“two seagulls (Christians ???!!!)…in conflict! Looking at different directions…”, DS
It is a fact: Christians, we live not always in unity! We do not always dwell in peace between us! We are not real followers of Christ when it comes to the way we understand the Word of God and its application. Obviously, our problem does not remain within our community, as we are part of a whole society and planet Earth. That’s why Mahatma Gandhi said the famous quote:
“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
I assume that Gandhi had read the Bible or maybe not. We know that he was not a believer. When we are not believers – that means, not guided by the Holy Spirit – our capability reaches up to just read the Bible but the word is not alive to us – if you know what I mean. Gandhi and so many others might have read the Bible but when it comes to application of its value, they need to see relevancy between the teachings of Christ and what Christian communities act upon. When they do not see words and acts to come together…so, they wonder! Mark Twain said that we may be the only Bible that somebody else reads. We carry a great responsibility!
I will repeat one of my favourite verses (yes, I know, you are tired to read it often in this blog! sorry…)
“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”
We discuss about our differences within the Christian Community as it it something new. It is not! It was happening since the beginning of the existence of the Church. We read – a lot – in the Bible of how the first Christians quarrelling between them.
Of course, through the History of the Church – a period of 2000yrs – we learn of all divisions of the Body, the splits, the wars, the killings. All take place sadly…in the name of God. Not a God that is debated between different faiths but the same God who we, Christians, believe in and the only Lord of lords, God of gods and King of kings.
Let’s have a look of what was happening 2000yrs ago in the so called first churches. We might learn something that we can apply today. We might learn to focus on our similarities as various parts of the same Body, than dwell into our differences.
We are a family. Families are related by blood. We are related through the Blood of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. It is true that we do not chose our family but we always try to find a way to stick together and keep supporting each other. It is the same with the Body of Christ.
Let’s have a look on some issues in the first Churches:
“You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere men? What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe–as the Lord has assigned to each his task.”
We can see that there was conflict, jealousy of who was better, more righteous, more productive, who was bringing more people to the Lord. It seems that there was a competition within the Body, trying to prove who is better! They have forgotten that it is the Lord who saves, the Lord who creates, the Lord who heals. They forgot that it is not by might or by power but by His Spirit, says the Lord!
“For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder. I am afraid that when I come again my God will humble me before you, and I will be grieved over many who have sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual sin and debauchery in which they have indulged.”
“Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some.”
“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?”
Honesty, I wonder what else can be added on the above verses! We read about quarrels, jealously, anger, slander, gossip, wrong teachings, creation of doctrines out of the Word of God! Wow, it is overwhelming! Does this description reminds you our days?
Do you really wonder why Gandhi said what he said?
The most important to keep practicing is:
Happy Moments – Praise God. Difficult Moments – Seek God. Quiet Moments – Worship God. Painful Moments – Trust God. Every Moment – Thank God.
IT IS ALL ABOUT HIM and not about our doctrines and our self – righteousness!
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