Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Enough already!

I Corinthians 1:10-13

     Now, dear brothers and sisters, I appeal to you by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ to stop arguing among yourselves. Let there be real harmony so there won’t be divisions in the church. I plead with you to be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. For some members of Chloe’s household told me about your arguments, dear brothers and sisters. Some of you are saying, “I am a follower of Paul.” Others are saying, “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Peter,” or “I follow Christ.” Can Christ be divided into pieces?

     I once attended a church where a staff Pastor left to pursue other ministry opportunities. This caused a huge loss to many who looked to him and his family for spiritual guidance, wisdom and leadership. He provided such a rock-solid foundation, spiritually speaking, so that when he resigned, many were left feeling unstable and unsure of their footing. He was not the lead Pastor, just simply a staff Pastor who many had come to deeply love and admire.   

     I say all that to make the point that in the Christian community and culture, we all tend to favor certain leaders and Pastors over others, and often times find ourselves idolizing certain people, even to the point of causing divisions and dissension within the body of Christ because of our loyalty. If the person we’re idolizing gets hurt or misrepresented in any way, we fight to the death to defend their honor. Loyalty and honor is one thing, but allowing Jesus Christ to be replaced by a human being is detrimental to the church as a whole.

     I’ve watched Christians destroy one another and undermine the body of Christ over another person. Human nature causes us to choose sides in situations of unfairness and disloyalty but we all need to remember that as Christians, we are all on the same side and that’s the side of Jesus Christ and His kingdom. There should be no room for petty arguments or idol worship.

     Satan is desperately trying to divide and conquer and we, too often, allow ourselves to be used as his pawns, all in the name of loyalty. Think very carefully the next time you’re tempted to take sides and fight for the injustice you seem to think has taken place. Instead of fighting in the flesh, remember that the Bible tells us that we are not fighting flesh and blood, but rather spiritual strongholds that the enemy is trying to establish. Go to battle in the spiritual realm through prayer and fasting and allow God to win the victory according to his will. If we would choose to take that route, relationships would be restored and church bodies would be united rather than split down the middle; all because we would choose to keep our eyes on Christ rather than on human beings.

     Who have you placed on a pedestal? Is Christ your central focus in the church that you attend or have you allowed it to become a social club and political arena? Take some time today to reevaluate “why” you attend church and “who” you worship while you’re there.

Have a great day!

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