Thoughtful Thursday: Strong Words About Division

Strong Words About Division

I personally find poor losers and gloating winners to be equally offensive (I’ve been both). They are prideful expressions that only cause further division. This week we have seen both of those expressed in regard to the appointment of Justice Amy Coney Barrett and I expect that we will see even more of those types of comments next week, when we find out who our next president will be.

Although I have strong feelings about the current state of politics and the outcome of the election, I know that arguing about them on online will not win anyone over to my side and that it would not please God for me to contribute to any more division, especially division within the Church. If you have been sucked into any of those kinds of interactions (I think we all have at some point in time), I hope you will consider your motivation before engaging in them over the next week. If it is just out of frustration, it’s not going to be a good witness to those who observe your posts. Many times I have typed up a response to a ridiculous post just to end up deleting it, knowing that it served no purpose other than just venting my frustration. In fact, I’ve already had to apologize for an unnecessary comment since originally writing this. As my Nana used to say, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

I’m not saying we shouldn’t talk politics. There are serious implications for the future trajectory of our country depending on who wins, but as Christians we need to do so in love and to seek genuine understanding, not just to tell people why they are wrong. We have members within our own church on both ends of the political spectrum, but the thing we have in common is greater than any political party created by humans, our love for Christ and His Church. It grieves my heart when I hear about the hurt caused by political disputes between members of Christ’s church as does the thought of my words being a poor witness to those who already have issue with the Church. Imagine how much more it grieves God.

Here are a few verses that show just how serious
division within the church is in the bible:

1 Corinthians 1:10-13 NLT
10 I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. 11 For some members of Chloe’s household have told me about your quarrels, my dear brothers and sisters. 12 Some of you are saying, “I am a follower of Paul.” Others are saying, “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Peter,” or  (I follow Biden or I follow Trump) or “I follow only Christ.”

13 Has Christ been divided into factions? Was I, Paul, crucified for you? Were any of you baptized in the name of Paul? Of course not!

Luke 11:17
17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls.

1 John 2:9
If anyone claims, “I am living in the light,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is still living in darkness.
Now for some verses on unity

Romans 15:5 (see photo verse above, created by Nancy Whitmore)
May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus.

Colossians 3:14 
Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.

Ephesians 4:1-3
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.