Stop the Divide

Many may remember that then Senator Barack Obama took to the campaign trail and ran in great part as the President who will finally bring everyone together. There would be no more divisions predicated upon the idea of “race” as this half Black (perhaps true African-American) and half White man would understand the plight of all and be able to find ground whereupon all would be on a level playing field. Many voted for this future President because they thought him to be the one uniquely able to unite all and that he would be the very one for the downcast, downtrodden and the broken. Many of the same voters have since had buyer’s remorse.

However this nation has not been so divided since the Civil War. Some might recall the feigned war on women fighting against those who see every human life as precious; even the unborn children. This divide was not to be outdone by those who touted the unfairness of the riches of the so called one percent causing deeper and widening divides among the populace. Our President has also weighed in on divides among the people groups of the land turning young against old and Black against White. Some might recall how one set of police In Massachusetts were said to have acted “stupidly” in one case and how Travon Martin might look like the President. Now the police are under attack by not just the President but also Attorney General Eric Holder and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Of course we can’t leave race baiters Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson from the equation. Additionally to ignore SEIU, which might be behind some of the latest protests would be remiss.

The fact of the matter is that this country cannot be destroyed from the outside. It must be destroyed from within. In order to fundamentally change this country there must be multiple divides and attacks against the very founding of this country. The pretense that our Founders were racist from the onset and that equality for all meant leaving out certain others does very little to bridge real gaps in this wonderful country. Most people in this nation are not racist rather are a loving people that want nothing more than to live peaceably with all in as much as possible. This sentiment has been made evident by many yet there are those such as Sharpton that make a living by dividing an otherwise loving people.

It is past time this country began to lay aside the resounding hateful rhetoric of those that seek only riches by dividing the masses. It is time that all men, women, boys and girls reach for the reality that they, as individuals, are fearfully and wonderfully made. These United States are one nation under the True and Living God and this nation cannot and should not lay down its Judeo-Christian founding and values. Instead individuals need to reconcile with God and serve God without fear of a tyrannical government that further seeks to divide a Christian nation from the God of all. As a nation mere idiosyncratic ideologies need to give way to the freedom provided by the Constitution with a limited government. This is to say this nation needs to return to the roots of freedom provided by biblical and constitutional standards.

The fact is that divides seek only to destroy a people. Consider, for instance, divorce. This is among the most hateful divides against any people. It tears at all involved normally because of selfish reasons. The hurt and pain can last for years while tearing at the family economic status. Things are not much different when a nation is torn apart. Very few prosper when a nation tears from itself. The converse is that when a nation comes together many good things happen. Love begins to abound while those that seek hatred are minimized. People work together no matter the complexion of their skin. Peace becomes the order of the day while families and communities grow stronger because of a diminishing divide.

So, Mr. Sharpton, Mr. Jackson, Mr. de Blasio, Mr. Holder and Mr. President you are urged to stop the divide. Your words and actions have been divisive at the very least. This country needs leadership that will strengthen the common factor we all enjoy. That factor is freedom. We need the freedom of the law, which is the Constitution to let this nation stand. We need the freedom of worship. We need to be free from the false narrative of all things racist so that we can all join hand-in-hand as a people indivisible standing for the liberty that Christ has prepared for us all.

Enough Already

     The past few years in this country have caused me to wonder if I still live in the United States of America. It appears that there is division on every hand. Everyone seems to be angry with everyone else and all for false reasons. This is rather disconcerting because President Obama was lifted as some sort of messiah who would heal all. He would be the one to bind those that were pulled apart by reason of scandalous racial issues because he would be the post-racial president. Unfortunately the racial divide has only broadened since Mr. Obama has taken office.

     Blacks have been pitted against the Whites while Hispanics abhor Asians. Jews are against Gentiles and the Polish disdain the Italians. Further divides are evident as in the phony war against women. As such females have been pitted against males. The young are angry with the old. The rich and the poor seem to have nothing in common. Yes, this is the most divided nation since the Civil War. The difference is that then Abraham Lincoln was torn as to how to bring the people together while Mr. Obama seems to seek division on every hand. Enough already!

