Keep It Together
by Matt Smith
Thomas Rainer, president and CEO of Lifeway Christian Ministries, has a compilation of some of the funniest (and saddest) things that have caused divisions and/or splits in churches. Here are a sampling of these wonderful reasons to disrupt the body of Christ:
1. A 45-minute heated argument over the type of filing cabinet to purchase: black or brown; 2, 3, or 4 drawers
2. A big church argument over the discovery that the church budget was off $0.10. Someone finally gave a dime to settle the issue
3. Arguments over what type of green beans the church should serve
4. Two different churches reported fights over the type of coffee. In one of the churches, they moved from Folgers to a stronger Starbucks brand. In the other church, they simply moved to a stronger blend. Members left the church in the latter example
5. Some church members left the church because one church member hid the vacuum cleaner from them. It resulted in a major fight and split
While we can’t help but crack a smile at some of those (perhaps you could add a similar type story to that list as well), we also must realize how much Satan really enjoys seeing those types of things happen as well. For that reason, Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 1:10, “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” Paul says that he beseeching or begging the Corinthian church to stay united and to end the divisions that had started to take root in the church.
From further reading in chapter 1, we see that the church had started to divide itself by who certain members looked up to as their leader/representative. Some identified with Paul, some with Peter, some with Apollos, while others, certainly the most spiritual, simply stated that they were “of Christ.” From verses 13-15 we can ascertain that some of the groups within the church were based on who baptized who while others no doubt had other reasons identify with a certain leader. Either way, these cliques in the church were disrupting the unity that Paul and ultimately God Himself desired. Paul wrote that this body of believers should be “perfectly joined together of the same mind”. Wow, what a perfect way to describe the unity that should be evident in any body of believers, including Anthony Baptist. Let’s not let anything, no matter how “big” or petty it might be, to get in the way of that type of unity.