Christians Persecuting Other Christians

black women light skin dark skin frictionMany Christians  suffer persecutions in their daily walk with Christ.  This should not be  surprising.  Jesus predicted it for those who believed in Him (John  15:20) and the Apostle Peter told the church that they should not be  surprised when they suffer insults because of their faith in Christ (I  Peter 4:14).  What is surprising is that other Christians  receive persecutions – and some of the fiercest at that – from other  Christians.  This ought not to be so.

We are told to put on the whole armor of God and  to protect ourselves from spiritual attacks (Eph  6:10-18).  The only offensive weapon mentioned is the sword which is  the Word of God.  This weapon is intended to fight off spiritual attacks  from wicked spirits but all too often believers wield this weapon against other  Christians, however this is not the intended use for this weapon.  The last  thing that Christ would have us to do is to attack other Christians using the  Word of God (Bible).  Yes, we should challenge false teachings and false  gospels when we see them and the Bible tells us that there will be many of these  in the last days, but we are not to attack each other over non-essentials.   When Christians fight with each other over things that are not central to the  gospel of Jesus Christ (Calvary, Jesus atoning sacrifice, etc.), then we send a  strong message to unbelievers – that we can not even get along with each  other.  Where is Christ in that!

Some Christians go so far as to sue one another  in a court of law.  This grieves God greatly.  The Corinthian church  was so carnal that they were fighting and arguing over who had the best  spiritual gifts, even though these gifts were from God and not gifts that they  themselves had developed.  The were suing each other too, as Paul angrily  stated in I Corinthian 6:5-6, “I say this to shame you. Is it possible that  there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? But  instead, one brother takes another to court—and this in front of  unbelievers!”  By doing this in full view of non-believers, we shame the  reputation of Christ.  We are redeemed, but many times we don’t live like  the redeemed and we don’t reflect the Redeemer.  Gandhi once said that “I  love your Christ…it is your Christians that I don’t like very much.”  This  is because he saw the two-faced nature of many believers.

Jesus said that a house divided can not  stand…and Christians are sometimes divided over issues that are not central to  Calvary.  The Body of Christ should not be divided against itself, yet many  times we are attacking each other over beliefs or any belief that differs from  ours.  I love to quote the saying, “In Essentials Unity, In  Non-Essentials Liberty, In All Things Charity.”  This means that  above all things should be love.   We all have differences…yet these differences should not make us divided; they  should make us complete.

Paul spoke about the gifts of the Spirit and  said that the hand can not say to the foot that I have no need for you…or the  eye can not tell the ear that you are not needed.  No, we all need each  other.  We should be praying for one another.  Paul wrote in I  Corinthians 12:25 “that there should be no division in the body, but that its  parts should have equal concern for each other.“  Jesus told us that the  world would know us if we loved one another – not if we argued against each  other (John 13:35).  That is exactly what Satan must delight in.  What  would Christ say to us if He returned to see that we are fighting over issues  that are not essential to our own salvation and to tell others about Christ for  the Great Commission?   I think He would honestly be ashamed of us or  worse yet, angry that we can not get alone with each other.  He expects  that from those who don’t have the Holy Spirit – but for believers who have  Christ in them?

The book of Romans has much to say about living  with differences among Christians.

Romans 14

1 “Accept the one whose faith is weak,  without quarreling over disputable matters.”

4 -6  “Who are you to judge someone  else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will  stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.  One person considers one  day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them  should be fully convinced in their own mind. 6 Whoever regards one day as  special does so to the Lord.”

10  “You, then, why do you judge your  brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand  before God’s judgment seat.”

13  “Therefore let us stop passing  judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling  block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.”

19  “Let us therefore make every effort  to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.”

22  “So whatever you believe about  these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not  condemn himself by what he approves.”

Romans 15

“Each of us should please our  neighbors for their good, to build them up.”

“Accept one another, then, just as  Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”

The Apostle John spelled it out clearly, leaving  no room for doubt about who are Christ’s: “Whoever claims to love God yet hates  a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and  sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen” (I John  4:20).   If we are constantly attacking other believers, then the love  of God is not indwelling in us…and if anyone hates their brother or sister for  their beliefs, then God says that they are a liar if they say the love  God.  No one loves God and hates his brother or sister.  That is  totally inconsistent with Christianity.  In I John 1:6, John is saying that  we are living in duplicity or being a hypocrite if we say that we are in  fellowship with God and yet do not live like it with other believers: “If we  claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do  not live out the truth.”  Can it be any clearer?  Jesus commanded us  to pray for our enemies; how much more should we be praying for other believers  and loving one another?

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