     And the “church” seems to be acting no better. It has been said that Sunday morning is the most divided time of the week. There are so many divisions it is not certain that all the breaches can be mentioned in this article. Still the racial divide cannot be ignored. There are “Black” churches and “White” churches. The “Chinese” and Korean” churches cannot be ignored. And while on the subject we might as well get to the “Hispanic” and other racially divided churches. But, the list goes on as to divides. There are Holiness churches and Pentecostal churches. Then comes the Baptist churches and the Freewill Baptist churches. Enough already!

     I Corinthians chapter twelve highlights some divisions that were in the early church. Paul sought to correct this heretical practice by showing that even though there were different administrations and gifts in operation in the Church all should be accepted as long as these works are indeed ordained by God. Verse twelve states that “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.” This statement clearly shows that divides in the church are not acceptable and that such divides should be healed. Further Paul makes it clear that there are many parts to the body but that they all work together for the good. Versus fourteen through twenty-one read:

For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?  And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?  If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?  But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.  And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body.  And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.

     Paul seemed to be saying enough already. There is no cause for divisions predicated upon superficial ideologies that serve only to bolster hatred. Even more these divides, by extension, exclude those that are seeking Christ but are turned away merely because they do not fit into the norm of the small society seeking only those that neatly fit into their shoebox of ideas. This is not of God and needs to be stopped immediately.

     God is a God of love and not of hate. It is impossible to love God while pulling away from the multiplicity of people that God has placed in the Church. Hatred is not an option and must be abhorred. God loves the world and all that are in it. It is for world that Jesus died and at no point does He suggests any divide. Enough already with this racism and divide in the house of God! It is past time we joined together with one voice in worshipping God and in serving humanity irrespective of nationality or skin tone.     

The Denominational Divide


     Now that I have been around Christendom for a little while I have found that there are a number of things that some count as Christian that are really far from Christ like. Take, for instance, the matter of denominations. There are about 39,000 “Christian” denominations worldwide. The problem is that there is no Scriptural context for denominations. Yes, it is certain that some believe that John the “Baptizer” was Baptist and that Peter was the first Pope. This further complicates an already complicated conundrum. But before I scrape the history of denominational divisions I think it only fair to lend some light to my worldview.

     First, I am a Christian, plain and simple. Nothing else comes even close to that declaration. But because this discussion on focused on denominationalism I must address my denominational preference. The fact is that I can be counted as “Catholic” because I am part of the universal church. And while being part of the universal church I lean towards “Holiness” because the Word of God clearly teaches that without holiness no man shall see God. Even more I am “Pentecostal” because the truths of what happened on the Day of Pentecost rings true even today. Yes, I can also be counted as “Baptist” because I believe that once repentance is made baptism is mandated. I am also “Apostolic” because I believe that the teachings of the Apostles were God-ordained.  As such some might say that I am interdenominational but I would rather count myself as nondenominational. My interests have little to do with denomination and everything to do with serving the True and Living God.

     Now that that is out of the way I can get to the heart of this message. I have heard some say that if you are not of this sect or that sect then you are not in Christ and that salvation has eluded you. Yet there are no evidences of such a divide in Scripture. I find nowhere in the text any discussion by Jesus that such a divide should exist. Even more Paul, in I Corinthians chapter three, bemoans division by reason of schisms. Paul’s rebuke was to prevent divides because of individuals rather than reliance on the Word of God. One might say that Paul sought to prevent denominational divides and showed that all that served the One and True God worked together rather than apart.

     It is for this reason that I urge all to lay aside idiosyncratic pontifications of irrelevant issues and return to the truths of the Word. If there is a simple reliance in God’s Word the denominational divide can be repaired. After all Jesus did not come to create a divided church rather He came for one body. Consider for a moment the Pauline discussion in I Corinthians 12. The fact is that denominational divides are doing harm to the church. Therefore we need to hang up our hang ups and let God be God and His Word stand for itself. In other words, let us come together and serve God!

     The fact is that denominations came about as a result of isms and schisms. Much of the fighting had little to do with the Word of God and much to do with selfish control. It is for this reason that I again urge all to lay aside denominational dogma and pick the Word. Careful and proper exegeses are in order so that we all speak and live the same thing so as to bring as many as possible to the foot of the cross.