Oh you know I do! We all do, but I mean maybe I have bad habits in communication on the blog. I get impatient and dismiss subjects with a once over lightly – look at that cursory once over on “Division in the Church”. I started thinking about this, which I know is due to the irritation I tend to have with fellow Christians. I think the only reason I took up the conversation at all is because I know this to be a big deal to non-Christians. Like a family member who has more time to explain things to others, than has time to be patient with those closest…. I am with Christians. Not young Christians, just those I think ought to know better.
But then I started thinking that is not at all fair. It isn’t fair to expect people to understand and overlook just because they are related and, thus, have to put up with it.
Then again, I think of how – of all groups- The Lord Jesus was the most short with the religious group. Because they ought to have known better. That is what I think anyway.
But I know I give short shrift to what looks like a contrived conversation, all stacked up to give an already determined didacticsm. Is that a word? It should be if it isn’t. A hard pressed and underlined sermon on what we should think. Which I wouldn’t mind if we really should think it.
I read this double edged question: what Biblical conviction should/would/could we give up for the sake of unity? What is that, but some cover for compromise? If it is truly biblical and truly a conviction OF COURSE…let me tone that down, of course we would not give it up. Such unity is not unity, and such peace would not be peace. It would be a poor facsimile, a fake. We would have no convictions, but only the desire to please the crowd in that case, the 51% majority morality.
But the answers are going to come down on the ecumenical or the hardline side of the equation 9 times out of ten. Both sides will get it wrong, because the question is wrong. The question is wrong, folks. After the necessary line is drawn, “What do you, personally, do with Jesus?” there is much that will portray the facets of God and His message and the diversity that He has designed. This sounds new-agey, and I don’t mean to go that route, so I will explain.
The moves of God, and the emphasis of each denomination highlights certain aspects of the Gospel. Sometimes because those things were lost, sometimes because it was time to more fully exhibit them. As long as they are not given a context that is contrary to God Himself, they have useful meaning. Once they are used as measures of God’s acceptance they are out of context. There will be only one measure, and that is Christ. No denomination can usurp that.
Though some of the adherents try… and try hard. I am tempted to name some, but I’ll try not to give in to that bad habit. Because we shouldn’t point up the differences with the ideal of making ourselves look better at another’s expense. Like, How can they think (believe) that way?
I’m trying to dig my way into why I think this is a problem, what it really exposes. It is hard to put into words. Maybe because some of what we are talking about is in the category of sin. Some division is party spirit, it is pulling away to groups that make much of certain individuals and by association the whole party gets their sense of cachet of rightness. That self-approbation that fairly magnetically draws the pocketbooks and prestige of men. Sometimes it is the abusive isolating of vulnerable souls. There are just so many uses for division that go over into the dark side. But that isn’t what most of it is…most of the differences in Churches has to do with revelations of something that is important that the mainstream wouldn’t accept, and so drove out and apart.
It wouldn’t be such a complicated matter if we just lived the faith we are given, and loved the way the apostles taught. They fleshed out the teachings of Jesus, they showed how it worked in growing communities and throughout cultures. It was a truly beautiful thing. It is; whenever given half a chance.
But you know we would all rather argue about it than actually do it.
And that is where all the trouble begins… not the arguing, but never getting to the actual doing.
I hereby put away the soapbox until another time. I will do light and happy and silly for the next couple of posts I think.