The Greatest Cause of Both Unity and Division

Happy New Year! Fasten your seat belt, here comes 2017! Actually, your seat belt has already been fastened—permanently—by the Lord Jesus Christ, who has seated you in the heavenlies, figuratively speaking, and sealed you in his salvation, thus guaranteeing you safe travel from here to eternity.

Meanwhile, we still have a calendar, and it seems that this particular new year is one that holds the possibilities of massive social and economic upheaval. Even though our presidential election here in the USA took place almost two months ago, and Mr. Trump will take the oath of office in less than three weeks, there remain the deep-seated divisions that took center stage during the rancorous campaign and its tumultuous aftermath. It seems that certain forces are bent on fomenting hatred and cavernous division between all segments of our society: Republican and Democrat, black and white, rich and poor, management and labor, immigrant and non-immigrant, straight and “LGBT,” nationalist and globalist, etc. No doubt this is to prevent us from coming together against the forces of evil trying to enslave us.

It is no secret that even among Christians there is rampant division, as today there are something like 30,000 Christian groups, most using the same Book to prove contradictory points. As we will see, there is a reason why this is the case. In this first FRUIT OF D’VINE of 2017, I think it is vital to address these issues and, as it were, wade through the din and turmoil of subjective speculation and get back to our roots, biblically speaking.

Today there are the self-described “Progressive” Christians, of which
Wikipedia says: “a form ofChristianity that is characterized by a willingness to question tradition, acceptance of human diversity, a strong emphasis on social justice and care for the poor and the oppressed, and environmental stewardship of the Earth.”

First of all, there is only one genuine “form” of Christianity, and that is what its Author says it is. At first blush, the above characteristics sound plausible, and, in a biblical context, they are. But if you read The Eight Points of Progressive Christianity, you will see that P.C. is far from what Jesus taught and quite different from what the Word of God says about even the most basic biblical issues, such as Jesus Christ being the only way to salvation and everlasting life. In reality, “Progressive Christianity” is mostly about “going along to get along,” and, IF THE BIBLE IS TRUE, it is anything but “progressive.”

Remembering that words have meanings, we had best define “progressive.” says: “Advocating progress, change, improvement, or reform, as opposed to wishing to maintain things as they are; making progress toward better conditions; employing or advocating more enlightened or liberal ideas.”

Hey, wait a minute—THAT PERFECTLY DESCRIBES YOU AND ME!!! That is exactly what The Living Truth Fellowship is all about. Given the sad state of Christianity today, particularly as it has long been infiltrated with debilitating doctrinal error about key aspects of the faith, it is WE who are among those bringing about that kind of positive change, enlightening people to the magnificent Truth of God’s wonderful Word so as to improve their quality of lives.

Let’s define some more terms. What is a “Social Gospel?” “A movement in America, chiefly in the early part of the 20th century, stressing the social teachings of Jesus and their applicability to public life.” Hold on, now we gotta define “social”: “Living in relationship with others in a community.” So, DUH, all of Jesus’ teachings (including, of course, the Christian epistles he gave to Paul) are “social.” Jesus was a “social warrior” who fought for “social justice” because he changed the individual life of each person who chose to believe his words. Still today, those who believe the words God gave our Lord relate more justly to other people, and to that degree “society” is changed.

In that vein, it may seem ironic that JESUS CHRIST is the greatest cause of both unity and division. Synonymously, TRUTH is the greatest cause of both unity and division. The One who explicitly declared, “I AM THE TRUTH,” is the most divisive human being who has ever lived. Think about it: for 2000 years, Jesus has polarized humanity into two groups—those who believe in him and those who don’t. Some biblical terms for these dichotomous folks are “wheat and chaff,” “light and darkness,” “good and evil,” “an aroma that brings life and an aroma that brings death.” As he said in Matthew 12:30, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” Because the choice to follow Jesus is a matter of life and death, he did not mince words—and neither should we.

Actually, it is unbelief of the Truth that results in division, and belief of the Truth that results in unity. Maybe this example illustrates that point: a bunch of us are standing on the edge of a cliff debating whether there is an absolute truth called “gravity.” Those who refuse to believe there is jump off, and are abruptly divided from those who do believe it. You could say that gravity divided us, or you could say that unbelief of gravity did so—and belief in gravity unified those who did not jump.

