The above question came to my mind after I pondered the level of division in the body of Christ these days. We all know that Christ is not divided, but how do we reconcile the indivisibility of Christ with the fragmentation of Christianity in this present age?
The Apostle Paul asked the Corinthian church the same question when it engaged in needless bickering (1 Corinthians 1: 12-13).
The division in Christianity calls for sober reflection. We are divided along racial, ethnic, tribal, national, and denominational lines. Some may argue that denominationalism is not true division. But we should understand that dedicated unity is not achieved merely by words, but through active commitment to love and serve one another within the Body.
The kind of unity that Jesus prayed for us is not passive but active: "That they may be one" (John 17:21). This prayer was made by Jesus the night before He died. His prayer was not just for the unity of His disciples while He was on earth, but also for the unity of those who have followed in their footsteps, generation after generation. The significance of the repeated phrase "That they may be one" should give every Christian pause.
If the desire of Christ is that Christians should unite, why are we so divided to the extent that we are? In my country, churches fight against each other routinely.
Christians in northern Nigeria are going through hell. They are persecuted and killed on daily basis, but the southern Christians go about their daily and weekly programs unperturbed. Injury to northern Christians should have been injury to the southern Christians, if our unity in Christ really mattered. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, but in today's Christianity, tribe, denomination, tongue and race have divided us into countless factions.
Our inability to take seriously the instructions and desires of Christ has helped the devil to continue to fan the amber of division among us. Jesus prayed that we may be one. Are we not supposed to be deliberately involved in building the bond of unity even in our diversity?
Every Christian church or organization should first and foremost seek to unite all members before anything else. For Christians to be politically relevant, unity is not negotiable, and for our light to illuminate society, all denominational rays of light must converge in the nearest proximity.
The doctrine of unity should be preached regularly so that congregants learn to accept Christians who are not part of their congregations, race, tribe or tongue. The love for God's Kingdom should be emphasized, and the allegiance to denominations should be de-emphasized often. This kind of unity requires nothing less than putting our very lives on the line for the sake of one another.
If we stand divided, we risk losing all that the unlimited power of dedicated unity provides. "Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven" (Mathew 18:19). I strongly believe that if all Christians in Nigeria should come together as one, the Muslim-Muslim ticket will not prevail in the 2023 presidential elections. The unity of American Christians will surely restore America’s blessings of old, as one nation under God.
What Christ has put together, let no Christian leader divide. United we stand but divided we fall.