Fighting in Church
Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation . . . Revelation 5:9
When my own life fell apart due to my addiction, I had a crisis of faith. I didn’t understand how I could possibly be a Christian could do such awful things. Through my own struggles, and through reading, seeking, and praying, I’ve come to understand that even though we may come to faith, we’re not instantly made perfect. While we live on this Earth, in these flawed bodies, we retain a self-destructive nature. The Bible refers to this as our flesh nature, which has been corrupted by the fall. Yes, we have a new life in Christ, but we can go back to the old one if we choose.
This though, is a subject of considerable debate, even among Christians. I’ve had vehement push back from some, particularly those in Christian addiction ministries. There are those who feel that once we come to Christ, we no longer have addictions or a flesh nature. My own flesh nature is never so evident as when someone disagrees with me. It seems so essential to understand this, that I get frustrated and even angry with those who don’t believe as I do. When someone disagrees with me on this point, I simply want to be done with them. They may claim faith in Christ, but they’re not my brothers and sisters.
This is, of course, why we have so many denominations – because, while we live on this Earth, unanimous agreement of all Christians on every subject is unattainable. There are some universal truths though, that all who call themselves Christians should agree upon. In today’s passage, John recorded the lyrics sung in heaven before the Lamb – Jesus Christ. By your blood you ransomed people for God. is the central message of the Bible – that God created us for a loving relationship with him, that we have all rebelled against God by pursuing evil, and that Christ died for our sins, restoring us to a right relationship with the father. This is basic Christianity and this is the central message of the Bible.
The challenge for me, is to embrace this truth and celebrate it when I’m with those who also embrace it. Yes, I will always have disagreements with other Christians, but I must not let those debates make enemies of my brothers and sisters in faith. God loves us. Christ died for our sins. Through faith in Christ, we may experience a new life. As Christians, this is something we should all be able to celebrate and agree upon.