Blog Archive

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Case for Love: Damning Evidence

If we are to prove the case for love—that God's love is first our salvation, and then the answer for every problem—we must overcome the most damning evidence against our case: division.

"He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters."
~ Luke 11:23 (NKJV)

On football field or battlefield, whether shaping an offensive to take the goal or maintaining defense to protect the goal, one soon understands the value of a united team and the danger if adversary isolates individual. "Divide and conquer" is a fundamental weapon of the contest.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
~ 1 Peter 5:8 (NKJV)

Our adversary has become adept at dividing us. In earliest days of Christianity, Jewish and Greek believers in Jesus worked to overcome differences. A thousand years later, a great schism between Greek and Roman churches was solidified, followed by Protestant breakaway from Rome in another half millennium. Like the web of cracks that forms when the surface of ice or glass is hit, hundreds of denominations separated from one another during the centuries to follow, with factions among even denominations and congregations.

Most certainly, divisions are sometimes necessary (Amos 3:3, 1 Corinthians 11:19), such as during the Reformation era. But far too often, we Christians distance ourselves from the people we most need because we foolishly allow diversity to become division.

What our adversary intends for evil, God can and will use for good. Truth is necessarily affirmed when the righteous boldly suffer in its defense—whether a Christian sheds blood or is simply shunned. Diversity has flourished amid the divisions, creating a rich variety in worship styles and development of spiritual gifts. Ministry can be particularly effective when structured to reach specific people.

When we capitalize on diversity, we become the body of Jesus Christ in the fullest sense:

… by speaking the truth in love, we will grow up completely into the one who is the head, that is, into Christ, in whom the whole body is united and held together by every ligament with which it is supplied. As each individual part does its job, the body's growth is promoted so that it builds itself up in love.
~ Ephesians 4:15-16 (ISV)

The key to seeing growth and being built up (rather than being divided and weakened) lies both in that first line—

… by speaking the truth in love …

—and in the understanding that not every truth of the faith is a fundamental Truth for which the body of Christ must bleed:

And decline stupid and ignorant debates, because you know they breed strife. A servant of the Lord must not quarrel, but must be gracious to everyone, articulate, willing to suffer wrong, in humility educating those who are in opposition …
~ 2 Timothy 2:23-25

As we study and discuss and wrestle with one another over how we will practice the many truths of faith, we can avoid unnecessary divisions when our argument returns to affirmation of fundamental Truth. And if we find no such affirmation, we don't then have cause for division, but discover that we are already divided. Our choice is not whether or not to distance ourselves from one another, but if we will recognize existing distance between separate foundations.

"Everyone who comes to Me, and hears My words and does them, I will show you to whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug and went deep and laid a foundation on the rock."
~ Luke 6:47-48 (EMTV)

A time comes to silence our words, that perchance the Word of God will reach into places we cannot.

For the Word of God is alive and effective, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit … a Discerner of the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
~ Hebrews 4:12

+ + +

… if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
~ Romans 10:9 (NIV)

If compelled to choose three most important elements of Truth—Truth for which I'm willing to suffer, Truth over which I'm willing to be divided:
• I affirm the absolute authority of God's Word as preserved in Scripture;
• I confess Jesus the Christ as God and living Lord;
• I have salvation through no more and no less than faith (belief, trust) in Christ's death and resurrection.

For me, few truths rise to this level in my aspiration to stand for Truth, to build up Christ's body of believers, and to unite us in proving the case for His love.

"He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters."
~ Luke 11:23 (NKJV)

Comments are welcome (including respectful disagreement) and will receive a reply.
You may also contact author via Twitter – @anne4JC
or e-mail – use *after* buildingHisbody
Copyright 2013, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.


  1. I have always thought that division was/is Satan's playground. And Christians are sadly some of the most eager to play. We have to discern when God is leading us to divide. Loved the post!

    1. Yes, Mary, I think all the devil really has to do to separate us is appeal to our pride and the division comes easily. The necessary divisions, led by God, will never be easy ones.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks, Denise, for being a faithful follower of the words shared here!

  3. "Capitalizing on diversity" is an interesting thought. In our faith, we really tend to be narrow. We read a Scripture, interpret it, and then find others who agree with our interpretation.

    I knew a guy who would take the opposite side of every discussion, just to provoke thinking. He might not agree with the position he took, but the mere presentation of the other side helped me forge a better understanding.

    But there is a big difference as you point out between diversity and division.

    1. David, isn't that what good business does? Look at how to capitalize on every opportunity? How much more should Christians see diversity—true diversity, not the difference between children of light and children of darkness—as an opportunity!

      Your friend sounds interesting. I sometimes do the same thing, in a different way, and others don't always understand what I'm trying to do. I believe that truth is only truth if presented in balance. Any truth, taken to an extreme without consideration of what balances it, becomes untrue. For example, God IS merciful. But He is also just. Either one, taken out of balance, makes God something He isn't. So when I sense a discussion presenting an extreme view, I'll present whatever brings it back into balance. When people aren't willing to see that balance, they think I'm arguing for only an opposite view. It's a very delicate and difficult thing to see truth in balance when we're out to prove our own agenda. I think your friend and I would enjoy a great discussion, if we ever had the chance!


Your comments are appreciated and you can expect a reply. If Blogger doesn't accept your comment, or if you prefer
another method, I hope you'll respond via Twitter or email
(see sidebar icons or the "Contact Me" tab, above).

(Comments to older posts and will appear after approval.)