And God saw the light that it was good; and he divided the light from the darkness…And God said: let there be a firmament amidst the waters: and let it divide the waters from the waters… Genesis 1:4, 6
Do not believe that I came to cast peace [throw it like a net] upon the earth; I came not to cast peace but a dagger. I came to sunder a man from his father, and a daughter from her mother, and a bride from her mother in law. Even those of his household will be a man’s enemies. Matthew 10:34-36
Call these things to mind solemnly bearing witness before God’s face not to war with words, to no useful end, to the detriment of those hearing. Hasten to stand by God approved, a worker unashamed, rightly dividing [cutting out] the word of truth. Avoid hollow, much-frequented babblers, for they greatly advance impiety and their word takes hold like a spreading blight in a pasture. 2 Timothy 2: 14-17
I am hard pressed to understand why these days so many who profess to be Bible-instructed Christians jump on the popular bandwagon of UNITY, even at the expense of Biblical truth. They often justify this in the name of love.
Trending: Why Your State Should NOT Legalize Weed
This seems plausible at first glance, since Christ identified an aspect of love (charity) as the greatest of the three primordial virtues (faith, hope, charity). He emphasized the word of God that makes love the focal point of the two great commandments that epitomize God’s law for in respect of our humanity. He commanded us, through his disciples, to make his love for us the model of our love for one another.
But it is precisely the example of Christ that should give pause to self-styled Christians who proclaim unity as the defining labor of love. For, in creation God conceived and determined the existence of all possible things, constituting, respecting and preserving the good of each and all of them as a whole.
Thus as made known in the Scripture, God’s work of creation is the very definition of a labor of love. Yet from the first, creation proceeds by dividing one thing from another, so that each may exist distinctly as what it is. A vast plurality of things results, ruled by God so that each one stands apart from the others, in some respect.
Yet all stand together in God, as the Apostle affirms when he says “in Him we live, and move, and have our being.” (Acts 17:28) But the Bible says “Hear you, Israel! The LORD (Yahweh, singular) our God (Elohim, plural) is one.” However they appear to us, therefore, the plurality and distinctiveness of created things does not gainsay the wholesomeness of God, His being perfectly one and the same in every way, such that no one be more absolutely one than God is.
Even so, in the beginning the Scripture tells us that this one being performs the work of creation by means of division, out of His one being calling forth another and then another, always by way of constituting the divide that distinguishes them. To comprehend it may beggar our faculty of understanding, but from the perspective of God’s creation, the defining work of love is accomplished by division.
In terms of our poor powers of perception, what is in being appears to be many things, not absolutely one. This appearance seems to account for our existence too, among the rest. It appears to be for our good that God introduces the divisions by which creation proceeds, until He comes to the moment in which Adam is divided by God from within himself, and represented to himself in terms of that division.
As a result, Adam recognizes, among the panoply of created things, a way of being like his own, represented to Him by God as Eve. This way of being (woman) is itself expressed in a distinct form, by a difference that affirms (by way of procreation) the extension of human nature as a whole from one instance of being to another.
As God withdraws Eve from Adam in one form, in order to represent Adam to himself in another, so the Apostle tells us (Philippians 2:6) that Christ consented to withdraw from the formal unity of his equality with God. Emptying himself as one in God’s form, he represents God to us in another form- made in the likeness of man, being found in the pattern of humanity. Christ’s self-decanting marks the moment of difference between one form of being and another, the line of demarcation that marks their distinction.
The plan of God for our salvation is, like creation, a labor of love. Yet and still it too does not proceed without division. Yet in both cases, the division takes place by way of unifying, according to God’s will. As the seas gather together so that dry land appears, Christ joins himself to our humanity, so we may stand again upon the ground of our true existence, which is our relationship with God, through Jesus Christ.
However, Christ makes it clear that in order to join ourselves to him, we will have to stand divided, father from son, mother from daughter, etc., by way not only of difference but of enmity, insofar as the will of others for us conflicts with the will of God for all.
Christ is the focal point of that division, and so becomes the focal point of the hatred of those who, in rejecting him, reject God’s will to serve and preserve us and all the world of His creation. But is not Christ the way of God’s love? If we refuse to gather with Him, at the focal point of that division which serves God’s purpose of salvation, how can we be saved?
As Hamlet might say, there’s the rub for those preoccupied with UNITY, who therefore make “divisiveness” a rubric of un-Christlike hate. Divisiveness appears to be essential in God’s plan for both creation and salvation. The challenge is not to achieve UNITY at any price. The challenge, as the Apostle says is rightly to divide the word, which is the word of truth. According to the words of Scripture, this word of truth is Christ himself, with whom we are called to stand the test, by God approved.
I suppose that some may think this comes amiss from me, speaking as I do from the perspective from someone mostly preoccupied with such worldly affairs as politics and government. But in this fateful crisis for my country, and despite whatever others may say or act upon, I see the future turning, for good or ill, on one issue above all the rest.
In the presence of God, in Jesus Christ, will the people of the United States standing as one before the face of God, foregather as our nation’s founders did, around the standard of justice derived from His truth, or will we cast away that standard? This question runs through all the issues of our time most critical to our survival as a people truly free.
But where is the party, full of workers unashamed, willing to be the focal point of that division wherein Americans of good faith and will can unite to cast their ballots for the union of God and country, of right and rightful liberty, that, by God’s Providence, America was and still is meant to be?
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.