wildly diverse. Both use the scriptures to make their case.
- The Bible clearly presents a case both for Calvinism and Arminianism but either extreme cannot be true. Truth lies somewhere in the middle, but the issue divides us.
- As Christians, some of us are very politically conservative, others very liberal. Both are passionate and believe they are on God’s side. Both use scripture. Both cannot be right!
- We would agree that, if you have been truly born again and are a new creature in Christ, there are issues of life-style and practice that should be embraced and others to be avoided. But we cannot agree on what they are.
- Who should be allowed to preach, speak, pastor in our churches is under great debate: women, divorced, homo-sexual, those restored who have grievously sinned while in the ministry, etc.?
- Are foreign missions or home missions more important? Is the mandate to care for the poor among us (which can be done by very theologically liberal churches) as important as world (and home) evangelism? Stated differently, is doing good deeds equal in God’s sight to simply preaching the gospel? Does it involve both? To what degree?
- Do both traditional and contemporary worship styles honor the Lord? Is one simply out-of-date with the current generation or is the loud, expressive, up-to-date music and physical display more acceptable to God? Both? Is one’s preference the only determining factor?
- Is one translation of the original canon more “pure” and acceptable than translations using contemporary language and expressions?
- If I have been “sprinkled”, have I been baptized or must I be immersed for it to be the “real thing”?
- Sunday used to be the Lord’s Day: no shopping, no sports, go to church both morning and evening, etc. Today you can worship on Saturday night (to make Sunday a free day to do what you want or because you have to work on Sunday!!!) or you can go on Sunday (for most people only once). You can also shop for anything, anywhere on Sunday. Sunday is really just another day in the week. Some choose to give an hour or two to the Lord and then go on their merry way. Were we obedient then or were we over-reacting? Are we desecrating the Lord’s Day today?
By now you are weary of the list, but it goes on. And for many, we have not even addressed issues of your concern.
And you are looking for the answers! I’m not foolish enough to believe that I have them!
Here’s what I believe, but it is not inspired!!!! It is my opinion after trying to be considerate of both sides. Remember, I am talking about opinions held by Christians, not by non-Christians.
- We are different! God made us that way. Our personalities respond to different stimuli. Our past experiences and backgrounds influence our thoughts.
- As we mature in the Lord we can (and probably should) adjust our thinking as new evidences and experiences and people enter our lives.
- Times and circumstances change. God’s Word is for all time, but much of it relates to first century realities. As the centuries pass, the applications will vary, but the basic truth of the passage will never change.
- As much as it troubles me to accept that we believe differently (Why can’t everybody agree with me? It’s so clear!!!), I am not responsible for you and you are not responsible for me! We each have to answer for our own actions.
- God is not pleased with division! That means He must be very displeased with most of us!
- Why are we so shocked when non-Christians attempt to capitalize on our divisions, lack of cooperation and actual avoidance of one another? Why can’t pastors in a local area get together in fellowship even if they have widely divergent views? Has it ever occurred to them that their influence and friendship might be an entrance for witness or, forbid the thought, that they might learn something valuable from another point of view? Couldn’t Bible-preaching pastors learn something from Jewish rabbi friends and vice-versa?
You can add to your list. Let’s grow in the Lord, not divide His church!
“My best students are the ones who ask the best questions.” Quote of my 9th grade teacher whose name I forget but whose wisdom I remember. Let’s all be good students by wrestling with the questions which occupy our minds and finding satisfying answers. “…Be ready always to give a reason for the hope that is within you…” (I Peter 3:15)
Written By Neil Fichthorn: Rev. Neil Fichthorn is a seasoned conference and camping servant having served at Gull Lake Bible Conference, Sandy Cove Ministries as President, and an interim Executive Director at Pinebrook Bible Conference. He also served in church music for decades as a choir director and arranger. He has been Bill Welte’s mentor and friend for over 45 years.
Think About This: “Divisions in the church always breed atheism in the world.” – Thomas Manton
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. – Galatians 6:14
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.