If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed. (Gal. 3:29)
THE CHURCH IS AS DIVIDED TODAY as it ever has been. We parse ourselves out as Roman Catholic or Protestant, progressive or conservative, evangelical or fundamentalist, Calvinist or Arminian, and many, many finer points of doctrine and practice. Sometimes the distinctives are so minor that the outsider has a hard time distinguishing between one group and another. How have we let it come to this?
In the book of Galatians, Paul addressed one such potential fracture in the church—between those who thought that Christians should still observe the Law of Moses and those who thought that Christians are free of the Law. While Paul made room for Peter and others who chose to continue observing the Law, he would not stand by while they separated themselves from the rest of the church (2:11–15). Paul’s heart is clear throughout the book of Galatians and especially in today’s passage: God promised Abraham a single family. While there will always be diversity (Jew and Greek, slave and free, male and female) there must never be division (“neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female”; 3:28). We are all one family.
There is nothing wrong with having opinions and even holding to them strongly, but we must never allow our diversity of opinion to result in division within the body. We all are children of God.
Embrace the unity of Christ’s church in the midst of its diversity.
Kevin Scott is a pastor, acquisitions editor, and author of ReCreatable. He lives in Noblesville, Indiana, with his wife and three children.