Friday, January 16, 2009

Working together

A big issue in last fall’s election among Christians was whether to vote. Some said they could not vote in good conscience for either presidential candidate and so didn’t. Others said that withholding a vote was in reality voting for the candidate who was ahead in the pools, maybe not the best choice for Christians.

We won't know what we could have done if we'd worked together as believers.

This isn’t the first time Christian groups shot each other in the foot.

In Colorado, we had an amendment on the ballot to define life as occurring at conception. But the two most prominent pro-life groups in the state couldn’t work together on promoting the issue.
We move forward slowly because of the infighting.

Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, addressed the same problem there. The church was debating which hero to follow. Paul? Apollos? Cephas? Christ?

Paul appealed to the church so that “all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.” (1 Cor 1:10)

Earlier, Paul had asked the Corinthians to be holy, which means they would be set apart from the others in Corinth for God’s purposes. Now Paul asks them to be united with one another.

Separated from the world, united with fellow believers.

That was Paul’s hope for Corinth – and one that we still don’t have down today as followers of Jesus.

Paul’s fear was that “the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.” (1 Cor 1:17)

Our challenge today is to encourage healthy discussion among believers but to avoid the angry divisions that divide us. Our goal should not be to win but to be sure the cross of Christ is expressed in power and authority.

In the light of that, our opinions don’t matter nearly so much.

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