As James looked out over the congregations of his day, did he perceive the need to address a particular problem? Commentators generally regard his original readers as being largely poor Jewish Christians. However, might there be more? Continue reading “A background for James?”
Do you long for the beauty of community dwelling in peace? Sick of divisiveness? Many are. What’s the solution? We would do well to take a page or two from the apostle Paul.
So there was a division among the people over him. John 7:43 ESV.
Who is Jesus? What did he come to earth to do? Or did he even come to earth? Might he have been just a good man? What did he actually teach?
People are sharply divided over all these questions. They always have been, even since the days when Jesus lived. Continue reading “Division because of Jesus”
Peaceful unity is beautiful, whereas evil promotes cantankerous divisiveness. We recognize this. However, are we aware just how profoundly solidarity saturates God’s will at all levels?
Paul’s writings outline God’s solutions for a fractured cosmos, a divided church and broken relationships. Should we be surprised that at its core the same solution keeps appearing? Continue reading “Three divisive scenarios – God’s one unifying solution”
Imagine my surprise while eating lunch at a table filled with preachers to hear one fellow brag to another about how many church splits he had instigated. I was horrified. As far as I was concerned, such an acknowledgement should be an embarrassment.
It does not take too much insight to understand how he thought, even though I have never experienced a church split. I wonder how deeply he considered the following observations and antidotes before triggering each division. Continue reading “The church split”
Can you imagine living in Corinth and getting a letter from Paul, the apostle, in which he wrote, “I thank God that I did not baptise any of you except Crispus and Gaius” (1 Corinthians 1:14 NET)? Why would Paul thank God that he had not baptised very many people? Continue reading “Preach the gospel!”
One would have thought Jesus’ sayings would engender unity and love everywhere he went because that was his message, right? That was not the Jew’s reaction. Their reaction was division.
In John 10:19, the apostle John wrote, “There was a division therefore again among the Jews” about Jesus’ sayings. Some claimed he was possessed by a devil. Others rightly said Jesus could not be demon possessed and cure the blind.
Jesus’ answer was, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in my Father’s name, these testify of me. But you do not believe because you are not of my sheep” (John 10:25-26 NASB).
Then, Jesus made three statements that proved the Jews were not his sheep. Continue reading “Are you Jesus’ sheep?”
How can we break what Jesus died for? Continue reading Dissonance
When we follow Satan, he leads us to hurt others. Continue reading War in the Church
It might just as well have been a root canal procedure, even though no audible high-speed metallic whirring from a dentist’s drill could be heard, nor was the prick felt of an anesthetic injection. Nevertheless, the apostle Paul was fully engaged in extracting a throbbing rottenness from the ancient Corinthian church.
Their confidence in human wisdom in those spewing forth perceived profoundness had created a decay erupting in the early stages of divisive sectarianism. To be sure they would have described their mindset differently, as merely a strong confidence in a particular person’s thinking. However, their symptomatic slogans: “I am of Paul;” “I am of Apollos;” “I am of Cephas;” or “I am of Christ” betrayed a growing polarization around dominant personalities (1 Corinthians 1:12-13).