*****I HAVE MOVED!*****
*****Find me here: sarahannrogers.com*****

Welcome! I'm so glad you've found your way here and hope you enjoy your time connecting.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Long Division

Now, dear brothers and sisters, I appeal to you by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ to stop arguing among yourselves. Let there be real harmony so there won't be divisions in the church. I plead with you to be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.  For some members of Chloe's household have told me about your arguments, dear brothers and sisters.  Some of you are saying, "I am a follower of Paul." Others are saying, "I follow Apollos," or "I follow Peter, " or "I follow only Christ."  Can Christ be divided into pieces?  (1 Corinthians 1:10-13)
For a couple of years, these verses have come up to my heart and mind constantly.  Going to a Christian university and, well, pure growing up have both revealed to me all of the factions and divisions in the body of Christ.  Just yesterday, I was talking to a friend about this church pitted against that church, and I have to admit, it broke my heart.
In these verses, Paul is speaking straight to us.  What if he said, "Some of you are saying, "I am Baptist,"  or "I am Methodist," or "I am Calvinist," or "I am non-denominational"?
I understand that sometimes we legitimately believe differently.  But is our Jesus different?  Is our small understanding of truth that important to throw it in the face of our brothers and sisters?
I sit in religion classes where people viciously argue over Calvinism and Arminianism as if their lives depended on it.  I'm not even going to tell you what I believe.  Not that I don't think it's important... I just can't help but wonder if Christ wants us to argue about it?  If he wants us to hate each other over it?  If he somehow, under these circumstances, all of the sudden allows us to gossip about one church or one way and put down those who are in relationship with him?

I'm so interested to hear your thoughts.

I really don't believe that we should be fighting.  Sin is one thing.  But different ideas?  Are they worth the division? 

What would it be like if we lived and worked harmoniously, to be
"of one mind, united in thought and purpose?"


  1. Oh Sarah, you're so right! This breaks my heart. When will the church start looking DIFFERENT to the world? When will we start loving, and agreeing to disagree w/ kindness and respect for one another? When will we decide to embrace peace and not factions? When will we start putting others preferences above our own? When will I start to be proud to be called a Christian, and not feel some twinge shame or embarrassment for the face that our body so often shows to the world?- Longing for that day...

  2. Love this! It's so so so true! I feel the same way when talking politics with Christians, if we don't believe exactly the same thing then somehow my salvation is in trouble. It's just plain crazy. I never talk about what I believe politically anymore because I am sick of feeling like I'm a bad person if I don't believe the exact same thing as everyone else.
    Also I was with two of my closest friends this past weekend and a theological discussion broke out, some of us had the same opinion and some did not. Nothing got heated at all and in the end we all agreed that it really didn't matter if the others believed something slightly different about a minor detail because the main point is Jesus saved us from the depths of our sins and washed us clean with His blood. And I am SO thankful I can have a discussion wtih these two women I adore (and our husbands) and realize that we still love each other just as much after the conversation as we did before. Satan uses these debates and differences in huge ways in the church and it's so sad that more people don't see it for what it really is. (hopefully your post will open some eyes :) )

  3. i think that as long as we're all humans there will always be divisions. i think it's important for christians to agree on the fundamentals and then beyond that, there will always be differences of opinion. even paul and barnabas had to part ways (acts 15) because of a disagreement. -but God, in His sovereignty, multiplied the ministry that was being done by them because of the separation. so, i don't think differences of opinion is always a bad thing.

  4. I completely agree with you! I think that "organized religion" has watered down the Truth so much that we can't even remember what we are fighting for. Who cares if you are sprinkled or dunked or how you take communion. I believe how I believe because it is what I feel comfortable with. My faith is about a personal relationship...and that doesn't have to be argued or defended. In my opinion, if we are living the lives we are called to live our loves will be SO different that our words won't be necissary to explain that there is a difference! Hope you have a great day and thank you for getting me thinking so early this morning!

  5. I completely agree. This is one of those things that seems to be getting worse as we get older. For a religion that revolves around love and acceptance, we're not doing a very good job of loving and accepting. Woof! This is a very true and very "bon mot." Thanks!

