In this age of statistics, athletes, coaches, and political leaders have so many numbers to analyze and crunch daily. While I am used to hearing stats on television, I recently heard a shocking statistic from the pulpit last Sunday. Due to political division within the Christian churches in the United States, 38 percent of pastors considered leaving the ministry in 2021. Perhaps two years of dealing with the Coronavirus have pushed preachers to their breaking point.
But I urge and entreat you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in perfect harmony and full agreement in what you say, and that there be no dissensions or factions or divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in your common understanding and in your opinions and judgments. 11 For it has been made clear to me, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions and wrangling and factions among you, 1 Corinthians 1:10-11.
Division is the action of separating something into parts or the process of being separated. Whenever a large group of people come together to meet, there will always be political factions who agree on issues. As a former elder, these sects often begin innocently within Sunday School classes. Depending on the particular leader and their desire for power, a spirit of unity can be maintained by the mature or used a weapon of evil to create dissension.
If I am detained, you may know how people ought to conduct themselves in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and stay (the prop and support) of the Truth. 16 And great and important and weighty, we confess, is the hidden truth (the mystic secret) of godliness. He [[b]God] was made visible in human flesh, justified and vindicated in the [Holy] Spirit, was seen by angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world, [and] taken up in glory, 1 Timothy 3:15-16.
The context of the passage above is guidelines given to a teenage pastor for selecting biblical leaders within his church. If you lower your standards for somewhere that you may like, you open the door for future division. Paul makes a great point by saying “if a man can’t control his own household, how can they lead a church.” While some may refer to this as old fashioned, this is the living Word of God, Hebrews 4:12. May this blog help you improve the unity within your own church.
by Jay Mankus