Is Christ Divided?

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Woah. That’s quite a question. And it certainly deserves an answer.

I was at a family event this week, when the topic of politics came up. Dangerous ground for any family at this time. While my immediate blood line is non-confrontational, I was raised by very passive parents, so I and my siblings have been somewhat the same, although it seems that we did learn to express ourselves a little louder. Add to us an expanding family of in-laws and children and another dynamic was added into the mix. Now a conversation can get much louder and much more passionate than that of my childhood. But we have still managed to keep the peace. A fact that I don’t take for granted. I see so many families divided by multiple reasons and the worst of it is the family of God. My family has agreed to disagree, but mostly we avoid talk about politics at the dinner table.

But a problem is, I was born to talk. And so God gave me a blog. Else my head would explode. It’s here I air my feelings and share my thoughts because I pay for the page. So my family is not the boss of the me. ???? I said that in humor, but what is not funny is the world for which we currently live where we cannot share our thoughts aloud in most venues for fear of an outright war. And many of those warriors are from the church and I’m not sure Jesus is any where in the battle because of the question I found in 1 Corinthians 1:

“Is Christ Divided?”

Paul asks that question of the Corinthians:

1 Corinthians 1:10-13 KJV

[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. [11] For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. [12] Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. [13] Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?

Their divisions were over who was lead to Christ by who, or baptized by who. Ours are not near so spiritual. And our founding father of these United States were wise enough to see that when they placed a separation of church and state in the constitution. Not to keep Christ out of government but to rather keep politics out of the church. Government and politics are not the same thing. We have one Government. The government of the United States. We have many forms of politics for which everyone has a right to believe. But when it come to the church, politics should never enter in. Whether you are democrat, republican, independent, from a blue state or a red state, the scripture is still black and white. So we are not to ask “Would Christ be a Republican, Democrat or other party?” We’re to ask, does what we believe line up with scripture? The only division that should be in the life of a Christian is “rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

Speak the Same Thing

2 Peter 1:20

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

I praise God that I am too limited to read more into scripture than is there. Scripture was meant to read, believe and apply. If God says “thou shalt not”, don’t. If God says “thou shall,” then it’s okay. If He says nothing about it, then don’t tell people it’s in there. God did not say every Baptist preacher had to have a white shirt and a black suit. They didn’t wear britches in the Bible. As a matter of fact, they wore dresses, robes and sandals, and they looked like men and women. I said that to say, speak of what matters. And it ain’t britches. Paul wasn’t concerned about the outward man, he was concerned about the inward man. If we get that right, then the outside will match. And it still may not look like you expect it to. But it’s between them and God.

Paul’s goal was to refocus the Corinthian church on the word of God for the purpose of leading people to Christ. They’d gotten off task. It was not about how they got saved, it was what they were doing for Christ after they got saved. So I ask of you who are reading this today these questions: “If everyone in your church spoke as you do all day, what would the conversation be mostly about? And would it line up with the Bible?”

God doesn’t expect you to never talk about things in the world, but if you are talking about those things, would you talk as you do if He was there in person? He would probably like a NASCAR race, but what would He have said about the noose in the locker room? He may have said something like “Will you all shut up, people are going to Hell, and you’re worried about a garage pull. Eyes on the prize people.” I would like to be there if He did.

Have the Same Mind

Perfectly joined together in the same mind? What would that look like? Well it wouldn’t look like my mother’s dinner table I assure you. Because there are people there with a wide array of opinions and they ain’t even close the same.

So rather than being upset with people I love, I go to the word of God.

Proverbs 29:11 says “A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.”

While I love that that gives me the right to say “I told you so.” When things turn out poorly, I won’t, and that’s not the intention of God’s advice. But rather keeping your mouth shut in the midst of political passion is better than arguing with someone who’s not going to change their mind in the midst of anger. But if later I can go back to that person, or write about my beliefs and why, then maybe we will one day have the same mind. It also means that I might not always be right either. If I read and study God’s word, and I do, He just might change mine. But for certain, our minds have got to align with God’s word. And what I see in most all liberal arguments is that God’s word has no where entered into the process. If they occasionally quote scripture, it’s almost always out of context. But truthfully I don’t hear many liberals quoting scripture to back up their agenda.

The same mind that matters is only the mind of Christ.

In the Same Judgement

Are we a judgmental society or what?! And what is the favorite go to judgy scripture?

Matthew 7:1 – Judge not, that ye be not judged.

Oh that’s a good one! But when people use it, they’re usually saying under their breath, “You are not the boss of me.” Nor is Christ usually their authority.

While God gives us a freedom of mind, He does not give us the freedom to choose His judgment, and His is the only one that will truly matter. So when judgment day comes, and you stand before the Lord, what will your conversation be then?

I’ll bet Chloe was not a very popular person in the church of that day, because it was they who told Paul that the church folk were fussin’ about who was better because of how they came to Christ.  And that’s when Paul brings up the subject of judgement. A subject also brought up by Jude who tells of why we should be more concerned about the word of God than about the word of men, which seems to be where we have our focus now:

Jude 1:14-25 KJV

[14] And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, [15] To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. [16] These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage. [17] But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; [18] How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. [19] These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. [20] But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, [21] Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. [22] And of some have compassion, making a difference: [23] And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. [24] Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, [25] To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

Christ isn’t about division. Nor should the church be. Make sure you’re on His side. It’s the only one.

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