Tag Archive: division


Growing or Cloning

On “joining a church” believers may be in the early stages of discipleship, unaware of what the teachings of the new group really are or mean. Should they later discover something that another group holds to be true and important to have become important to them too, it seems sad that often the only way to embrace the new truth is to leave where they are. This is because denominations and many churches give “their members” little room for exploration, and even less to accommodate different persuasions and practices. Their minds are generally made up on their accepted practices and beliefs.

Granted, denominations and churches have been strongholds of truth, but it’s the manner that they stand for their so called “truths” that becomes divisive. The “Our way or the highway” mentality generally exists and it creates a forced and false unity within the groups all the while creating disunity with other Christians! When we divide over “truths,” aren’t we denying the members of the body of Christ the opportunity to learn to love the whole flock, despite differences? Isn’t our focus wrong from the start? Do we really need to agree with each other in order to happily gather with each other?

In today’s scenario, we are expected to find a “church” that we feel best accommodates our personal beliefs. Do I believe all of Billy Graham’s views? No, but it would be sad if on Sunday I sat in a church down the road from where he was and even sadder if I was his son or daughter. Imagine the Sunday morning when your family is divided all over a town because of beliefs that divide. We can’t! So why do we divide God’s family!

Signs outside church buildings read “All welcome!”, but in truth mean “Clones welcome!”

Rob

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Part 1

Is Messianic Judaism an expression of separateness or celebration? Has the term Messianic Judaism promoted cultural identity at the expense of identity in Christ? Has the fruit been division or unity? Has the Messiah or has Judaism been the focus?

Messianic Judaism has as its focus the religious and cultural values that belong to a certain people, but because they have made it their primary focus they have created division instead of unity. Those who become Christians in any culture don’t promote their culture as a primary objective. If promoted at all, culture needs to remain secondary to what makes Christianity truly unifying.

Messianic Judaism’s focus is so strong that those who practice it may feel the necessity to be separate from other believers. They form clicks within churches or simply meet separately altogether. Preferably, it would seem, they would like other believers to do things their way, believing it to be a more authentic expression. They major on terms that make them distinct rather than on those that make us one.  Undue focus gets given to things that are interesting but not necessarily life-giving.

Proponents of this are not overtly teaching another Gospel, to which Paul would have said, “Who has bewitched you!” However, surely the way that Messianic Judaism is practiced separately is what Paul reprimanded Peter for. In my mind simply having a term Messianic Judaism creates an air of separateness and not celebration. It has by nature a sense of dividing God’s people, the Jewish believers from the others.

Rob Morley

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