Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Unity in Christ

Philippians 4:2

be of the same mind in the Lord

Oprofilene of the things that I believe hurts the cause of Christ the most is disunity in the Body of Christ. We don’t have to all think alike or agree on everything – but disunity is damaging to the cause of Christ.  Disunity in the Body of Christ – in the various denominations – and in the local churches can all do damage to the cause of Christ.

Disunity can be seen in the simple fact that there many denominations that call themselves after Christ. I’ve always thought that the unbelieving world must be so confused – thinking if Christ is the answer – the only true way to the Father and to heaven – why are there so many of His followers at odds with one another. At times our disagreements are so petty too – it seems to me.

Not only is this disunity seen in the many denominations that call themselves after Christ – it can be seen within those denominations as well. The recent battle within a variety of denominations – the United Methodist Church among them – over issues like same-sex marriage or whether same-sex relations are sinful or acceptable – reveals this disunity. Many believe our view of Scripture is part of our disunity – our differences in the very basics of the faith. How can we present Christ to a broken world when we aren’t even sure – within our own walls – what following Christ means?

This disunity can be seen within individual churches as well. Some churches have power struggles going on between members – between members and pastors – between families. There are churches that are so bound up in quarrels and disunity that it would seem near impossible to show someone Jesus!

This disunity – among Christians as a whole – or within denominations or individual churches – can do nothing positive – sisters and brothers. We need to find a way to settle our differences so that Christ might shine rather than our disunity.  And it is not as easy as saying one side is not following after Christ or not Christian.

Paul was writing to two sisters of the faith who had a disagreement on going. Let’s read today’s passage in partial context. Philippians 4:1–3 – 1 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends! I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.

Paul wanted unity in the faith. He wanted people to see Jesus when they looked at the churches he helped to establish. He didn’t want people picking sides in arguments. He didn’t want people deciding to split their allegiances between sides within the church. He wanted them to settle their differences – to be of the same mind in the Lord.

We can’t change everyone around us – but we can change ourselves! Romans 12:18 – If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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April 8, 2014 - Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , ,

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