CHURCH DIVIDED

By: Harold Moreland

Our Enemy Is Not The Beloved:
Beloved, our Savior's prayer for us found in the Gospel of John chapter 17 was that we would be ONE, just as He and His Father are ONE. Your brother and sister are not your enemies and they should not be your focus of blame, ridicule, or judgment. It has become very clear to me during the recent social and civil unrests, in both our nation as well as the Middle East, that the enemy (Satan and his forces) are creating situations that are causing the Church to disagree at so many levels. We are at war with our own family members!! We must recognize that we all have only one enemy, and it's not the Beloved. He (Satan) is using this same tactic within America, turning us against one another, creating a distraction while he moves in for the kill. Any people, culture, or nation cannot stand if it's divided against itself because others who are unified will eventually take advantage of their division and inability to be in agreement as to their beliefs, goals, and purpose (Mark 3:24-25). The time is now for unity, but unity takes humility, and humility must always be willing to take the blame, but pride always wants to be right. We ALL must point the finger at ourselves, not at each other.
Denominational Delusion:
The world looks upon the Church with disgust, and we have given them every right to do so. We impose on them a Gospel that is more of an ideology than a partnership with a real God-Man who desires for all to be welcome into His Kingdom. But we connect ourselves with certain "clicks" within this Kingdom, that really do not even exist. In Him there is no Catholic, Protestant, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, or whatever other name you want to call your "group" or "clan". There are only Christians, and they are individually loved, honored, respected, and cherished by Jesus as His Beloved. There is not one of these denominations or any individual ministry that is closer to or more blessed than the other, and that just does not set well with some of us. Everyone wants to be "The Group" or "His favorite". Beloved, take a lesson from Jesus Himself in Matthew 18:1-7 when He was asked who would be the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. His answer was "the one who becomes like a child", meek, humble, and dependant on others, not arrogant, proud, and independent on ones own religion, group, or theological beliefs. There is nothing wrong with any of these denominations, where the problem exists is within our acceptance and horizontal unity between them. You may gravitate to one or the other because of theology, community, emotional preference, or even the transparency we feel that is within the congregation we attend, but if Jesus is Lord of the group of your choice, then Beloved, you are as much a part of His Kingdom than any of the other groups.
Movement Mania:
And as if the denominational divisions are not enough, we had to create "Movements", labeling ourselves, and thus separating ourselves from other groups or movements by isolating ourselves within one movement. We have "The Evangelical Movement", "The Prophetic Movement", "The Prosperity Movement", "The Faith Movement", "The Prayer Movement", "The Healing Movement", and I'm sure there are more that I am not even aware of, but in reality there is only one movement, and it consists of those who "move to follow Jesus as Their Leader". I love the slogan that the Marines use, "No man left behind", this is our Savior, this is the heart of The Father, and this should be our heart. I once heard it said that there should be a "Meekness Movement", but it's not attractive enough for our spiritual egos, however, if the meek shall inherit the earth, should we not all have to be a part of that movement if we expect to live with Him in Paradise? There is nothing wrong with gravitating to a group that is labeled as "A Movement", as long as Jesus Christ is the Leader of that movement, but you should never consider the movement that you gravitate to to be "The Movement" and/or consider yourself any better, more knowledgeable, or more Spiritual than any of the other movements.
Civil War Has Escalated:
When I heard the news of the recent Supreme Courts decision to change the definition of marriage in America, I was deeply distressed in my spirit and wept for our country, but having to witness the social-media civil war among the Beloved in the aftermath of that decision was far more disheartening to me than the decision itself. Christians arguing their differences of opinions under other Christians posts, revealing to the world to which we are supposed to be examples, that we are no different than them, maybe even worse!! Again, as stated in the second paragraph, the world is sick and tired of our ideology, if this is all we have to offer them, then we are better off keeping our ideas and opinions to ourselves. There is something called "respect", may we take heed to Jesus' words in Matthew 18:10, "Beware that you don't look down on any of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of my heavenly Father". If you don't agree with another brother or sisters blog, post, or opinion, then either keep your negative response to yourself or, if you feel it is necessary, message them privately, and do so in love and respect, understanding that your opinion could be just as wrong as theirs, no matter how convinced you are that "your right". We are instructed to "encourage one another", not to "discourage one another" (1 Thess. 5:11)

Closing Comment

In closing, I urge all the Beloved to be examples of true Christians, in all humility, meekness, compassion, and respect, especially those in leadership positions (pastors, teachers, prayer room directors, etc.). Lets be examples of the One who we follow and begin to not just cry out for revival, but start one by being the answer to Jesus' prayer in John 17, let us be One as He and His Father are One. Unity is our most powerful weapon, not our need to "be right".

Click Here for IHOP-NOLA's Website