Gambling for Garments
"Some of you are saying, "I am a follower of Paul"; and others say that they are for Apollos or for Peter; and some that they alone are the true followers of Christ. And so, in effect, you have broken Christ into many pieces. But did I, Paul, die for your sins? Were any of you baptized in my name? I am so thankful now that I didn't baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius. For now no one can think that I have been trying to start something new, beginning a "Church of Paul." Oh, yes, and I baptized the family of Stephanas. I don't remember ever baptizing anyone else. For Christ didn't send me to baptize, but to preach the Gospel; and even my preaching sounds poor, for I do not fill my sermons with profound words and high sounding ideas, for fear of diluting the mighty power there is in the simple message of the cross of Christ." I Corinthians 1:12-17LIV
You see them at the foot of the cross. Gambling for of the garments of the Son of God, oblivious to what is happening right above their very heads. Ignorant of their actions, these soldiers cast lots for the clothing of the King of all Kings (John 19:24). That is the image that I see in my mind when I hear senseless debates by Christians over slight denominational differences. As our Savior’s blood is raining down on us, we are too busy to look up, huddled around a pair of dice, fighting for a superficial piece of the Christ. It is about time that we stand up and shout out with one voice, “Lord forgive us!”
I know that this writing may seem a bit too idealistic for some; To see Methodists holding hands with Pentecostals, Wesleyans and Messianic Jews and even Evangelicals with Calvinists. It would bring such joy to the Lord if the Assemblies of God and Presbyterians, Ethiopian Orthodox and Calvary Chapel and even Apostolics and Episcopals united in Christ’s name. A day will come when Charismatics and Lutherans, Four Squares and the Southern Baptists will all be hand in hand. After all, isn’t this what heaven is going to be like? So why not start living like this now? Martin Luther King Jr. said that the most segregated hour of the week was from 10:00-11:00 am on Sundays. This is painfully true. And besides race, there are a host of minor issues that we use as barriers to keep us divided. Spiritual gifts, baptism, worship, and the Sabbath are all important topics, but not necessary for Salvation.
After all, haven’t we all built upon the same foundation; Christ and Him crucified? We all agree that Jesus, the Son of Man was born of a virgin. We believe that He was the Son of God and lived a perfect life. We see eye to eye, regarding His Lordship and death on the cross for our sins. We are in agreement that He rose from the dead after three days and later ascended to heaven. We concur that God is a triune being.
Though we may have different looking houses, they are all build on the same foundation. Since we agree on the essentials, (the issues necessary for salvation), let's stop majoring in the minors and unite. This is what Paul was talking about in his letter to the Church of Corinth. Imagine what it would be like if Paul lived in this day and age. I think that he would be appalled if he popped open a phone book and tried to find a good church to attend. “What’s this?”, He might ask, “Seventy different denominations?” Which one is the right way? It will be such a bright day when we can all unite before the Lord.
Now let’s dig a bit deeper. What if Satan played a part in all of this? Since it is too late for him to stop us from getting saved, perhaps he has decided to do the next best thing--divide and conquer. When united, we are a force to be reckoned with. We can be like Joshua’s generation and even knock down Jericho. But when divided we are significantly weaker and of little threat to our enemy and his world. In one of my songs, "Kingdoms in Conflict", for Christafari's "Gravity" album, I penned these lyrics about the Devil: "I know your thoughts and I know your plans / To plant a root of bitterness (and) bring dissention / To segregate by race and denomination / And to start a civil war amongst God's holy ones / But, we refuse to be divided (any) more / We must unite just to fight this ya holy war / We'll rely on the Lord God above / They will know we are His by our love." This is why Jesus Prayed for our unity in his last hour.
How would your spouse feel if you said in your personal wedding vows at the altar?; "I love you, but I can't stand parts of your body, so I'll just ignore them and focus on your beautiful face." You'd probably get a big wake-up call in the form of a slap across the face! Yet that is exactly what we are saying to Jesus when we turn our heads from other Christians. After all, the church is the “bride of Christ”. We are His body: And according to I Cor 12:18, 21-23a, “God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don't need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don't need you!’ On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor.” So next time you meet someone from a different denomination, appreciate their differences. Learn from them. See them as the bride of Christ, as a part of His body. Love them as Christ loves them--unconditionally.
Lord Jesus, forgive me for rejecting you by rejecting those created in Your image, Your bride, Your body. Give me Your strength to see them as You do, and to love them as You love them. Bring people of various Christian denominations into my life. Help me to appreciate their strengths and overlook their weaknesses. I pray that my church unites with other denominations of believers in my area. Use me in this effort. Let us stand together in Your name, Amen
|Not Ashamed||Romans 1:16 (NIV)||Mark Mohr|
|Favoritism||Romans 2:11 (NIV)||Mark Mohr|
|Action Talks||Romans 2:13 (NIV)||Mark Mohr|
|Tattooed Heart||Romans 2:15b (NIV)||Mark Mohr|
|Missing the Target||Romans 3:23-24 (NIV)||Mark Mohr|
|A New Identity||I Corinthians 1:2||Mark Mohr|
|Unmerited Favor||I Corinthians 1:4||Mark Mohr|
|'Til The End||I Corinthians 1:8-9||Mark Mohr|
|Perfectly United||I Corinthians 1:10-13a||Mark Mohr|
|Gambling for Garments||I Corinthians 1:12-17LIV||Mark Mohr|
|The First Missionary||I Corinthians 1:27-29||Mark Mohr|
|THE WISDOM OF THIS WORLD||I Corinthians 1:19-20||Mark Mohr|
|The Unusual Suspects||I Corinthians 1:26-28||Mark Mohr|
|A Broken Vessel||Heb 11:34||Mark Mohr|
|Achilles Heel||James 3:2a||Mark Mohr|
|Refurbished Heart||I John 1:7-9||Mark Mohr|
|Unworthy Applicant||Psalm 51:1-2||Mark Mohr|
|Foolish Thinking||I Corinthians 1:18-23||Mark Mohr|
|Boastful Thinking||I Corinthians 1:29||Mark Mohr|
|The Runt of the Litter||I Corinthians 1:26-28||Mark Mohr|
|Keep it Simple||I Corinthians 2:1-5||Mark Mohr|
|Parlez Vous Christianese?||I Corinthians 2:2||Mark Mohr|
|No Eye Has Seen||I Corinthians 2:9||Mark Mohr|
|A Word from the Lord||I Corinthians 2:16||Mark Mohr|
|Let Go, Let God||I Corinthians 3:6-7||Mark Mohr|
|To The Foundation||I Corinthians 3:10-11||Mark Mohr|
|All-Seeing Eyes||I Corinthians 4:5||Mark Mohr|