My pastor, who also happens to be my father, preached on I Corinthians 1 yesterday. He spoke about being divided over foolish things and quarreling over opinions which, though founded in reason, in the end are merely opinions. I have thought a lot about this recently. I have wondered why their needs to be multiple small Christ following churches on the same road in one town. I have wondered why one group of Christians at one organization find it so hard to get along with another group at another organization.
I have also been reading through C.S. Lewis’s “Mere Christianity.” In one chapter he discusses both the problems of being an Individualist (forgetting that other humans belong to the same organism as yourself) and a Totalitarian (suppressing others’ differences and making everyone be the same person). About these two problems he says: “I feel a strong desire to tell you-and I expect you to feel the same way-which of these two errors is the worse. That is the devil getting at us. He always sends errors into the world in pairs-pairs of opposites. And he always encourages us to spend a lot of time thinking which is the worse. You see why, of course? He relies on your extra dislike of one error to draw you gradually into the opposite one. But do not let us be fooled. We have to keep our eyes on the goal and go straight through between both errors. We have no other concern than that with either of them.”
I think this idea of balance can be applied to a lot of other things than just which sin is worse. I think it can be applied to many areas. Political views? Choice of education? Traditions? Standards? Now things like these can and should be discussed. But what these issues shouldn’t do, unless unrepentant sin or denial of the truth is involved, is cause us to separate. Christians are all one under Christ, and his glory should be our ultimate goal. If we have differences, then discuss, challenge, and do your best to change yourself to be as Christlike as you can be. But whatever you do, don’t let opinions that do not sacrifice the truth, or the ultimate goal of glorifying Christ, cause Christ to be divided. Because, really, he isn’t. And he never will be. It would be a shame to get to eternity and look back at all the good we could have done and the people we could have reached if we had just been able to look past our pride and get along because of our common bond in Jesus.
I CORINTHIANS 1:10