Have You Been Bit and Don’t Know It?
Matthew 12:25, “Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.”
James 4:1, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?”
As I listen to the news, as I listen to church people, as I counsel married couples, as I listen to parents with their children, I cannot help but notice we have been bit and don’t know it. What we have been bit with is a venom that comes straight out of the mouth of that ancient serpent, the devil. I call it the disease of denominationalism. One may wonder how marriage, church, parents and politics can all be bit by the same disease, for the categories are rarely listed together? Yet, the devil is no respecter of persons, all he wants to do is steal, kill and destroy us (John 10:10). Have you ever noticed how the devil treated Judas? He bit him with the venom of destruction at the Last Supper, then he sent him to do the bidding of the religious leaders, who were also bit with the same spirit, allowed him to be paid for his service, but once Judas recognized how his actions decided Jesus crucifixion, he was remorseful ((Matthew 27:3). Yet, the religious leaders did not care, for Judas was just a pawn they needed to use to accomplish their demonic purposes. What they didn’t know is that the devil was going to do to them, what they did to Judas.
The religious leaders, the politicians, the people, all were bit and didn’t even know it. I would suggest the same is true for people today. Most have been bit and don’t know it. Bit with what you may ask. The spirit of denominationalism, which is the venom of the devil himself. It bites politicians, parents, church people and leaders alike, spouses and anyone else you can think of. It divides countries, churches, families, companies, races and people in general. It is a spirit that so many people are bit with, they do not even think to deal with it when they are doing spiritual warfare. It is demonic in origin and manifests in destruction of relationships on every level. LIke the religious leaders did with Judas, by throwing him away after he did their bidding, this spirit will use you to its advantage and then spit you out as though you have no worth.
Most people have been bit by it and don’t even know it, that is why they can’t recognize it. It is subtle, it is sneaky and the only vaccination against it is love. Not that cheap love, not that weak love, not that love wins kind of love, only love for God and love for people, that is rooted in biblical understanding of love as noted by Jesus when He said, if you love me, you will do what I command, that kind of love. Love that trusts God even when you don’t understand. Love that is passionate, powerful, and doesn’t throw people away. That kind of love, which very few know is the only vaccination for this spirit of denominationalism.
What is the spirit of denominationalism? In its simplest form, it is the belief that if we do not agree we cannot walk together. It demands that we agree on everything in order to go to the same church; eat at the same table; live in the same house; it demands submission to one person’s ways, thoughts and beliefs or it says without words, get out, you’re not welcome, I don’t want you. In politics, it manifests as Democrats who will not confirm Republican cabinet picks; in churches, it manifests in not letting certain people in leadership roles; in families, it manifests in one person as the final say on all things; all in all, it seeks to silence any voice that does not agree with it.
The reason there are over 43,000 different organizations under the banner Christianity is because we cannot agree, so we cannot walk together. Amos 3:3 says, “Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” Amos said, we have to agree to walk together, not agree to agree. If you went to the temple during bible days, you would have heard arguments on doctrine, beliefs, theology, etc. on a level that many could not handle, but once they debate, the argument, the discussion was over, they walked out of the temple arm in arm, for they were brothers first and had not been bit by the spirit of denominationalism.
The church is divided, that is why it lacks power, it lacks authority and it lacks authenticity. If we disagree, we leave and find another church where people believe the way we do or we start our own church. Jesus said, the church is to have one voice, one message, one call, “REPENT FOR THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS HERE!” Division has never been God’s plan for the salvation of the world, the kingdom of God has one King, Jesus the Christ the son of the living God, one book, the Bible, one way, one truth and one life; it is a narrow road, very few want to travel on it, that is why they create their own way, their own church, their own whatever, but there will be a bride for Christ and she will speak with one voice, she will live in plumbline with her husband Jesus of Nazareth, and she will only listen to one voice, His.
Have you been bit and don’t know it?