  6. you're 100% correct. That's why, when people ask, I just say, "I'm a follower of Christ." Because that's it - that's all that matters! Denominations don't - whether or not we're doing what we can to follow Christ the best we know how is all that matters... that and loving our neighbor AS OURSELVES!

    Thanks so much for sharing this!!! :)

  7. I'm taking a class this quarter on Foundations of Christian Thought. It makes me really sad how we're reading all of these philosophers and theologists who keep arguing that each other is wrong on their idea of Christ, when really they all just want to be as close to him as possible. Maybe one day we'll stop these nonsensical divisions and just be one in our love for Jesus. =]

  8. oh goodness. i am so anti-conflict. i think more because of my personality than what i actually think i would shy away from arguments over religion. good post!

  9. I simply could not agree with you more. Having grown up in church as a Pastor's daughter, I have beheld a LOT. I've been Baptist, Assemblies of God, Pentecostal, Non Denominational etc. I've seen it all. At the end of the day, though it really is so simple. The funny thing is God never says anything about a denimination in the Bible. It is never mentioned. Ever. I find it a little funny that there is SO much division among denominations and belief systems. Having different opinions and beliefs is okay but when it begins to affect people's hearts, splitting churches churches, causing broken fellowship, breeding bitterness etc. None of those things are of God and I imagine that it completely breaks His heart. It's simple, really. Humans tend to complicate such simple concepts.

    Loved your thoughts on this matter!

  10. it seems i've constantly been around people who are very "into" their denomination, as if the denomination itself defines their faith. it breaks my heart because JESUS is the only thing that should define anyone's faith. it's hard not to get wrapped up in it all, but sometimes getting overly frustrated with them just brings us down to that level. what a conundrum. but God is still good, so that's all we need to worry about! :)

    (p.s. i love that verse because no one ever realizes that YES, my name is actually in the bible! *grin*)

  11. I think it is important to TALK about what we believe. Arguing is unacceptable if it is spiteful, but we NEED to search for truth in everything. Otherwise we don't know why we do things and we start doing things just because, well, "that's the way we do it!" In specific doctrines have much more importance than people think. They shape WHY and HOW we do things... using one of your examples for instance: Arminians believe people believe based on one person's free will sharing Christ with another person who has a free will. I would personally hope people's salvation is not based on my strivings. I'm a pretty big failure much of the time. Calvinists believe God has the responsibility of saving people and uses believers to do it. In other words, I strive because I love God, but I don't have to fret or search for a new tactic to help that person believe. I just have to be faithful to share... obviously I take much comfort in being a Calvinist, and I wouldn't have that comfort without a few great biblical conversations along the way to shape my beliefs. I get fairly peeved when people take the politically correct route and think we should just keep our doctrines to ourselves in order not to offend anyone. Christians wouldn't be where they are today without duking out their beliefs with heretics and those who water down the gospel of Jesus. I love the Arminian members of my church family even if we disagree... AND we worship at the same church! How cool is that?!

  12. We all believe in the same basic thing... the Bible. God's word. One may argue there are different translations... but we all believe Jesus is our savior. I actually encountered this issue when someone asked me if you were not catholic would you go to Hell. I laughed a little and then tried to explain. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ. We should not argue. We should lift each other up. We are an Earthly demonstration of God's love. that is our job till the day we die... and if we get to caught up in denominations and rituals we will stray to far away from God and his calling. Who wants to come into a religion in which everyone inside it is arguing? I wouldn't. What I am saying is you must show love towards everyone... so that they too can experience the ineffable and never dying love of Christ.


  13. okay, my brain is too tired to think too deeply on this...but yes, all in all, I agree completely. Jesus is our Savior and our doctrine is the Holy Word. As long as that is the foundation of your faith, I think we should all just get along. sadly, we're humans...and earthly viewpoints and our sinful nature gets in the way at times. If we worked harder with getting along with each other as Christians...one body in Christ...maybe we would be more inviting to non-christians and those simply looking for the one true faith.


Your words make my heart smile.