So Not Okay

God hates divorce. God also hates division in the body. He loves unity. Jesus prayed that His people would be one, that they would be one even as He and the Father are one. That’s tight.

But history, which we believe God rules, is filled with conflict and splits between believers, between churches. While Paul climbed all over the Corinthian contentions to correct their petty party preferences, he also told them later that divisions were necessary and part of God’s purpose.

when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part, for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized. (1 Corinthians 11:18–19)

In 1 Corinthians 11 Paul admonishes the church for failing to receive one another, for some who selfishly isolated themselves and satisfied themselves rather than loving one another. Is that okay? Not only is it not okay, God planned for it to be so not okay that it accomplishes His purpose of showing who’s not okay.

While we should examine ourselves when we come to the table and confess any resistance to fellowship, that is different than coming to the table and resenting other fellows who are messing up communion. It is possible that someone is doing it wrong, and praise God that it isn’t you, unless it is. Either way, we eat and drink in remembrance of what Jesus has done, and focusing on Him either fixes conflict or it puts the characters into context.