The church today is known by her division. She’s gotten a
reputation. Maybe social media makes it seem worse than it is, but that doesn’t
That said, this doesn’t mean that all divisions are wrong. Paul,
noting the divisions in ancient Corinth (1 Cor 11:18) pointed out that through
divisions they would identify their true working Christians (1 Cor 11:19). Indeed,
in Romans 16:17, Paul both warns about division and then encourages it in the
So, what should the church do? In seeking to be known by her
love (John 13:35) should the church pursue unity at all costs? When, if ever,
is it right to divide?
When Marriage Goes Wrong: The Right Way to Respond
Someone was crazy enough to ask me about my position on marriage, divorce, and remarriage. I struggled because my answer was short and lacked context. Later, it made me think that we Christians need to adjust how we think about marriage. Too often we focus first on the posed situations. “When can people get divorced?” “Which marriage is recognized by God?” “Can marriage survive without love?” If we’re answering wrong, we build a list that shows what to avoid and when you’re okay. Indeed, we don’t have 613 laws for tough questions. We need to start elsewhere. (tl;dr)
As of April 13, 2017, this story is going well albeit with a long recovery. I write this as an update, to document the details of what has happened—both for the sake of memory and for informing others—and lastly to refer to if anyone asks.
Christians, hearing the phrase “obedience to the Word of God” might be quick to assume that this is a call to obey what the Word of God has to say. They’ll hear the words and think that there is some command, or some passage of the Bible, that is not being obeyed and this is the reason for the call that we need to be obedient to the Word of God. Indeed, there are many passages that highlight the importance of obeying what God has to say: we must submit to what He says. He is the master; we are the servants.
That said I like Paul’s example of how one ministers in obedience and subjection to the Word of God. In Colossians 1:225-28 he sees himself as completely swallowed up in the mission and calling of the church. The church, he knows, is to suffer so he happily rejoices in suffering for her. Christ’s body is to be continually afflicted and, in obedience to the word of God, Paul tries to take on what is lacking in those afflictions. God commissioned him to do the work and he sees himself as a complete servant that is wholly given to that work so as to present the word of God in its fullness.
But the obedience to the word of God is also seen in the future reality of the church. Let me explain.