There are some things that you just don’t do. “You don’t tug on Super Man’s cape. You don’t spit into the wind. You don’t pull the mask off the ole’ Lone Ranger and you don’t mess around with Jim. (or is it Slim?)”
Seriously, the apostle Paul warned the church in Corinth about a solemn matter that they were to avoid at all costs.
“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple” (1 Corinthians 3:16,17 NIV).
The Corinthian church was experiencing one of those things you just don’t do. You do not destroy God’s temple. The devil himself does not have the power to do what man can when it comes to this sphere of influence (Matthew 16:15-18).
Unity among believers is paramount to Christ, and, therefore, ought to be with us as well (John 17:21). However, we can entertain a divisive-minded brother too long. Sometimes, as foreign as is may seem, separation from one or a few is necessary to the unity of the many.
“But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned” (Titus 3:9-11).
Paul charged the Roman church, concerning matters of opinion, to get along. “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification” (Romans 14:19). Therefore, whether it is matters of opinion or matters of faith the biblical response is “do not destroy God’s temple.”
This seems complicated. We are commanded to separate to preserve unity on one hand and put forth effort to get along on the other. How are we to apply this today?
Notice the words used to describe the situations and persons involved in each situation. On one hand, there is foolish controversy and argument leading to division; the command is to warn once, then a second time, and then avoid. On the other hand, you have a person “weak in faith” (Romans 14:1) with whom we are commanded to “make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.”
Christians everywhere need to stop and think what is at stake when division or schism arises in the church. “If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple” (1 Corinthians 3:17).
There are some things you just don’t do.