May doctrines of the “chosen” ones not separate us.
In recent months I have come across situations among Christian families, related by biological blood and that of Christ, who are in crisis. Like all good families it is expected that our families will have conflict from time to time.
I think one of the most important reasons why Jesus is recorded saying, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I with them,” was not so much about the spirituality of worship and prayer, as more commonly we interpret this verse. But Jesus understood that among those who would call him God, there would always be conflict. Remembering that as believers, Jesus would be in the midst of all our relationships, the good and the not so good, would serve as a mediation tool.
REMINDER! Jesus as a lawyer has no preference for the parties. Jesus does not serve as a referee who dictates who is the winner and the loser. Among conflicts where relationships between the sisters of the church are severed, as members of the body of Christ we are all losers.
Jesus as the incarnation of the Word, his teachings and example of meekness, serve as a model to follow in our treatment towards one another.
Practices and doctrinal variants from one congregation to another (even within the same denomination), are the reasons why Christians engage in conflicts through social media, meetings, and conversations. In my humble opinion I think we cater to our egos in our desire to impose our way of believing and thinking of others. Some enter discussions with the altruistic urge to defend God and the “sound” doctrine; but it is actually very little that we think of God as we enter this dynamic.
When the Bible speaks of a chosen people and separated for God, we find the purposes of the crowds being able to distinguish us from others. Here are some verses that give us the key;
1. ADVERTISE THE VIRTUES OF GOD
1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, to announce the praises of him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”
All those who follow God in our Christian traditions have good things to announce about God. And regardless of the differences in our doctrines, what we say about how good God is, it is generally consistent. Can you say something good of the God of Catholics, Lutherans, Pentecostals, Methodists, Evangelicals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons? If only YOUR God is good; Revisit God!
2. FOR GOD, BECAUSE GOD WANTS
Deuteronomy 7:6-8 “For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen to be His people [a] of all the peoples on the face of the earth. The Lord did not set His love on you nor you chose to be more numerous than other people, they were the least of all peoples; 8 But because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to their fathers (ancestors) … ‘
Although this promise is written for Israel, we Christians and redeemed gentiles include ourselves in it. Not even Israel is chosen, separated, and holy by who they are, know, or do. Out of love, determination, and through covenant; God chooses us. Do we then do not worry about what we say, think, and do? Yes! In response to His love, not only towards God we owe respect, but to each other. Ephesians 1:4 signals of this understanding, that before we did anything, God had made a covenant for us.
3. STAY FOR YOUR NAME FOREVER
2 Chronicles 7:16 “For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name is in it for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there forever.”
In this short sample of biblical verses, we see that holiness has nothing to do with us and everything to do with God. Being separated should never be a reason for separating from each other. People will distinguish Christians under their own criteria. Jesus best expressed the desire of his heart in John 13:35, “By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Even more, that our Saviour left us an example from the cross, that amid the error of those who reviled him, spit, and tortured him, he did not focused on changing their opinion or belief but rather said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Jesus acknowledged that their wisdom was limited and prayed for them.
Let us pray for our humility to recognize that all our wisdoms are limited and to pray for one another continually.
PEACE AND NO TO WAR