Author: Diane Watt
Once upon a time there was a happily married couple. They were powerful. They led house meetings and initiated their church’s first supremely successful teen ministry. They raised funds, gave back, beckoned many with their magnanimous light. The husband was, metaphorically, the high school football star and his wife the homecoming queen. Everyone wanted to be them.
Then, one day, they brought home a teen foster child.
This young man had problems. Incessantly miserable and desiring everyone join him, he initiated a quest to divide the couple. He lied to each secretly. He injected false ideas thus kickstarting a cycle of distrust. He distracted them from their bigger mission and tricked them into focusing on smaller issues of contention.
Ultimately his plan succeeded. The pair divorced. Their power – and any plans God purposed through their partnership – was blown to smithereens.
My Brother, my Sister – the same is happening with us except we aren’t the married couple, we’re Siblings in Christ.
This is to my spiritual Brother on Facebook. My Christian Sister down the street. To the faithful Sibling who hangs out on Twitter. We are divided by Satan who uses the same – and more – schemes as the foster child. We, too, are distracted by trivial disagreements and dissuaded by false ideas about each other.
Here’s an example. There’s a long-lasting, deep-cutting war between Christians who believe it’s okay to celebrate Christmas and those who do not. And this is no tiny battle, either. These groups argue. Call names and throw insults. If their faces weren’t behind screens they’d hurl fists.
All the while Satan sits back with feet crossed on his desk, mission accomplished. My Friends, we must be smarter than him.
With a few exceptions, most wars with each other aren’t worth a second glance. Yes, doctrinal truth is necessary and by all means a correct theological path should be maintained. However, the truth isn’t at stake in most our battles, which are typically byproducts of pride. They’re what you call Pyrrhic Victories – battles won at too great a cost.
And what’s the cost? Our strength.
Yes, Friend, the Church’s strength is at an all-time low. Oh sure, the Philadephian church – the true church in existence just prior to Christ’s Second Coming – was predicted to be weak (Revelation 3) and maybe this is how it’s supposed to be, but how difficult to watch! We are the Church, after all. We’re supposed to be powerful!
Christians will rule in unity on the New Earth. (1 Corinthians 6:3) Our words will accomplish and reverberate throughout the world. In our eternal state we will be one. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could act that way – at least a little – here as well?
I’m not addressing unity with those who don’t believe as we do. We both know there’s no fellowship with darkness (2 Corinthians 6:14). What I’m referencing is unity among true Christ believers. As we nitpick we’re essentially saying, “Sibling, I hate you.”
CORRECT UNITY IS NECESSARY
Division equals weakness and Jesus knew it. Picture this: you escort your child to college. They’re leaving the nest for good. You tell him, “Be good Johnny. Don’t be a jerk. Make good choices. I love you.” The most important stuff, correct? The pinnacle of your parenting advice…right?
Christ did the same prior to the Crucifixion in John 17 when He told us, “Be unified. Don’t separate. You need each other.”
The fact is we do need each other. Our division results in massive loss – and some losses will remain unknown until revealed to us in Heaven.
My Friend, we can disagree without separating. Let’s not toss our Christian relationships in the fire for the sake of making a point. Let’s be eager to maintain the bonds of Siblinghood (Ephesians 4:3). We may be few in number but if we stand linked together we can strike Satan in the gut. After all he’s stolen from you, isn’t that what you desire?
My Christian Brothers and Sisters, will you stand with me? Fight with me? I promise to be here until God determines otherwise. I hope you’ll promise the same. After all, much is at stake. This dark, dying world needs us strong and united…perhaps now more than ever.
I love you, Sibling.