"Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand." - Jesus (Matthew 12:25).
I've seen a disturbing thing this week. A Christian homeschooling mom posted a picture of her kids on their front porch with a bunch of boxes. She explained that this was their homeschool curriculum, which had just arrived in the mail, and that her kids were so excited to receive it that they wanted to start school right away! She closed the post by inviting readers to write in with the curriculum they used in their homeschools. Well. I have never seen such a response to a seemingly innocent question. This was posted on Saturday, and there continue to be several responses a day. The really surprising thing to me was the direction these responses started to take. People actually started berating each other for their choices of curriculum, or, in fact, schooling, as some public school parents also weighed in. The saddest thing was that the most abusive of these responses came from the people who were the most openly Christian. What??!!! I can only imagine the fun that Satan (whose name was invoked more than once, by the way) is having with this. In fact, I'm sure he enjoys everything that divides the church.
Paul said in Colossians 3:11, "Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all."
Jesus said: "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." (John 13:34-35). He also said: "Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." (Matthew 7:1-2).
If we, as Christians, continue to focus on our differences, we will fail. We are the Bride of Christ, people! That means ALL of us. Not just those of us who do everything exactly the same way. In Christ, there is no Baptist or Methodist, no Catholic or Greek Orthodox, no conservative or liberal, no homeschooler or school-attender. Jesus said that all men will know we are His disciples IF WE LOVE EACH OTHER! When people who don't know Jesus look at us, is that what they are seeing? I'm afraid that any non-Christians reading those blog comments did not see love. They saw judgement and division. Notice that Jesus did not condemn the people who came to him with their faults and weaknesses laid out, asking to be healed and forgiven. They were forgiven freely, without having to do anything but ask. Those with infirmities were healed. It didn't matter who or where they were. The people that Jesus argued with were the Scribes and Pharisees. Why? Because they were Jewish? No, so were the other people (and Jesus, of course). Because they were in charge? No. It was because they thought they knew better. They thought they were right. They judged the other Jews. They tried to make others follow their rules and their interpretations of the scriptures. They tried to out-God, God!
"Every kingdom divided against itself will be brought to desolation." God's kingdom cannot fall. God WILL win in the end. The question is, will it be because of us, or in spite of us? Let's present ourselves as a spotless bride, with a perfect wedding dress. Not one that's been clawed apart by our own hands.