The sin of division
Today I read a blog post from a UMC Pastor that is struggling with yesterday’s special council vote to strike down their ‘One Church Plan’. His question was, “Why are we so different?” and immediately the question popped up in my mind, “Why do you need us to be so alike? What is wrong with diversity within the body? Why do we need to all be alike and sing kum by yah?” And then it struck me; we are different because we are identifying in self rather than as Kings kids, the single unifying factor. And in ‘self’ there are degrees of sin we are holding on to. So, the real question is why are we all hanging on to our different sins? But no one wants to talk about sin.
Let me say, my heart goes out to the UMC church and their obvious split on the matters of inclusivity of the LGBTQ community. Division is a tough thing to go through, but go through it they must. A church divided cannot stand, and this has been a dividing issue for decades. Whatever the outcome, unity must be achieved even if it is unity within each side after division. But the sin on both sides will still have to be dealt with. If it is left alone it will only further divide so it can conquer and bring destruction. That is it’s nature.
If you have been following me for a while you already know my stance on the LGBTQ issue. I don’t need to go into that. I love all of my brothers and sisters in Christ, even those that sin. And thank goodness that I do. If I couldn’t love the ones that sin then I couldn’t love, not even myself, because we all sin.
Loving vs. Condoning
I have had friends that have made terrible choices and have fallen into sin. I have watched it tear their marriages and families apart. It has frustrated me to no end, but fixing their problem was not my job. My job is to remain a sister and to love them in and through it. And loving them included being frank about their choices, and about their sin.
These friends are sinners…… shocker……. and so am I. I sin, but I don’t create my identity around it and I don’t make a lifestyle of it. I have fallen to the various temptations of this world and my flesh more times than I care to remember. But the requirement of the cross is not that we don’t sin, but that we crucify that sin and walk away from it resurrected in power over it. If you haven’t been resurrected in the power over it – did you ever really crucify it?
Sin crucified=resurrected in power
I think the problem is that people want to go to the cross with their sin and just lay it at Jesus’ feet, avoiding the pain of having to get up on that cross and die with Him. Some may even get up there for a moment, but jump back down as the pain increases and the fear of death overwhelms them.
Jesus had to discipline himself to STAY on the cross until He died. He could have called down heaven, struck everyone dead and been healed in body. He could have chosen himself over all of us. He was fully man and I am positive the thought went through his mind. Praying in the garden involved the blood, sweat, and tears of disciplining his flesh and his mind to go through the process of overcoming death and sin, and it wasn’t even His own.
How many of us have had to take on that kind of discipline? What makes us think we shouldn’t have to? We all claim to be followers of Christ, right? And He is our model, right? So why is it that we want to gloss over our painful journey of crucifying our sin until we have been resurrected in the power over it?
The Church needs to crucify sin
If we, as the Church, went back to embracing this process, the Church would be filled with those that walk in the manifest power and authority over sin. What a power-filled Church that would be.
So, I close this out with a question; Whom do we love the most? Ourselves? Our brothers and sisters? Or Jesus? Because we will emulate that which we love. And, if we say we love Jesus, not only will we stay on that cross until we die and resurrect in power, but we will love others enough to encourage them to do the same.
Otherwise sin will stay in our life and have the power to steal, kill, and destroy within the Church, until death do us part.