In a time of our history when not only as a nation we should be united for the greater good of one another because of the impact of COVID-19 but more so within the church. This is a time that is hard for the world but the church can shine bright but the problem is there is a division within the church.
First, we have had division on whether the church should meet in person or not. Personally, we have had this conversation with those who have felt like the church is in the wrong for not pushing to meet in person because the goes against our civil liberties while we know others who argue we need to listen to the government out of love for the neighbor.
Second, the issue of masks. Yes! Within the church, there were heated debates about wearing a mask or not. Same thing, the liberties we have to not wear a mask or to wear one for the love of other people (I am not making this up) This is the 2020 debate among Christians, forget smoking, drinking, or tattoos as the past debates of Christian liberties, now it is to wear a mask or not.
Third, which has been a divisive issue for most of Christendom, race, and racism. If you do not know what is going on across America in response to the death of George Floyd. In America, we have the freedom to use our voice and to fight against injustice. As Christians, we should care about how every human being regardless of color is made in the image of God. All of this points to the spiritual battle that is taking place. More now than ever the church needs to be united. In fact, because of Christ, we are united!
We have an enemy
I am grieved at what is going on. This should not be happening. This post is not to dissect the situation but to remind the church of the enemy we have who wants to divide the church. We see even in the book of Acts that if the devil can not stop the church through persecution then he turns his attention inwardly. The Bible tells us that the enemy called a thief comes kills, steals, and destroys (John 10:10). Or he is also described as our adversary and vividly like a roaring lion seeking one to devour (1 Peter 5:8).
There are sin and sinful actions that take place. Hurt and pain. Death and chaos. Injustice and oppression. These take place in this life that shouldn’t but because of the Fall this happens (Gen. 3). This is where the church needs to be beacons of light because Jesus is the light of the world (Matt 5:14; John 8:12).
In Christ, we are One
When there is hurt and even more hurt, we must come together to pray, to care, to comfort. The Gospel not only saves us from sin, we have peace with God, we have eternal life, but the gospel also unites other believers together because we are one in Christ. Unity is necessary! The Puritan Richard Baxter is known for his desire and pursuit of Christian unity. He wrote,
In necessary things, unity; in doubtful things, liberty; in all things, charity.
The Apostle Paul reminds us of this truth, “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves[d] or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit” (1 Cor 12:12-13). Unity is necessary because of the work of the gospel.
The Apostle Paul mentions race and status, regardless, we are one in Christ. Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection defeated sin and united image-bearers who are in Christ. Church let us work together, stand together, love together, weep together, cry together, and long for Christ’s return together because he is making all things new (Rev. 21:5).
If we want to fight, then fight to remember our unity in Christ. Be careful knowing that the enemy is wanting that wedge to hinder the work of the gospel going out. At a time that the world is going to listen, let us boldly proclaim the gospel. The world is watching, let us be gospel lights!