Denominational Division and the Church

October 5, 2009 at 8:25 pm (Church news) (, , , , , , , , )

Church-split-5

We all see it. We all know it’s happening.

The church in America is dying. And it is dying because of a denominational separation caused by the debate thats raging about how to interpret certain passages in the Bible.

The church is on life-support and some who call themselves “christians” are trying to pull the plug.

I don’t say that lightly, but someone has to say it. Someone has to stand up in this debate and speak the truth! Churches and denominations are splitting and dividing Christianity right in front of us.

We’re not just talking trends either, like attendance being up during the school year and down during vacation season. We’re talking death. Actually, we’re talking suicide, because the church in America brought this on itself.

How, you may ask? Two ways.

First, by failing to maintain an absolute commitment to the written Scriptures. More specifically, failing to adhere to the original writing and context of the Bible.  With prohibitions against ordaining women and homosexuals, directives such as marriage being between a man and a woman, and the terrible penalty and consequence of sin, the Word of God contains many aspects that do not fit into our “modern” culture. And since “modern” culture has permeated our “modern” churches across the United States, churches and denominations find themselves having to take a side in the debate on these and other topics.

But God’s Word has not changed.

We do not need a new translation that is gender-neutral, so that women can be ordained as elders in the church. God’s original requirement for men to serve as elders is as valid now as it was when Paul wrote the letter we refer to as 1 Timothy.

We do not need a new interpretation of the Bible that removes “hate language” directed at homosexuals.  Even this passage is a passage of love:

1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 (NASB) – 9Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.

This is not a call to hate. It is a call to love! We are to proclaim that no matter what sin or lifestyle a person is currently involved in, there is freedom in Jesus Christ.  God is not excluding them from His kingdom. On the contrary, He has invited them to come by the forgiveness that is available through Jesus’s death and resurrection.

But they are not answering the call to leave their sin behind and be made clean.  Instead, they are finding a sympathetic ear in churches today and are being invited to lead the churches as God’s representative, as if God would allow a homosexual to speak for Him.

The Scriptures are being changed to accommodate these sinful behaviors instead of the sinful behaviors being changed by the power of the Word of God.

This has led us to the second way that the church in America is dying, which is through the destruction of unity that we should share as brothers and sisters in Christ.  If we cannot come together in Christ united behind God’s Word, what chance do we have to come together as we tear down the truth of  the Bible and build a different “truth” based on poor interpretation and our own sinful desires?

Thank God that no matter how badly we mess up here on earth, He is faithful to us and will take the death of the church as we know it and resurrect something more beautiful, more pure, and more glorious.  As a goldsmith separates the dross from the pure gold, so the Lord Jesus puts His church through the fires of testing to separate that which is pure and true from that which is worthless.

I pray that we are found to be precious in His sight!

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