In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good.In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it.No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval. 1 Corinthians 11:17-19
There was division in the early church, just as today. We are still getting caught up in our differences centuries later. When Yeshua walked this earth He saw a people scattered and broken, sheep without a shepherd He called them. With one act at the end of His earthly life, He made a way for us to be perfectly unified. The cross permanently bridged the gap for all time.
Today it is all about “celebrating our differences.” Has it helped us? It is certainly good to acknowledge our differences, but I think if we do nothing but highlight them, it only acts to draw us further apart. To me it is healthier to celebrate the ways we are the same, and that goes for the church as well. So many denominations, so many walls that separate….and yet, these are familiar words to everyone in the Christian church, whatever the denomination.
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Maker of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;
He descended into hell. [See Calvin]
The third day He arose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead……..
In many ways, we humans like to junk things up with religiosity and intellect. We have been doing it forever, and certainly when Jesus walked the earth we were. That is the one thing He so laboriously fought against. It is not about what we do or how we do it, it is what He did for us. When He said, it is finished, He meant it!
In Heaven there will be no segregation…..
And every time I am worshipping in a church service, grabbing hands across the aisles, seeing black, white, brown, crying the same tears, praying for each others needs, loving each other, I know…..
The Kingdom of Heaven is in deed, at hand!
Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not take pride in one man over against another. 1 Corinthians 4:6
|Photo from Brooklyn Tabernacle website