Divisions in the Church
10 I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. 11 For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. 12 What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. – 1 Corinthians 1:10-17 (ESV)
I drive past the many, many church buildings within my area. So many different shapes and sizes. Some have towering steeples with a cross at the top. Some are very small and tattered. All of them have titles: Presbyterian, Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Seventh-Day Adventist, Kingdom Hall and Pentecostal, just to name a few. If I had to name them all I would be at my computer for the majority of the day.
Hierarchy is, according to Oxford Dictionary, “a system or organization in which people or groups are ranked one above the other according to status or authority.” Most people know that the clergy of the Catholics have taken this ‘hierarchy’ into their own hands by claiming that they are the True Church, and their clergy is now the authority upon the earth. You can read more here. http://www.bible.ca/cath-apostolic-succession.htm
I ran across the preceding chapter and verses several months into reading the New Testament. I believe it spoke to me at just the right time in my life. I always had a wonder as I would observe the so many divisions among the Christian faith. I would ask myself, “Am I truly following Christ, or am I following men?” It was then I began searching for the answer to that question. The many sects, denominations, and mere walls of these structures kept the divided either in, or out. Paul made it very clear that we are not to divide when he asked, “Is Christ divided?” I’m afraid we are, Paul. So deeply divided.
Under the rule of Constantine, hierarchy and division was initiated within His Church. Men started a blasphemous war that is still raging within this very moment. I pray that you ask yourself today the question, “Am I part of the destructive division?” I pray that you seek the truth of just how much your personal walk with the Lord is built around men, and hierarchy, and not around Christ. I pray that you see that His Church is not to be divided, but is really all of His true children, His people, united.