He is Risen! Resurrection Sunday or Easter is upon us, that is if you are on the Latin Church calendar, if you are on the Greek (Orthodox) calendar you will have to wait an additional week this year for your resurrection festival. If you are part of the free church of Scotland, well sorry no Easter for you, again. Why all the diversity on when to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, or should I write why all the disagreement? Historically the date of Easter has been no small sideshow issue, but it was a significant factor in the great Schism, the dividing of the church between the Greek east and the Latin west.
Unity is the great hypocrisy of Christendom, but disunity is also the master strategy of Lucifer. Divide and cause strife and schism, has been his tactic from the beginning. That condemned serpent has been dividing everything God made to unite us since he fell from heaven. Lucifer also known as Satan, who thought to exalt himself against God, that serpent of old and the destroyer of nations, has been dividing to destroy for a very long time. His favorite areas to create schism are those very areas God created for unity.
God created the church to be “one body”, yet it is a collection of squabbling fiefdoms, each claiming to the one true expression of the faith, condemning others as false prophets, heretics or just simply inferior. Just like Lucifer’s fall, pride drives the schism. While pride itself is a sinful assessment of self, the pride that divides is often rooted in the exultation of things that are good. A Church seeking truth and knowledge is a good thing, yet when they value their perception of knowledge so much they stop loving, they actually have neither truth nor knowledge.
1 Corinthians 13:2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
Do not forget Satan is cunning and clever; it is by craft an deceit that we are conned into divisions.
Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made.
Lucifer’s strategy is to use something good and use it goodness to reorder life into disorder. The resurrection of Jesus is the single most important event in history to mankind. The celebration ought to unite all Christians and all of Christendom, yet it a cause to squabble and boast. The body is divided among all those who have this in their cannon:
1 Corinthians 12:12-13 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body — whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free — and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. …25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another…27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
But it not just concerning Easter that Lucifer had aimed his mischief, baptism and most ironically of all communion have been among the most divisive issues for the church. Disagreements over the sacraments that bring us into the body and unite that body with Christ have been the cause for division for millennia. This is to our shame. I am not arguing that we should remain ignorant in these matters, but humble. It takes wisdom to differentiate a major issue from a minor one, and a liberty from the application of the law. If these deliberations are not accompanied with love, the destroyer has already won a victory. Neither am I urging hand holding an a hearty chorus of kum ba ya, but of humility under God. It just might be that you are in err, and as hard as it is to conceive, I might be wrong and that is no mistake, but God is always right and He is always in the right.
Lucifer has not stopped with the church, he uses his cunning stratagem in families and nations to hasten their destruction. Isiah 14:12 refers to Lucifer weakening nations directly. We in our modern age think of nations as civic states, but in the time Isiah a nation was more extended family ( i.e. decedents of Abraham) than a constitution of laws and borders. In America there are political divide and conquer threats constantly operating to marginalize the strength of opposition, weakening resistance against the march of evil. Each race, special interest, gender, economic class, and geographic region is pitted against all others to compete for scarce resources and laws advantageous to their interests. The US is no longer e pluribus unum, out of many one, it is now much more many trying to be number one, kinda like Lucifer id described in Isiah 14.
Your pomp is brought down to Sheol, And the sound of your stringed instruments; The maggot is spread under you, And worms cover you.’ 12 ” How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! 13 For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ 15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit. 16 “Those who see you will gaze at you, And consider you, saying: ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, Who shook kingdoms, –Isaiah 14:11-16
The family is also divided. Jesus said about marriage:
“So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” –Matthew 19:6
Husbands and wife operate separately, divorce is common and completion for rule is ubiquitous. Satan has certainly been busy. He created feminism to divide. Look again at Genesis 3. Lucifer divides the household by disrespecting Adam’s headship as he preys upon Eve. He appeals to her low estate being under god and provokes a desire to as a god. This is the most basic kernel of feminism, it is the desire to create a higher estate for women than God designed; to be as god and reorder creation to her liking. Eve wanted to be as god, last decade women wanted to be as men, today women want to rule. By marriage God made them one but, feminism uses every wedge to make them two. Perhaps no more potent example is that of sex. Sex was created for oneness, but has become a great instrument of division. Sex is an act of becoming one and important in maintenance and the celebration of oneness. God reserves it exclusively for marriage, yet inside the marriage is has become a bargaining chip or a weapon. It is according to studies the single largest area of conflict among married couples. The conflict over sex has become so rampant that today if a man desires regular and frequent coitus, it is more pragmatic to remain single and learn to fornicate than to get married and be sentenced to celibacy. The whole of modern culture supports that sinful and calamitous premise. Music, books movies and laws are all biased to the idea of sex outside of marriage is better and more frequent than sex inside of marriage. The world says Marriage is where a sex life dies and a man loses his manliness. Women fear marriage means for them a danger of enslavement, boredom and loss of self expression. This is concept of sexless marriage is not just propaganda, but observation supported by overwhelming data. They are no longer one but two. Satan has been busy turning what created for good and using it to destroy what God created to unite.
However, He is risen! He is now seated on the throne. That should be enough to overcome our schismatic pride. He rules, His law is law, He revealed a blueprint for life in the church, the government and in the home. Diversity of application is the expected result of diversity of gifts and diversity of purpose in the body. Viva la difference, we are not all the same. Christianity is not a franchise, but a body. And marriage is not two of the same type, but two different individuals made to be one. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. He is risen, He has overcome sin and death that we can resist parting out our marriages and repent of our schismatic pride for God tells us… Hear oh Israel, the Lord thy God is one!