What we are essentially talking about here is that there must be a Standard of Truth above and beyond the dust bowl mind and opinions of man. And there is—the Written Word of God and the Living Word of God, Jesus Christ. The Greek word for “truth” is aletheia, meaning, “the revealed essence of something,” i.e., reality, the way things real-ly are. Those who believe God’s Truth can then choose to stand in a degree of unity beyond what most of us have imagined—think Acts 2:42a—“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship.” The God-breathed order of those words shows us that right doctrine is the only basis for genuine spiritual bonding. Verses 43-47 depict the kind of heart-warming unity we too can experience in our Christian “society” if we each choose to act on God’s Word. The following verses elaborate upon the fact that genuine spiritual unity is based upon being likeminded about God’s Truth:

Ephesians 4:1-7
1 Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace4There isone body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism6one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

Via the like gift of holy spirit he has poured out into each of us, the Lord Jesus has given us the “unity of the spirit,” but it is up to us to “preserve” it by adhering to, and practicing, the seven most critical areas of Christian doctrine, which are listed in verses 4-6. If you take time to think through the doctrinal details of each one, you will sadly agree that the vast majority of dear Christians have been taught grievous error regarding all seven of those indispensable truths, which in part explains why there is so much division among Christians today.

Add to that the fact that Western society is basically “post-Christian,” and riddled with the “Postmodern” notion that there is no such thing as absolute truth. Of course, that in itself is an absolute statement, and grossly incongruous. The idea that there is no unwavering standard for Truth other than what each person chooses to believe has definitely infected the Christian community. This is primarily because far too few Christian leaders categorically state that the Word of God is absolute truth, and even fewer prove that to people by teaching it accurately.

The dearth of the proclamation of the absolute Truth of God’s Word has opened the door to a horde of harmful hypotheses that are shockingly unsound and completely out of touch with reality. The example I will use to illustrate this, and the thought processes involved in its gaining acceptance, come from an article in a Christian newsletter I receive, from which most of the following four paragraphs is quoted or paraphrased.

Today, those promoting aberrant, ungodly ideas (and lifestyles) offer us subjective substitutes for objective realities, and then insist that we accept those substitutes, or else. For example, we have the ideas that there are no differences between men and women, that marriage can take place with two men or two women, and that a person born biologically male can transition to become female, and vice versa.

A recent report from the American College of Pediatricians says: “Human sexuality is an objective binary trait: ‘XY’ and ‘XX’ are genetic markers of male and female, respectively—not genetic markers of disorder…No one is born with a gender. Everyone is born with a biological sex. Gender (an awareness of oneself as male or female) is a sociological and psychological concept, not an objective biological one.”

Therefore, since biological sex is a demonstrably objective reality, one’s decision to transition away from this must be a subjective one. The fact that he/she needs surgery to do this proves the point. What happens next? The person who made this demonstrably subjective choice not only identifies as a sex that is opposite to his objective biological one, but now expects everyone else to accept his decision as objective reality. Furthermore, those who don’t go along with this new “reality” are labeled as “haters,” “transphobes,” bigots,” etc. Their dissent is stigmatized, penalized, and coerced into silence.

So we have: (1) Objective reality. (2) Denial of objective reality. (3) Creation of a new subjective “reality.” (4) Insistence that this new “reality” is now objective truth to be assented to and obeyed by everyone. Of course, those who deny objective reality in favor of subjective feelings have no grounds whatsoever to demand that others accept their decision as being objective. Nor have they any right to deny anyone else the same right to exercise their subjective feelings about the subject. I may believe that the person in question is actually an electric fork, and if he denies me that right, it flies in the face of the “logic” he used in the first place to deny his own objective biological sex. Yet despite having no grounds to insist upon their own subjective feelings or to deny my right to the same, many are insisting on both of these with increasing vitriol, and, in some states, with the law behind them.

And so, as we approach 2017, such is the world in which we live. And we are told we should “CO-EXIST” with all manner of wickedness. We may have to share the planet for a while with those promoting such aberrance, but we need not bow to their dictates. We can take to heart the words of Jesus when he said: “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matt. 10:34). That is because, due to the existence of evil, there can be no true, lasting peace without war first destroying evil. But the weapons of our warfare are not carnal or physical; rather, we wield “the sword of the spirit,” the Word of God, to bring His love and light to mankind.

Despite the fact that the Truth of God’s wonderful Word is being ignored, diluted, twisted, censored, and obscured, 2 Corinthians 13:5 still says: “For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth.” So let us be “valiant for the truth” (Jer. 9:3), first in our personal lives as we live accordingly, and then as we speak the truth in love at every opportunity.

No matter what happens in 2017, you and I have the absolute assurance of God’s ever-present help in time of trouble. We also have His ironclad guarantee that our Lord Jesus will one day come back for us, after which we will forever enjoy the ultimate unity. In the meantime, let us do all we can to put on the mind of Christ and live in union with our Christian brethren, spreading the Word far and wide.

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