For the first time in my life, I entered a season of church division a few months ago (although, I divided myself from the Orthodox Church for two decades of Protestantism beginning in college).
The most recent corporate division turned me around and made me question EVERYTHING. It prodded at me with a needle of disbelief, threatening to burst my faith and abandon God like my husband had.
There are a couple things that surprised me at the time of being part of a dividing church:
1. It brought me a deep sense of grief and distrust in the body of Christ. I didn’t know denomination was so important to me, and I craved purity and wholeness.
2. My atheist husband became my ally, pointing out the weakness in such a decision to divide.
Even he knew the essence of a denomination is unity, and he was appalled that they would willfully cause division.
As I listen to Michael Hyatt’s overview of the Apostolic Fathers, my eyes are opened further to the importance of unity, even amidst problems in the body of Christ.
In First Clement, and throughout the New Testament, the early church was first and foremost preserved by loving reminders of the Apostles and Apostolic fathers to not allow a few to divide what God has called to unify.
And yet, the advice of men closest to Christ’s time on earth is forgotten throughout Christendom these days. Modern church leaders insist on overworking the dough of Christianity to shape it into what they want, even cutting off the pieces they don’t have use for anymore.
If my atheist husband can call out the grievous act of division as unnecessary, than shouldn’t Christian men and women be able to see past their noses when their division is a bad witness—when their act is causing the world to disbelieve?
I am thankful to be exploring my roots in the Orthodox faith again. I craved purity and wholeness and God led me gently and swiftly. A fresh breath of unity and preservation is exactly what I needed to stop me from completely walking away. 🙏☦️❤️