Friday, February 3, 2012


Are there divisions among you?
Rebecca's thoughts about division in the church - Emphasis is “Christ’s Church”.

We all have different likes and dislikes. Some like quiet, slow music and others may enjoy fast, loud music which beats to a different drum. There are churches who are made fun of because they are very charismatic (show their excitement, vocal, emotional, speak in tongues) Then there are other churches known to be conservative. Worship is quiet, reverent and somewhat reserved. Some churches are active and feel strongly to activate their faith by the laying on of hands in prayer, by casting out demons and healing the sick in Jesus name. Other churches are more passive in their requests and lean toward a teaching, that these signs and wonders were only for certain apostles or the day of Pentacost. There are many different interpretations taught in our churches.  
In our modern day society we have different variations of churches and belief. Many seek to know God and have a relationship with the Father God through His Son (Christ Jesus, Saviour) and they eventually find what type of church fits their belief.
The other night I sat at a table of Christians, enjoying a nice community dinner. I was not from that church. I was listening in as they were having a conversation regarding the churches in my home town. In this conversation one man made the statement that there was really only one active church in that town. I happen to know that there are at least four evangelical churches in that location. I attend one of the apparent churches he claimed was not active. My radar immediately tuned in and I found myself feeling defensive to say the least. I asked him, how he came to that conclusion? Had he even attended any of these churches? He said, he had attended them all. His words felt like an attack. I myself have been in his shoes. I once made a similar statement. Years later, I found myself repenting for the judgement I made against that church or pastor. It is easy to make judgments - foolish ones I might add.
On occasion, I have gone to other denominational churches as to experience a variety of worship. At times, I have heard statements made from the pulpit and from those in speaking positions who have elevated their church by saying that their church is on a spiritually higher plain than other churches. They believe that their church has the flowing of the Holy Spirit and other churches don't. Yes, I heard these teaching again and again.  
Through experience, I have witnessed the division of some great churches who were serving God and doing amazing things to expand God's Kingdom here on earth.  People from one congregation went to a different church and experienced the Holy Spirit move in a different way from that which they experienced within their own home church. The experience changed some of these people. When they went back to their home church they desired to take that change with them because they believed it was a God change. They wanted to change their home church to be like the other church they had attended. However, because of the variations in perspective and teachings, along came the conflicting views. Some liked the church just the way it was and did not agree with changes. That caused division. The church split in two. The part of the body who did not want change, were the ones to leave that church.  The congregation who believed they were following the Holy Spirit, stayed and continued in Christ's service.
Yet, God’s body of believers should have the same HOLY SPIRIT teaching them. (My comment)
Often, congregational members try to change the church and that is where divisions begin (in-fighting within God’s church). Change should only take place by the leading of the Holy Spirit at work within those in authority. The Holy Spirit must be allowed to enter, move and lead Christ’s Church. When this happens many old traditions and beliefs may be thrown out the door or they may not. It is much like a sweeping of the house. It is crucial that decisions be bathed in prayer, especially when voting in those who will work in pastoral and elder positions. Know the people you are voting in. It is often those who are placed in authority within the churches, who influence what is being taught or allowed in the church. We must pray for all our churches  and for the body of Christ to be in Unity.
Sometimes, our eyes are on everything except the one who came to save, teach, and lead us (Jesus). I love that song: “It’s all about you”. The words penned convict us, or at least it should. It’s all about you… Jesus. All this is for you, for your mercy and your grace. It’s not about me, as if you should do things my way. You alone are God and I surrender to your ways.  I’m coming back to the heart of worship. It’s all about you. It’s all about you… Jesus.
1 Corinthians 1:10
Amplified Bible (AMP)
10But I urge and entreat you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in perfect harmony and full agreement in what you say, and that there be no dissensions or factions or divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in your common understanding and in your opinions and judgments.

 This is a very clear and precise statement. There is no gray area. It is black on white. Experience says that there is not always 100% agreement between any two people. We are all at different stages in our Christian walk. We all must agree on the foundational truth of who Christ Jesus is in our lives and in our churches. Paul is urging us to find that level ground where we agree with one another. Think about what we say, when we say it, and the way we speak to others in the church. If we know that our brother or sister believes something different, then we should seek to find the biblical truth and find agreement in the truth of common understanding. Find the common ground. It is there in scripture.  Scripture does have an answer for everything. Teach biblical truth with love, unity and without judgment and allow them the freedom to consider it. We may disagree on something and for whatever reason we may have a different opinion. It is for the Holy Spirit to teach us, in His way and in His time. I believe we are not to judge others because they may have a different spiritual spin on it. In Christ’s church we must learn to function like one body, like an army working toward the same goal and purpose as Christ. We all have a different function and a calling to serve Christ. There are many ways of doing this. We must not fight with each other. Would your arm pull off a leg because it wanted to go in a different direction than the arm is pointing? Simply, that would not happen. Nor should the body of Christ rip each other apart. God may be telling the leg to do it's job and the arm has a totally different function and purpose. In the end, it is God's purpose and calling. We must individually find out what that is and be obedient to God and His leading. It is up to each individual person to work out his or her salvation as to deepen that relationship with the one who saves.

1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.