Unity at any price?
15th of April
I have to say at the very beginning that I am not for divisions and quarrels and I am willing to go far in order to keep the peace, but how far can we stretch the borders?
I cannot say that I have all the answers, but I have some thoughts and some of them are built on the Word of God.
I will start by quoting 2.Cor.6: 14-15: “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?” We must not interpret this and think that we should have no contact with unbelievers. The Bible says that we should preach the gospel to all people and make them our disciples. In order to tell others about Jesus, we must have a natural contact with them. We are supposed to tell them what we have seen and heard. It says that we should not be yoked with unbelievers. That means that we should not enter into a covenant with them. We see very thin lines here since many people work for secular people and they make an agreement with them. I believe that this can become a problem sometimes and I really think you should ask the Holy Spirit if you are at a place where they work honestly and where you do not have to compromise with your faith and Christian values. That does not mean that you should use your working hours for witnessing and for praying. You are paid to work. If you get a chance to testify about Jesus during lunch hours, you are naturally free to do so. If we Christians should keep away from society, the world would look much darker than it does to-day. We are called to be salt and light in the world.
I really don’t believe that we should marry a non-believer. We will make a covenant with a child of the devil then. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the other person is a bad person, but he or she does not have Jesus in their spirit and is therefore open to other spirits. I have heard quite a few say that they believe that they should lead their partner to Christ, but I think that is a lie from the devil. This has absolutely taken place, but I have heard many sad stories about the Christian partner who lost more and more interest in Bible-reading, praying and fellowship with other believers. How would you raise your children? Will they have a Christian up-bringing? Will they get to know Jesus through reading the Bible and through prayers? Whom should they follow, mommy or daddy? I have seen children turning against the Christian parent and they do not want to go to Sunday school or any other meeting since the other parent isn’t there. I seriously believe in the warning from the Bible: Do not be unequally yoked!
Once we are married, can we get divorced then? My former husband left me and my children and nothing could at that point change that, but I still believe that way too many choose that as a way out of a conflict. Many may have too romantic dreams about a marriage and are not realistic enough. I believe in a healthy spiritual and practical counseling before one enters matrimony. My husband to-be said that we should pray and read the Bible together, but we did not do it before marrying and not afterwards either. I seriously recommend couples to have that communion before they get married. I really recommend couples to seek both the Lord and professional help before they get divorced. I do believe that there are reasons for a divorce. The Bible mentions unfaithfulness, but I also believe that you should protect yourself from physical and psychological misuse or even terror. I do not have all the answers and there might be more reasons. Do not get easily divorced. Matrimony is meant to be an eternal covenant.
I know that I have readers from different parts of the world and you might not be so familiar with the tendencies in other parts of the world, but I am in the middle of a discussion about unity in the body of Christ. Others are talking about unity with other religions. I personally love people with different cultures, looks and religions, but what kind of unity should we have? I adopt the culture of a country as long as it does not compromise with the Word of God. I am Norwegian, but I do not believe in trolls and gnomes and I turn against the ancient belief in other gods. I do not enter temples in order to bow down before a god belonging to another religion. I try to avoid food that is blessed by other priests or sacrificed to other gods. I cannot pray with a Muslim and say that we pray to the same god. I can be together with people from other religions, but we cannot have a spiritual unity before they are born again. I can show them respect, but must be honest about our differences. Jesus is the only way to God. To-day it is popular to say that everybody is blessed in their own faith. “What seems right to you, is right for you.” There is no more right and wrong, but a terrible mixture. Does this make people free and happy? No, it is binding people since they live on a lie.
Christians have for many years lived in boxes with fences between them and we have been fighting over different theological interpretations. Some of the differences have been very minor. We are going to live together in Heaven and the name of your church does not decide your place in Heaven. I do not believe that these divisions have been pleasing to the Father. Sisters and brothers usually play together and we are sisters and brothers if we are born by the same father. In John 14:6 it says that no one comes to the Father except through Jesus. He is our atonement.
We can many places in the Bible read that Jesus is the head of the His body. When we talk about the Bride of Christ or the Church, we must have Jesus as the Head. Have you seen a body without a head? When we cut off the head, the body dies. Jesus must be the one who unites us Christians. I know that many want to have a unity with the Catholics to-day. I have tried to study their teachings and I understand that they believe that we get saved through seven sacraments and not through the Cross. I do believe that there are Catholics who have turned against their own teaching and received Jesus as their Savior and we should naturally have a spiritual unity with those, but we cannot have a unity with a system that is not based on the Word. They also believe that the Pope is infallible. Jesus is the only one who is infallible. I thought we had much more in common until I started reading their teaching. I can say the same as a friend of mine: “God loves the Catholics, but hate the system.” Many evangelical Christians have been killed by Catholics. How can we be united with a Church that persecutes the Christians? Some pastors say that they will get closer to the Pope and the Catholic Church in order to influence them. In many cases the result is the contrary. The Bible says that we must be careful when we help somebody. We can fall ourselves. I personally know pastors who have changed their own faith teaching and taken a lot from the Catholic teachings. I absolutely believe that we can find Catholic believers, but we cannot have a unity with a system that denies salvation through Jesus Christ. We find many deceiving spirits in these days.
KEEP CLOSE TO JESUS AND TO THOSE WHO LOVE HIM!