A House Divided Against Itself

Written by Samuel Lawrence:

On June 16, 1858, more than 1,000 Republican delegates met in the Springfield, Illinois, statehouse for the Republican State Convention. At 5 p.m. they chose Abraham Lincoln as their candidate for the U.S. Senate, running against Democrat Stephen A. Douglas. At 8 p.m. Lincoln delivered this address to his Republican colleagues in the Hall of Representatives. The title comes from a sentence in the speech’s introduction, “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” which paraphrases a statement by Jesus in the New Testament.  (source: http://showcase.netins.net/web/creative/lincoln/speeches/house.htm)

The quote above is the introduction to a speech given by Abraham Lincoln in which he discusses the issue of slavery and the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott Decision that endorsed slavery.  Lincoln’s speech was somewhat of a prophetic foreshadowing of the American Civil War.   Lincoln’s speech title was a spin off of Jesus’ words in  Matthew 12:22-28.  The Jewish religious leaders had accused Christ of using demonic powers to drive out demons from a demon possessed man.  Jesus succinctly and rightly chided his accusers in Matthew 12:25 “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.”

America stands at a crossroad in 2010.  Since the 2006 Election, Congress has taken a hard left turn and since the 2008 Presidential election our President and Congress have led our nation down the primrose path toward economic ruin and the bonds of Socialism are ever tightening their grip on our citizenry and are erasing our freedoms.  The enemies of America are employing the same time tested strategy of “divide and conquer” implied in the scripture above.  We, as a nation, are deeply divided on many issues.  Economically we have a huge and growing percentage who feel entitled to government support, believing the Government owes them a living, free healthcare, free education, free housing and free food. Opposite those are the shrinking middle class whose hard work and diligence are paying for those desiring a free ride from the government.

Spiritually, America is facing a great divide as well.  Our nation was founded on Christian principles and up until the mid 1900’s America had an overwhelming Christian influence in society and enjoyed the blessings of the Lord in many ways.  What happened in the church is the same strategy as those seeking to destroy America: “Divide and Conquer.”  “In politics and sociology, divide and rule (derived from Latin divide et impera) (also known as divide and conquer) is a combination of political, military and economic strategy of gaining and maintaining power by breaking up larger concentrations of power into chunks that individually have less power than the one implementing the strategy” (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divide_and_rule).

America’s only hope for survival and the maintaining our freedoms and liberty lies squarely on the shoulders of Christians.  Throughout the Old Testament are accounts of the Lord blessing and delivering His people when they repent and turn to Him and obey His Word. Similarly there are many examples of God’s elect being put into bondage and captivity for turning away from the Lord. 2 Chronicles 7:14 declares “if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” America has certainly turned away from the Lord the past few decades.  Most Christians in America today have more of a Secular Humanist worldview than a Christian worldview thanks to decades of humanist indoctrination in the Public education system.

The Christian artist Carman sings a song declaring “we need God in America again…”

The prescription in 2 Chronicles 7:14 and elsewhere in scripture sounds easy, but the enemy, Satan, is crafty and also understands the meaning of “a house divided.” It has often been said in various ways that the “Christian Army” shoots their own soldiers.  Many reading this article may have been a victim of such spiritual abuse.  Churches and denominations fight and argue over doctrine rather than focusing on the mission of spreading the Gospel.  Christians, churches and denomination need to realize, whether they are traditional or contemporary, Baptist, Methodist or Presbyterian, evangelical or charismatic, KJV only or NIV/ESV, etc.— ALL true believers are part of the body of Christ. It is past time to cease all divisions between Christians and work together toward spreading the Gospel of Christ throughout America.

In 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 the Apostle Paul describes the church as “One Body with Many Members”…

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body,so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body— Jews or Greeks, slaves or free — and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.

The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But(AP) earnestly desire the higher gifts.

It is time for true Christians everywhere to work together as one body.  We must strive to build one another up instead of tearing at one another down and wounding fellow believers, even for the sake of growing a mega church.  Benjamin Franklin was quoted as saying at the signing of the Declaration of Independence: “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”  In this current social and political environment, Franklin’s advice is sound.  St. Augustine (354-430 AD – over 1500 years ago) is credited with saying “In Essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In all things, love.” We need this today as much as ever.