“A kingdom that is divided cannot continue, and a family that is divided cannot continue.” -Mark 3:24-25 (NLT)
The body of Christ is a family, and if we are not united we cannot continue. We cannot perpetuate the gospel, contribute to the kingdom, or in any way attract a lost world to its Heavenly Father. Without unity we are rendered ineffective; impotent; paralyzed; useless. Churches are destroyed by dissension. Marriages crumble when there is no unity. Without a common bond there is no fellowship.
Unity in the body of Christ is a foundational need. We must learn to agree to disagree when the issue is not a salvational one. To argue every little point of doctrine is simply immature and petty. “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.” -1 Corinthians 1:10 (NLT). “United in thought and purpose”, that is what we need to be. We need to keep our focus on The One who unites us, and His plans and purposes for our personal lives, and for the body of Christ as a whole.
I do not believe that doctrinal divisions are God’s will. To me, they are a manifestation of man’s stubbornness and pride. That’s just my opinion, which is of little value, really. The point here is that whether we are Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, or Non-Denominational, if Jesus Christ is our foundation – the glue that binds us – we are family. If this family is to continue to be effective here on earth, we must be in unity.
Arguing amongst ourselves, leaving our church family because our pride was wounded, taking on offenses that are rooted in nothing but ego, only serve to divide us and sabotage the work of Christ. I’m not saying you should never leave your church. There are valid reasons for moving on. We need to make sure our reasons are indeed valid, Spirit led and not simply a matter of pride or bruised ego . . . Or because we didn’t like the color of the church walls. God may have put you in that church to improve the decor!
When we are in right standing with God, listening to His Holy Spirit, following His guidance and direction, we will be where we are supposed to be. No church is perfect, no person is perfect. There is NO perfection this side of eternity, so stop looking for it. Be where you are supposed to be, set aside pride, and be honestly open to what God wants you to do. Make unity a priority. Take selfish thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ, and fervently love your brothers and sisters in Christ, with all their imperfections.
“Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ”. -1 Peter 1:13 (NKJ). Don’t put your hope in the worship music, or the amount of charisma the pastor possesses, or the congregation. Place your hope nowhere but in Christ, and He will never steer you wrong. He will keep us in unity. Amen!