Discerning Divisive Divisions And Understanding Unity-www.yeah.net

Religion Paul goes on to address divisions in the church. Why does he talk about divisions in the church? Shouldn’t he be talking about love and unity among the brethren? Paul was .mitted to the truth. He believed Jesus when He said that "the truth will set you free" (John 8:32). The truth was that there were divisions in the church. There are divisions in every church, always have been. Paul not only acknowledged this truth, but went on to provide the cure for church divisions, "be united in the same mind and the same judgment" (1 Corinthians 1:10). He was talking about doctrinal unity, about everyone being on the same page doctrinally. That’s a pretty tall order. It was then and it still is today. Why? Partly because of the contemporary cultural emphasis on diversity, but also partly because we are all unique individuals with different perspectives, different thoughts ideas and analysis. For instance, no longer is America considered to be a "melting pot" where immigrants shed their cultural background in order to be.e Americans. Now Americans are taught to celebrate and maintain their cultural and ethnic perspectives and customs and to resist ac.modation into American culture. To keep us from getting confused about what Paul said, we need to note that there are two kinds of diversity — ethnic diversity and doctrinal (or philosophical/theological) diversity. We know as a fact that Jesus gave the church incredible ethnic diversity. Simeon prophesied that Jesus would be "a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel" (Luke 2:32). Jesus .manded His people to go and "make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19). Paul said that the gospel was "the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek" (Romans 1:16). Later he reminded the Galatians that "there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28). When the Holy Spirit poured out upon the saints gathered in the Upper Room there were "devout men from every nation under heaven" (Acts 2:5) dwelling in Jerusalem among the Jews. "And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language" (Acts 2:6). There can be no doubt that Christianity is for people of all ethnic backgrounds. But Christianity is not doctrinally diverse, nor is it intended to be. Like a flower, Christianity is simple to behold, but .plex to analyze. Flowers are .posed of petals, pistils, stems, stalks and roots — no two of which are exactly the same. Like God’s Word, Christianity is a unified whole, a Trinitarian unified whole, that is simple to behold, but .plex to analyze. In addition, people understand things differently, from different perspectives. That’s to be expected. But those differences in understanding are a function of our sin. They are not to be normative. Doctrinal diversity is not the ideal or the goal. Doctrinal unity is the goal. Paul says, "be united in the same mind and the same judgment" (v. 10), the same mind, the same opinion, the same purpose. This is no fluke verse or idea. Jesus prayed, "I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am .ing to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one" (John 17:11). Paul wrote to the Philippians, "Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I .e and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel" (Philippians 1:27). And later in that same letter, "So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any .fort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, .plete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind (Philippians 2:1-2). Ethnic diversity is the goal of the church, not ethnic unity or purity. On the other hand, doctrinal unity is the goal of the church, not doctrinal diversity or division. Jesus wants all kinds of different people to believe the same thing. He doesn’t want all the people who are in the church to believe different things. And because God created people as unique individuals he has allowed for some variation in perspectives and explanations regarding the .plexity of Christian analysis. We should find overwhelming agreement in the simplicities even while we find striking differences in the .plexities. Sometimes the differences are divisive, and therein lies the rub. Knowing when our differences contribute to Christian unity and when they result in division (as opposed to diversity) is the primary subject of Paul’s letters to the Corinthians. About the Author: 相关的主题文章: