In 1962, I got subpoenaed because of a church division when our pastor took those opposed to him to court. All 18 of us who were subpoenaed were leaders in the church and had merely requested a church business meeting.
The first words out of the judge’s mouth were, “Dear Lord and Father of mankind, forgive our foolish ways! Ever heard those words? They’re from your church hymnal! (I almost shouted, I’m not here.) You’re supposed to love one another. (No need to tell me twice.) You’ll find that the good book forbids one Christian to take another one to court. Don’t ever let me see you in my court room again.” (You can count on it.) When his gavel sounded, I disappeared so fast one of my friends thought the rapture had occurred.
The Apostle Paul reprimands the Corinthian church for its disharmony with one another: “I have a serious concern to bring up with you. You must get along with each other. Learn to be considerate of one another. Cultivate a life in common. Stop fighting among yourselves. Stop picking sides.” (I Cor 1:10 The Message)
Dear Understanding Father, We drag your name through the mud, play havoc with our testimony, and televise our drama with a cast of hypocrites. Forgive our divisive spirit and lack of cohesive love for one another. Amen.
Ever been involved in the suffering of a church split? Please share how God changed your life at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dick Hafer, Sunday Snickers, New Leaf Press, 2004. Used by permission