Sin Divides Families, Churches, Nations (Podcast)

Doug looks at the dividing reality of sin and the uniting reality of healthy community. When sin rules a relationship, we use the language of division. When God rules a relationship, we use the language of “us.” On today’s show we examines how sin divides families, churches and even nations. Doug talks about how George Washington almost prophetically warned against the partisan nation we currently inhabit. A fascinating show about the power of sin to divide and the power of Christ to unite!

The Community of God: A Theology of the Church From a Reluctant Pastor is available through Amazon or this Website


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One Response to Sin Divides Families, Churches, Nations (Podcast)

  1. freedalyn greene June 24, 2017 at 11:21 am #

    Great point that people saying things are getting worse, but a brother killing a brother is a pretty horrific start for the human race. But God did warn that if they ate of the tree they would die: Abel, their offspring died as a result of sin entering the world. Cain was the elder, he probably expected to be preferred above Abel; how humiliating to have God not only reject his offering but warn him against being dominated by sin. So Cain compounded the wrong by killing Abel. Obviously Cain wasn’t looking at Abel as part of ‘we’ but rather an obstacle to his success: as if God would have accepted his offering if not for Abel.

    This story certainly displays the divisiveness of sin, as well as the delusion, the deception in which sin operates. Abel wasn’t the problem; the ‘other’ often isn’t the real problem. Just as Cain couldn’t admit that he was at fault for bringing an inadequate offering, people find it easier to blame other individuals, groups, nations, faiths, etc.for their problems. And in this they play into Satan’s hand. Through history we can see groups being made ‘scapegoats’ for a country’s problems: the Jews, the Irish (19th c. America), Hispanics and Muslims(21st c. America). But blaming the other doesn’t solve the problem; in the short term however, it might ensure power for a group who knows how to manipulate people for their own gain. Hence Washington’s warnings against partisanship, which to me, echo Paul’s warnings in 1 Corinthians where divisions threatened to displace the gospel, where the focus on spiritual gifts was in danger of eclipsing the necessity for love and humility.

    I keep coming back to the beatitudes: blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Not the excellent, not the wealthy, not the beautiful, not even the intelligent or industrious. Because if I acknowledge that I am poor in spirit, I have no right nor authority to blame, judge, condemn others. Because I am poor in spirit I acknowledge that my anger at some one doesn’t mean he’s wrong or that he must be kicked out. Because I am poor in spirit, I am thankful to be accepted, to belong to a local fellowship: I won’t get along easily with some, but i”m flawed as well. I have to learn not to blame others for my flaws but also understand that my flaws don’t prevent God from loving me, likewise I try not to let people’s flaws prevent me from sharing God’s love. The ‘other’ in the sense of less than human, or evil or undeserving of mercy has no place in Christian life: all persons are my potential neighbors whom I am called to love as myself. In fact as a Christ-follower I am called to love my enemies and it starts with my attitude with how I think, with what words I use, even the tone of voice I speak with.

    Thank you for another stimulating discussion: you don’t have to make Scripture relevant, it is relevant to the human soul and spirit, regardless the date on the calendar.

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