Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Kingdom Divided

  Last night I got home and my little girl was down for a nap after a long day at the wave pool.  Such a hard life.  My wife had to run off to work, so while my daughter napped I got a chance to throw supper in the oven and kick back and play a little Bioshock 3.

  And once she got up we ate our supper and went for a nice walk in the neighborhood   Spent a good while at the park, at least a half an hour.  I didn't bother to keep track of the time.  It was nice just to spend time with my little girl and watch her smile and play with the other kids that showed up.

  Nothing beats hanging out with my little girl, except hanging out with my wife and all of us as a family.  That's a real blessing, honestly.  Being able to go home, have food, and a family.  There's really not much more to life that's necessary than that.  Work, family, home and food.  I can understand why Paul says "Contentment is great capital".

A Kingdom Divided

  Before I begin today, I want to make sure I haven't confused anyone here.

  What Paul is talking about in Ephesians is mirroring the relationship a husband has with his wife, as one body, is similar to how the ecclesia makes up the Body of Christ himself.  Disregarding the eventual marriage between Christ and the Bride of the Lambkin.  I hope I didn't confuse anyone with the point I had made with the lambkin.  That relationship is separate from the point Paul was trying to make in his letter.

  Just as the earthly husband and wife relationship is ONE body.  So too is the Ecclesia and the relationship with Christ, as the head, is one body.  If that makes sense, I'll move on.

  One of the most disturbing things I found in Christianity, even while growing up with it, is the extensive division throughout it.  You have Catholics and Protestants.  You have baptist, pentecostal, seventh day adventist, United Churches, non-denominational, and etc. etc. ad nauseum.

   And yes, it makes me nauseous.  This cannot be the body of Christ.  It just CANNOT.  Here is why;

Matthew 12:25 
25 Now, having perceived their sentiments, He said to them, "Every kingdom parted against itself is being desolated, and every city or house parted against itself shall not stand. (CLNT)

  I put to you, the Christian churches are a house parted against itself.  They hold their creeds and doctrines higher than the source of wisdom itself - the Word of God.  How can this be the Body of Christ then? 

Ephesians 41:-6 
1 I am entreating you, then, I, the prisoner in the Lord, to walk worthily of the calling with which you were called,
2 with all humility and meekness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit with the tie of peace:
4 one body and one spirit, according as you were called also with one expectation of your calling;
5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 one God and Father of all, Who is over all and through all and in all. (CLNT)

  It is simple as this.  There is only one.  Now; lest you mistake me to be a cult leader like some Kip McKean or other maniac - I am not attempting to lead or form a new church.  Instead I point you to what is already made.  The Body of Christ, which is bound by the spirit.  Not by a creed, not by a denomination, not by walls or institution or any man made thing.

  Is is formed of the spirit.  Once one becomes a believer, they are automatically part of the Body of Christ and the spirit binds us as one.  Whether we meet at the local McDonalds and share a meal, or correspond through facebook and email.  We are all one in the spirit.

Galatians 3:26-28
26 for you are all sons of God, through faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For whoever are baptized into Christ, put on Christ,
28 in Whom there is no Jew nor yet Greek, there is no slave nor yet free, there is no male and female, for you all are one in Christ Jesus.

  There is no longer any distinction between who we are, or where we came from if we are all of one body.  If that were not enough then consider these;

Galatians 5:15
15 Now if you are biting and devouring one another, beware that you may not be consumed by one another.

Galatians 5:19-21
19 Now apparent are the works of the flesh, which are adultery, prostitution, uncleanness, wantonness,
20 idolatry, enchantment, enmities, strife, jealousies, furies, factions, dissensions, sects,
21 envies, murders, drunkennesses, revelries, and the like of these, which, I am predicting to you, according as I predicted also, that those committing such things shall not be enjoying the allotment of the kingdom of God.

Titus 3:9-11
9 Yet stand aloof from stupid questioning and genealogies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain.
10 A sectarian man, after one and a second admonition, refuse,
11 being aware that such a one has turned himself out, and is sinning, being self-condemned.

  And in case you thought denominationalism was a brand new Christian thing, it even existed in Jesus' time.  Witness an ancient denomination getting into a fight;

Acts 23:6
6 Now Paul, knowing that the one party is of Sadducees, yet the other of Pharisees, cries in the Sanhedrin, "Men! Brethren! A Pharisee, son of Pharisees am I. Concerning the expectation and resurrection of the dead am I being judged."
7 Now at his saying this, there came to be a commotion of the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the multitude is rent.
8 For Sadducees, indeed, are saying there is no resurrection, nor messenger, nor spirit; yet Pharisees are avowing both.
9 Now a great clamor occurred, and, rising, some of the scribes of the party of the Pharisees fought it out with one another, saying, "Nothing evil are we finding in this man. Now if a spirit or messenger speaks to him -- "
10 Yet, much commotion occurring, being afraid, the captain, so Paul should not be pulled to pieces by them, orders the troop to descend and snatch him out of their midst, besides, to lead him into the citadel.

  And that's all I have time for today, I'll be back with more tomorrow!

Travis Penner