The students listen, with textbooks open, as the teacher covers important material for the final exam. Copious notes are being taken to ensure that the information needed to pass the test gets planted firmly in each student’s mind. Then, invariably, someone breaks the teacher’s instruction and the group’s concentration by asking, “What page are we on?”
The Church gathers, with Bibles open, as the Teacher covers the requirements for life’s final exam. Voluminous notes are produced by individual scholars and study groups interpreting the Teacher and textbook. There are so many diametrically opposing understandings of what the Teacher really said.
I feel like the student in the class who is looking at the text, hearing the Teacher, but looking around the room of fellow classmates and needing to raise my hand to ask, “What page are we on?!”
Unity cannot be sacrificed for the sake of inclusion, popularity, or status. Some will refuse transformation because conformity to this age is more desirable. The Church is weakened by its willingness to bend under the pressures of opinion. The words of the prophet Micah are too familiar in contemporary life:
“‘Do not preach’—thus they preach—’one should not preach of such things; disgrace will not overtake us.’ Should this be said, O house of Jacob? Has the Lord grown impatient? Are these his deeds? Do not my words do good to him who walks uprightly? But lately my people have risen up as an enemy...
Arise and go, for this is no place to rest, because of uncleanness that destroys with a grievous destruction. If a man should go about and utter wind and lies, saying, ‘I will preach to you of wine and strong drink,’ he would be the preacher for this people!” (Micah 2:6-8, 10-11 ESV)
The current climate of Christian ambiguity hinders our efforts to reach a world dying and broken by sin.
Sin scatters, but the transforming grace of God unites. Sin pollutes, but the blood of Jesus cleanses every stain! Sin poisons, but His Spirit triumphs over the sin that destroys! A divided church is Satan’s delight.
Jesus says, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters” (Luke 11:23). In the name of “love” we no longer tell people the truth—and we scatter.
The Church MUST get on the same page with the Teacher who loves us enough to not excuse sin, but extends His power to free from its deadly grip.