“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38,39).
Verse two of the majestic hymn, “The Church’s One Foundation,” speaks of a wonderful unity among believers. Unfortunately, such unity is seldom realized. Denominational pedigree and national traditions join with outright false teaching to divide the church. Verse three bemoans this fact.
Though with a scornful wonder, men see her sore oppressed, By schisms rent asunder, By heresies distressed, Yet saints their watch are keeping; Their cry goes up “How long?” But soon the night of weeping, Shall be the morn of song.
“If a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand” (Mark 3:24). In just the same way, the church is hindered in her work by disunity. Much time is wasted quibbling about secondary issues.
Worse yet, the church has been infiltrated by those teaching contrary to sound doctrine on primary issues. “There shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them” (II Peter 2:1). “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (I John 4:1).
What can be done? “Let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober” (I Thessalonians 5:6). Vigilant oversight by spiritually minded Christians can prevent heretical inroads, but we must be prepared.
Christ, the foundation of the church, promised His followers: “Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh” (Luke 6:21), and that He will lead the singing. “In the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee” (Hebrews 2:12). JDM