1 Cor.11:17-19 – Now in giving this next instruction I do not praise you, because you come together not for the better, but for the worse. For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that divisions exist among you; and in part I believe it. For there also have to be factions among you, so that those who are approved may become evident among you.
I have to say, my heart is grieved over the strife and division I see in the church today. Fighting about so called science, vaccines, masks, and mandates. Solid Christians are on all the different sides. Nothing good can come from the strong positions many are taking; division is too often the outcome. The vaccine dilemma is just that- a dilemma. I have made a stand over the last two years about government over-reaching, whether it dealt with masking or vaccines, but have felt strongly that your medical decisions are your medical decisions. Bluntly… don’t tell me what to do. What I am getting at is this- our fellowship is based on the blood of Jesus, not on a political position that we take or don’t take about all of the issues swirling around us today. Who do we take communion with? Believers who are saved by grace through faith. That’s what communion is- our gathering together as the body of Christ. Where we go to church is vital; our relationship with the church is essential. Here is what William Barclay says about this passage:
“It may well be that the different groups were composed of those who held different opinions. A great scholar has said: ‘To have religious zeal, without becoming a religious partisan, is a great proof of true devotion.’ When we think differently from other people, we may in time come to understand them and even to sympathize with them, if we remain in fellowship with them and talk things over with them; but, if we shut ourselves off from them and form our own little group while they remain in theirs, there is never any hope of mutual understanding.
He drew a circle that shut me out–
Rebel, heretic, thing to flout–
But love and I had the wit to win–
We drew a circle that took him in.”
The bottom line is this- the body of Christ is diverse. It is supposed to be. We are not all alike and we all have different shades of belief. We need one another. Rather than fighting about our beliefs, let’s turn our emphasis on the lost. This is the moment of the last day harvest. We dare not miss it.