By Pastor Gilbert Owens Kingdom of God Ministries
March 7, 2014
You have heard this before. The most segregated day in America is on Sunday mornings when people go to church. This is even prevalent in Sampson County.
We have for example black and white Methodist churches. We have black and white Baptist churches. We have black and white non-denominational churches. We have black and white Holiness churches. We have black and white Seventh Day Adventist churches and the list goes on. There are one or two exceptions where the congregations are a rare mixture of all races such as The Clinton Family Worship Center and The Clinton-Pentecostal Holiness Church. But by and large, our churches are consumed with a divisive spirit and that clearly illustrates something is wrong.
Many of our segregated churches were born out of this country’s bigotry, Jim Crow laws and racial discrimination of the past. But, if the truth be told, many were also born out of the lust for filthy lucre by many pastors. But the country and this county have come a long way from those precarious conditions. Although the nation and county have come a long way, it is sad to say that our churches have not.
The church is supposed to be the only place on earth where status, race, wealth, family heritage and education has no influence in terms of fellowship and worship. This is what the Bible infers when it says, God has no respect of person.
The Apostle Paul addressed this issue by first dealing with Christians who have an allegiance to a particular pastor. Paul said that every pastor, no matter what race, no matter what wisdom/education, no mater what speaking abilities were given to all believers and that all of them together are one. Paul goes on to say that the focus of every believer should not be on the pastor, but on Christ, because no pastor was crucified for you and I doubt that any would.
Paul goes on to say that if any believer feels obligated to attend only one particular church or to only hear one particular preacher they are indeed carnal. As a result of being carnal, Paul says that causes envy, strife and divisions among church members and churches as a whole. Being carnal and/or having a divisive spirit cuts both ways. If you are carnal, it makes room for a divisive spirit. If you have a divisive spirit, then it makes you carnal. Either way, the expected outcome is that you will never be able to live the abundant life Jesus Christ came to give you.
Many in the church today will never become spiritual because this spirit of division keeps them from hearing some truths that they need to grow. No one pastor and no one church is able to give any believer all that God has for them to know and to have. Many believers should be careful of those who say to their congregations, “You cannot be fed anywhere but here.” The end result is being cemented in your walk with Christ as a baby that can only receive milk and not the meat that you need to grow and prosper as a child of God. As the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 1:13, “Is Christ divided?” Then why should you?