Scripture: Acts 23:
6 Then Paul, knowing that some of them were Sadducees and the others Pharisees, called out in the Sanhedrin, "My brothers, I am a Pharisee, descended from Pharisees. I stand on trial because of the hope of the resurrection of the dead." 7 When he said this, a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. 8 (The Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, and that there are neither angels nor spirits, but the Pharisees believe all these things.)
9 There was a great uproar, and some of the teachers of the law who were Pharisees stood up and argued vigorously. "We find nothing wrong with this man," they said. "What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?" 10 The dispute became so violent that the commander was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces by them. He ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force and bring him into the barracks.
Observation: Division among people of faith can cause a lot of problems.
Application: As I read about the Pharisees and Sadducees I can’t help but notice similarities in them and our modern Christian churches. They were divided by some fairly important theologies. Each one believed they were right and the other side was wrong and they were prone to argue about it to the point of violence.
Just how far away from this are we? Look at the different denominations of the Christian church and the wide differences in theologies that we have. Paul knew what he was doing when he set this crowd to an uproar. He brought out the one thing that he knew would stir the bee hive, and that’s exactly what happened.
These kinds of arguments get us no where. You are probably not going to change someone’s mind by arguing, and the only thing that can really happen is hard feelings and more separation. So how do we deal with our differences? How do we get around the hard truth that we will never be able to agree on all points?
I think the answer is simple. Love one another despite our differences. It’s a simple answer yes, but not so easy to do. That means we have to accept the fact that not everyone is going to agree with our thoughts, it means we have to respect others opinions and beliefs, and it means we have to keep on acting in a loving manner towards one another. This is the only way the Christian church can ever be "One Flock" again.
When Jesus was instituting the act of communion he said "Do this in Remembrance of me." Think about how separated the church is – think of how the body of Christ has been dismembered and torn apart by our own stubbornness and pride over the centuries. It gives me a little different point of view about Christ’s statement "Remember me." RE – Member the dismembered body. Pull it all back together – and we can only do it by loving each other – despite our differences.
Prayer: Father of us all,
Help us as Your church and the body of your Son Jesus Christ here on earth to RE- Member the body. Help us to come together in love and unity and be One Flock as we should be with One Shepherd to guide us.