And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, 'Take this and divide it among yourselves.'
Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division.
So there was a division among the people because of Him.
Diversity among Christians is beautiful. Consider denominations as flowers. Each is different, but every fragrance is an aroma of Christ. None are perfect, because Earth carries disease. But we trust in the Master Gardener to treat, prune and cultivate His flowers. Extermination is not our job. It's His, but He only uses it as the last resort.
Sectarianism among Christians is divisive. Consider judges as flower pickers. They enter the Master's garden and choose a flower they like. They find fault with the others and try to stomp them out. Or spray them with killing words. They deny God's right to manage His Own garden. Even worse, they make it look ugly to others. Outsiders pass by with a smirk.
Could sectarianism be the reason a godly American president refused to join a church? 'That I am not a member of any Christian Church is true; but I have never denied the truth of the Scriptures; and I have never spoken with intentional disrespect of religion in general, or of any denomination of Christians in particular' (Abraham Lincoln).
Jesus says a house divided cannot stand. Right now, His church needs to stand united as the greatest house on Earth: one that is beautiful inside and out--including its garden.
If tares have grown in the midst of His field, God has His Own task force to remove them at the proper time.*
'The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His Kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth' (Matthew 13:41-42).
Those wailing may include flower pickers, a.k.a. judgmental Christians. As Christ followers, our job description is not to pick flowers, but to love them all.
To Be Continued...
* See The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares in Matthew 13:24-30
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Sectarianism series.