A Church Divided

Recently, a close friend asked me my position on homosexuality. As a Christian, I thought my position would be obvious. I believe exactly what the Bible teaches; homosexuality is sin, just like every fornication, adultery pedophilia and bestiality:

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 homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).

Then I realized, because there are so many “Christian” denominations embracing sin, there is no way for a non-believer to automatically know the spiritual position of someone who claims to be a “Christian”. This rush to compromise the Gospel of Jesus Christ in order to keep up with cultural changes is dividing the church and causing confusion in the world.

In reality, there is no division in the church. What appears as division is actually false advertising. There are people who claim to be Christians but do not believe in the all the teachings of the Bible. Some so-called “Christians” no longer believe in the inerrancy of God’s Word, so they ignore the Apostle Paul’s exhortation to the church in Rome:

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:1-2).

God’s people are called to be living sacrifices to the Lord, not the world, transformed by the renewing of their minds, by reading and studying God’s Word. That is the only way anyone can be transformed and know God’s will. They have to know His Word.

This exhortation was not just for the Christians in Rome. God gave us His Word and He inspired Paul to write these words, so we would have this exhortation today. God is calling us, His people, to be separated, just as He called out His people in Isaiah 52:11 and Ezekiel 20:34, 41. Paul the Apostle quoted from these verses when he told the Corinthian church: Therefore, “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:17).

God knew we would have to live in the world, but we were called to be separate from it. We are called to be salt and light to those who do not know the Lord, to share the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the message of hope, which only comes from the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We were never called to become one with the world. As a matter of fact, we were told to NEVER be one with the world:

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14).

This apparent division in the church has caused confusion in the world. Unbelieving people no longer recognize a real Christian. They look at Evangelical Christians as bigots and haters, because they embrace the Word of God, word for word, and do not accept the sins the world has embraced. Because there are people who claim to be Christians and yet accept sin, those who truly follow God’s Word are seen as crazy and legalistic. We have to open our eyes and see this is Satan’s assault on the church.

If you call yourself a Christian, you have to acknowledge the Bible as the inspired Word of God. As a Christian, you cannot pick and choose what you believe is God’s Word and what is not. Temporal man does not have the wisdom of God and is unable to determine what is of God and what is of man. That is why He gave us His Word, so we would know exactly what He wants to say to us:

Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness”; and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile” (1 Corinthians 3:18-20).

Unbelievably, I have even heard people claim to be Christians and deny the inspiration of Paul’s writings. Look at the New Testament. These “Christians” do not believe 14 of the 27 books of the New Testament are inspired by God. Despite Paul quoting and referencing the Old Testament in all of his letters, many people insist he was writing his own opinion and not the Words of the Lord. However, Christ Himself held up the authority of the Old Testament, which is the basis for Paul’s writings: For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled (Matthew 5:18).

As the church in the United States comes under greater scrutiny and more intense persecution, it is vital for God’s people to stand together in unity. This does not mean we compromise God’s Word, but we stand firm in it and allow the Lord to reveal who is truly following Him. If we are true to His Word, those who are embracing sin and the world will be seen for who they really are. Remember, these words spoken by the Lord and search your heart to see if you are truly one of His children:

“Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matthew 7:22-23).

~Staff Writer