The Great Divide

Posted: July 21, 2010 in QT's
Tags: , , ,

Last week I was camping with a group from my church in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. As we stood under the massive peaks and enormous boulders we couldn’t help but be in awe of God’s power and beauty. This mountain range is known as “The Great Divide” because it stretches across the entire North American continent and all the rivers on the west side empty into the Pacific Ocean while all the rivers on the east side empty into the Atlantic. While these mountains are certainly beautiful they are also very rugged. As I walked a cross the Royal Gorge Bridge I tried to imagine what it would be like to cross this rugged terrain without bridges and man made roads. It would have been very difficult to say the least. Even now the roads that cross these mountains follow along natural passes because there’s just no other way.

I thought about this as I read Paul’s words to the Corinthian church. In 1 Cor. 11:18 he says, “When you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you” (ESV). Paul talks about this divisiveness throughout this letter to the church. They’re divided over different church leaders, personal convictions, proper authority in the church and the home, and even over the Lord’s Supper and spiritual gifts. It seems this church was having a hard time getting along with each other and so Paul tried to get them back on the right track by speaking very bluntly to them. Their problem is not so much a matter of who’s right and who’s wrong, it’s a matter of the heart. You see, the love of money may be the root of all kinds of evil but pride is the root of all sin. The church was divided over personal opinions and preferences and Paul tells them that it shouldn’t be so. Jesus came and bridged the gap between God and man by putting us before Himself and dying in our place. Why then should His church behave so selfishly? We shouldn’t. We should all look to Christ and stay focused on Him and forget about our petty preferences. We should all place others before ourselves and forget about our own opinions. The church, which is the body of Christ, His hands and feet on the earth, should never be divided against itself but should always strive to be of one accord working together for the glory of God and the furtherance of His kingdom. Basically we just need to get off our high horses sometimes. The Rocky Mountains are beautiful but they are also very dangerous. Our own opinions and preferences may seem right to us and they may even be right but when they cause division in God’s church they can be very dangerous. That’s not to say that we should ever compromise God’s truth for the sake of unity. Paul is very clear about that. We just need to be careful that we don’t equate our preferences and opinions with God’s truth. Believe it or not they’re not always the same thing.

My dad used to tell me that his drill instructor would say “Look on your left chest. That doesn’t say mob, it says US Army. I expect you to act accordingly.” Christians, we are a part of the body of Christ and He expects us to act accordingly. Don’t let your pride be the thing that causes divisiveness within your local church.

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