There are many issues that have become sources of division within the body of believers in Messiah, whether you’re part of a “Hebrew Roots” congregation or belong to a mainstream Christian church. As liberalism increases throughout the world, even things the Bible clearly defines as sin continue to cause division both inside and outside the church.
Let’s take gay marriage as an example. When Chick Fil A came out with their stance on this topic several years ago, people basically lost their minds over it. (Why anyone would expect a self-proclaimed Christian organization to take a pro stance on this topic is beyond me, but whatever.) Even though the Bible clearly defines homosexuality as a sin, and even though the Chick Fil A founders are known for their Christian beliefs, many—including those who called themselves Christians at the time—were threatening to boycott the restaurant simply because of their public stance.
(I, for one, am thankful Chick Fil A is still thriving and had some delicious waffle fries there just last weekend!)
There have been many other issues within the mainstream Christian church that have historically caused division; perhaps that’s why there are over 40,000 denominations in existence today…
Within the body of Messianic, Torah-observant, “whole-Bible” believers, there are a long list of other issues that people tend to label “divisive”. Here are a few:
- Flat earth
- God’s calendar
- The “pagan” origins of Christmas and Easter
- Whether Yahshua and YHWH are one and the same
- The identity of the antichrist
- The validity of the rapture concept
Personally, I enjoy researching these topics and reading about the different takes on them, and I have my own thoughts on what the truth is. But I have seen some nasty arguments arise on social media over these issues and don’t believe they should be causing such hatred. It honestly breaks my heart to see all of the name-calling and slander that’s going on among people who claim to follow Yahshua.
However, I’d like to propose that the source of the division may not be the topics themselves, but rather, those who often choose to engage in conversation around them. The reason I bring this up is because I’ve heard several people suggest we avoid such topics altogether, as all they seem to do is cause division. But if we can engage in healthy, challenging dialogue without fighting and name-calling, then why shouldn’t we? As followers of Yahshua, we should be able to have civil conversations on these matters. Our inability to do so is a reflection of the state of our relationship with him.
Many of us came into this walk, because we were seeking truth. And truth rightly divides. It’s not always going to result in peace and harmony as we’d all prefer. Yahshua said:
“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” Matt. 10:34-36
At his coming, he’s going to separate the sheep from the goats and the wheat from the tares.
What side you are on will be determined by how you represented His Kingdom in this life. Are you seeking to cause division by spewing hate toward those who think differently from you? Or, on the other side of the spectrum, are you avoiding certain conversations altogether out of fear of the disagreements and division that the revelation of truth may cause—even if it means the truth remains hidden?
Perhaps these are not “salvational issues”. But that doesn’t make them any less important. Truth is truth, and if we are truly seeking it out, we should be open to exploring topics that may lead to its revelation, even if it scares us. (More thoughts on that in my day 9 post…)
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Heb. 4:12
This post is day 31 in my 40 days of repentance series. Click here to read day 30.