Bring up the topic of religion any place in the world and you’re likely to have a debate on your hands. Even amongst people who claim to have the same religion, there seems to be more disagreement than agreement. Even amongst those who claim to follow Christ, there are thousands of groups; some groups bearing very little resemblance to any other. This begs the question, why can’t we get along?
I believe most of the problem boils down to one issue, authority. Who has the authority to say what’s right and what’s wrong. Who makes the rules? As long as there is disagreement about authority, there can never be unity.
That being said, this shouldn’t be a problem with Christians. Jesus pretty much settled the matter, didn’t He? He said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18). That settles it. He’s in charge. He makes the rules. His word is final.
But unfortunately, for many, it hasn’t settled the issue. Even though Jesus said He has ALL authority, people still want some of the authority.
- Some want to say because they have a religious title, they have authority to say what’s right and wrong (see Matthew 23:5-12).
- Some want to say their heart tells them what’s right and wrong (see Jeremiah 7:9).
- Some want to say their tradition tells them what’s right and wrong (see Matthew 15:1-9).
You see, it makes no difference how I feel about something, how you feel about something, how a religious teachers feels about something, or how your parents felt about something. The only thing that matters is what the Lord says about it. He has “all authority.” If we are going to be His disciples we must respect His authority as final and stop saying, “Yeah but, I just feel like we should do this or that.”
When we get out of the way and let Him be THE authority, we will have a real shot at unity. Let’s let His written word be our guide in ALL things, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
I love you and God loves you,