Great divisions have punctuated Creation from the “Beginning” of time. Before the introduction of mankind, the waters of the deep were divided by the land masses (Genesis 1:6), and the heavens were separated from the Earth (Genesis 1:7-8). In America, the Great Continental Divide separates the East from the West.
Metaphysically, great divides have been abundant as well. Light from dark. Good and evil. Red from Blue. The sacred and profane. The Unvaccinated from the Vaccinated. Truth and Lies. Right and wrong.
Though divisions are both ancient and modern reality, one thing is clear over the last couple of years… We are growing increasingly tense and divided, separated, and more entrenched into our tribal camps.
Some people lament, “Oh, no! Can’t we just get along. Can’t we just come together and love each other?” “Can’t we just live together in harmony, in the unity of the brotherhood of man?” “Can’t we co-exist?” The answer is, and has been… “Umm. No!”
The answer is, “No” because we have different convictions, different beliefs, different worldviews. Different values. Different ideologies. And different gods. Differences, by definition, imply, well, er, um… differences. Which don’t mix–oil and water, so to speak.
The self-professed “tolerant” are in fact, intolerant of the designated “intolerant” for being intolerant of the “tolerant’s” tolerances, and for being tolerant of those things which the “tolerants” themselves deem intolerant; it is a chasm which will continue as long as the “tolerant” cannot tolerate the intolerances, nor the tolerances of the “intolerant.”
So, there have, and will be divisions until the end of time, until Judgment (which will be yet another separation).
The Great Divide is gashing through the world today, tearing through these United States, separating churches and families, communities and states. Many are pretty worked up about it, but I am not. These divisions, and the like help us to know who we are, and where we stand in a broken world. They help us to identify who is in our corner–where others are standing, and who has my back. Hey! Division is not always a bad thing. God Himself called for very clear lines of demarcation for His chosen people.
And, certainly Christ echoes that in His time on Earth.
“I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished! Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law” (Luke 12:49-53).
“Hmm. That doesn’t sound so much like Christ,” some may say … Yes, and no! Christ came to unite, or reconcile a lost mankind to its Creator God–a division originally brought about by introduced sin. But, in order to do that, He separates the redeemed from the lost. He brings division.
Division will come in churches, in households, across all lines of relationships. Like a divine cleaver with sovereign precision He will surgically excise those called into His glory… and not–the sheep and the goats.
To stand against this division is to oppose this part of the mission of Christ. To repel any division means we all get lumped together, lost in a stew of obfuscated ideologies and compromise.
So, division is not always a bad thing. Sides are okay. Grace is good; grace is still good!
So many are bent on building bridges; some should never be built.
So many are distraught by the chaos, confusion, and disunity strewn across the globe today… But, unity cannot happen at the expense of Truth. Unity should never happen at the expense of integrity.
So, I don’t plan to lose too much sleep regarding any division which has marked present history… I will not be shamed for holding a minority view.
And, when division comes as a result of firmly held convictions…
I welcome it.