UNDERSTANDING GOD (Part 4: Why Did God Create So Much Division?)
The Law of Christ indisputably condemns division. Paul writes to the church in Corinth, “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Cor. 1:10). Paul further states to Titus, “As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned” (Titus 3:10-11 [ESV]). Likewise, Peter commands, “Finally, be ye all of one mind.” (1 Peter 3:8a). Jude echoes, “It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit” (Jude 1:19 [ESV]). With so many passages explaining the mind of God against division, why would God create humanity in so many natural divisions: race (appearances), gender, intelligence, athleticism, artistry, etc… With so many natural divisions in the human existence, how can God expect people to have “no divisions” among them? People naturally gravitate toward others of similar appearance, age, interests, understanding, so why not create humanity to be more united in how they look and how they think. How does God not set humanity up for failure.
Imagine a world where everyone had the same tone of skin, the same gender, the same intelligence, the same skill sets, the same interests. Truthfully, human beings share incalculable emotional, physical, and spiritual similarities. God created people with more similarities than differences. Nevertheless, people instinctively noticed the differences before they noticed the similarities. Without a doubt, if all humans looked the same and thought the same, people would eventually have developed a prejudice in socio-economic status, geographical location, accents, or any other small insignificant difference.
In the beginning, God created two perfectly matched individuals, paired intuitively to each other. God likewise established the church in the same way, with “all things in common” (Acts 2:44). However, over time and many bad choices, humans created their own divisions apart from anything God did in both society and the church!
Prejudice exists as an irrational action of the mind. It pays homage at the feet of its own opinion or judgment. Its ally is unchecked emotion. Its enemy is the objective truth. It never consults anything or anyone external to itself. Whatever it believes to be the truth is truth itself. Prejudice feeds mental blindness. It cannot see anything that is inconsistent with its own opinion. It is not based on facts and possesses an inherent distaste for facts. It is blind because it chooses to be blind. A man who lives biased in favor of his own thinking, opinion, or judgment is an enemy of the truth. He cannot see through the eyes of God because he is too busy looking through his own eyes. Prejudice refuses to think right about God.
The Jewish rulers were so prejudiced against Christ that they could look at the resurrected Lazarus, admit of Christ that “this man doeth many miracles” (John 11:47), and then plot “together for to put him to death” (John 11:53). How many people today look at the black and white words printed from God’s inspiration and refuse to see the truth so plainly revealed in scripture and seek fables rather than truth? Righteousness cannot thrive while prejudice feeds. Does God provide a cure for prejudice? Absolutely.
God requires that all believers “have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons” (James 2:1). A biblical faith must exist without impartiality (Lev. 19:15). Prejudice is unrighteousness. Faith is impartial because God, the object of faith, is impartial (Rom. 2:11).
The Jews misread the scriptures because they created an idol image of God, and therefore, a twisted source of authority, which produced a corrupted reading of authority (2 Peter 3:16). Refusing to think right about God, they considered themselves the elect of God because of who they were. Their prejudice and bias in how they saw themselves made self-examination and seeing themselves through the eyes of God impossible. Paul wrote of such Judaizers, “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise” (2 Cor. 10:12).
In the world today, people convince themselves that God will not condemn them because they are a good person based on their personal standard of what is good. They ignore scripture and twist passages convinced that God would save them because they are ‘good.’ People believe that they are good because they feel that they are good. Feelings are not an accurate determination of truth. Paul felt that persecuting Christians was good (Acts 23:1). Radical Muslims feel that it is right to kill people that don’t think the way they think. A thought is not right just because a person says it is right; there must exist an objective standard of truth to determine the authenticity. The true source of impartiality is God, and one cannot hear God impartially without the cure for prejudice.
Agape love is God’s remedy for prejudice (James 2:8-9). With a true love for God comes humility, renouncing self-interest, personal ambition, self-sacrifice, and looking to God above all else. If we see what the Bible says and turn it away by trying to justify some perverted interpretation, then we do not love God. Christ said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). David wrote, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Ps. 119:11). If people truly love the Lord, then they change their lives that they might not sin against God, even if the change is humiliating or difficult. Believers cannot think right about God if they refuse to see Him for how He said and how He will judge the world.
- THE BEHAVIOR OF FAITH (Part 2) Relativism & Pragmatism
- THE BEHAVIOR OF FAITH (Part 1) The Work of Patience
- THE HOLY SPIRIT (Part 5: Error Regarding the Holy Spirit and How He Works)
- THE HOLY SPIRIT (Part 4: The Spirit Makes Intercessions for Us)
- THE HOLY SPIRIT (Part 3: The Gift of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2:38)
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