A Voice in the
"I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind & in the same judgment." (1Cor1:10)
Verses like this are often quoted as the battle cry of religion today as "christians" chant the "love and unity" refrain. The primary element is the "putting aside of differences, finding things to agree upon, and tolerating each other where they differ." In laying aside differences, many parties find themselves abandoning primary beliefs in order to "get along" and be viewed amiably as "team players."
However, when Paul writes to "speak" the same thing, what is he saying? To affirm a belief. To teach, exhort and command...a SPECIFIC teaching. DOCTRINE. All Christians are to have the SAME Doctrine.
Is this what we see today? Hardly! The fastest growing organi- zations pride themselves in being disobedient to God's command. They proudly proclaim, "Walls come down!" Walls of "doctrinal differences." Rather than studying God's Word to see what it says and conforming to it, they ignore Doctrine and rely on the warm and fuzzy feelings of "luuuv" and "graeeece."
Paul further says, "that there be no divisions." In other words, denominationalism is un-Biblical. The Church is not divided into various beliefs of those who dissent because of differing views, whatever the factious idea might be. To believe something "different" and thus have a "sect" is SIN.
We are to be "perfectly joined together." In other words, to fit, arrange, strengthen. To be complete. To make one what he ought to be. If there is a flaw or an error, the problem is fixed, to conform to the image of Christ. Not ignored. "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son.."(Rom 8:29)
And this occurs as the Church functions as it should, "till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in..deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head; Christ; from whom the whole body, joined and knit together...according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.(~Eph 4:13-16)
There is UNITY of Faith; not abandoning of it. Growth in the knowledge of Christ; not man's "innate goodness from within." We are to resist flitting from one doctrine to another; in other words, "Grow Up! Be Mature! and don't be deceived!" As the different "body" parts work together, each part helps the next to be what it ought to be, receiving directions from the "Head," ...Jesus Christ.
As these body parts are "perfectly..knit together" it results in the "same mind." Not just a head knowledge, but spiritual understanding and judgment. "Judgment" means a "view, opinion, decree." Again, the 'despised' word ..."DOCTRINE."
So, you may retort, "Isn't this awfully idealistic?! Nobody can agree on everything. If everybody believes the same things, then God might as well have made us all robots and programmed us like computers." And then the companion question naturally arises, "How can we know WHAT is correct doctrine?"
The "same mind" we are to have is a "spiritual" mind. That of the heart. This is something ONLY for Christians. "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God."(1Cor2:9-10)
Only a man understands the things of man. Only an animal, their species of animal. Only a woman knows what it's like to be a woman. So, too, only a Christian can understand spiritual things. Human wisdom tries to understand God, but cannot.
Do you wonder sometimes why it seems like you are bashing your head against a brick wall when trying to share Christ with a person of the world? It is because, "these things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches...but the natural man (non-Christian) does not receive (understand) the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."(1Cor2:13-14) This is why the intellectuals assume you are personally "attacking" them when you label sin for what it is, and you are censored by forum Section Leaders. They simply don't understand. They CANNOT! It's not in their nature to.
It is like a veil, clouding their view of the Truth. "But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe"(2Cor4:3-4) You see, it is spiritual warfare. Their "father" blinds the hearts of his children, so they cannot understand God's Truth.
But, "when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away." And then "with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord" Christians "are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord"(2Cor3:16,18) We don't fully know what the outcome is yet while we are still on this earth, but "we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is."(1Jn3:2)
God has chosen to reveal Himself to His own, "who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." When Christ comes into a person's life, the veil is taken away, just as the veil to the Holiest in the Temple was torn at His crucifixion, providing direct access to God through His blood.(Heb10:19) With that access comes understanding. But this is not of our own efforts, "we have this treasure in earthen vessels (human bodies), that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us."(2Cor4:7)
So, when somebody taunts, "So, what makes you think YOUR way is the right way?" what is he saying? He is "admitting to" being a non- Christian. The unregenerate spend their time debating (dialogue) with Each Other, trying to decide "who's right or wrong." The Believer spends his time in God's Word, getting to know Christ. "..we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding...and eternal life."(~1Jn5:20)
Next time somebody retorts, "So, you think you know it all. You're so narrow-minded and think 'your' way is the only right way. You should be more loving, and less judgmental" ...just remember, "he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one...who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct him?'
But we have the Mind of Christ."(1Cor2:15-16)