Yesterday, I wrote about how the Church of Christ is in trouble. Today, as I’m progressing through my morning’s devotion, I was shown a picture of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. At first, my thought was could this be an example of the many differing Christian denominations coming together? The answer came quickly: No, because the common denominator is not there. From Judah to Levi, to Benjamin, the one unifier between them all was their worship. They were all centered in the same worship. This cannot be said for all Christian denominations. Therefore, this dispersing of God’s People today referred to as God’s “Spiritual” Israel, or better refined to being called, “God’s Remnant People” has to mean something more personal, The Seventh Day Adventist Church. We have many divisions within our church whether racial, regional or national to continental, the one unifier we have is our worship, the Seventh Day Sabbath.
I’m certain as I have studied religious history when Ancient Israel weren’t fighting the surrounding nations there was infighting amongst themselves! There is a type of pride which is a part of us and for no apparent reason. Like children regarding “school pride” which carries long into our adulthood, when in fact, I had no choice in the high school I attended. Even so far as “pride” regarding the city and its various sport teams, people will have some type of loyalty due to the fact of their birth-city which they had no choice! So, what’s the point of all this pride except to bring about division and exclusion in most cases?
You have the Africans who seem to have the “old religion” from the 60’s which the United States went through dealing with issues of whether women should wear pants or not to the now discussion within the American body of Seventh Day Adventists regarding the “ordination of women”, which other Adventists in other countries have already made a determination and will stick by this regardless of what the United States do. They’re calling the GC apostate, while the liberal are calling the conservative, “backward”. There’s “infighting” between the tribes of God’s Remnant People but we, like Israel, cannot lose sight of the one great unifier between us all, which is separate from the other denominations, such as Israel’s worship was separate from all the other pagan nations, and that is, our worship on the Seventh Day Sabbath.
There is something more tangible regarding this Truth which needs to keep our focus. Like Moses raising the bronze serpent, those who wish to be healed must focus their eyes on the cause of their pain. Our pain comes in keeping God’s true Seventh Day Sabbath! You see, the enemy of our souls is amongst us, too. He’s the cause of all the bitterness which now exists between us, as a church, in our various tribes brought about by racial and national boundaries. Our “seal” has “marked” us for internal controversy and until we learn to look past all the differences which separates us and recognize we’re called, by God, and thankfully so, to the one unifier of His presence on earth, The Seventh Day Sabbath.
Let all this other matter cease. It’s not that important. That which brings us together once a week should be enough to keep us together throughout the remainder of the week. If it is not capable of accomplishing such, then what we aspire to do at the end of the week becomes worthless!
October 16, 2014