There is no better time than Election Day to realize how truly divided most Americans are in regard to politics. For instance, In the Florida Governor’s race, Rick Scott won the majority vote over Democrat Charlie Crist by only one percentage point (about 70,000 votes). We can even reflect back to the presidential race of 2012 when Barack Obama received about 4% more of the votes than Mitt Romney. This deep political division is echoed in the stalemate we as Americans have experienced in Congress for years now, and even the heated debate and rhetoric we are exposed to every election. As a Christian, the apparent political division doesn’t really bother me. No matter who wins the election, I am still subject to earthly authorities (Rm. 13:1-7; 1 Pt. 2:13-17). And, quite frankly, if God didn’t want Rick Scott to be the governor of Florida, I can guarantee Rick Scott wouldn’t be the governor of Florida (Rm. 13:1).
The division which is truly bothersome is the religious division we can observe all around us. We can go down any given street in America and see church, after church, after church; denomination, after denomination, after denomination. Is this what Jesus intended when he bought the church with his blood (Acts 20:28)? In First Corinthians 1:10-13 Paul begs the Christians in Corinth, in the name of 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.” Paul goes on to sarcastically ask “Is Christ divided?” We all know that Christ is not, was not, and will never be divided, and neither shall we be. We can read in Ephesians 4:4-6 that “There is one body and one Spirit- just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call- one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Likewise, Jesus Christ himself prayed soon before his death on our behalf, that Christians would be united:
I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me (Jn. 17:20-23).
So, Paul (as inspired by God) begged Christians to be united, Jesus Christ prayed to the Father shortly before his death that Christians would be united. Yet we see a lot of division. How do we conquer this division, how do we overcome these doctrinal differences? We need a common denominator, and we have one: the Bible. The Bible does not teach contradictory doctrines (1 Cor. 14:33), nor has the true Christian doctrine “evolved” over time (Jude 3). Many times I have been confronted by those who are outside of Christ, and they tell me that all of the denominations and divisions within Christendom “doesn’t make sense.” And I agree wholeheartedly, it doesn’t. Nor does such division reflect biblical based faith. Let’s get back to the Bible, and strive to be united in Christ, with the word of God as our guide. Either our faith comes from God’s word, or it comes from man’s word, and the only way to have true unity in Christ is to base what we do on the Bible.