03
May
15

ALL THIS OVER A PIG!

“Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be d made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment. For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you. Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, ‘I am of Paul,’ and ‘I of Apollos,’ and ‘I of Cephas,’ and ‘I of Christ.’  Has Christ been divided?” – I Corinthians 1:10-13a

After the Civil War, on the border of West Virginia and Kentucky, there raged a feud between the Hatfield family on the West Virginia side, and the McCoy family on the Kentucky side.  Over a 30 year period, there were a few skirmishes, but matters really heated up when Johnse Hatfield started courting Roseanna McCoy.  After being caught on the Kentucky side of the Tug Fork River, Johnse was held captive by the McCoy family for outstanding bootlegging warrants in Kentucky.  Roseanna crossed the river to warn the Hatfield family who gathered up a posse to forcibly take Johnse back home.  Johnse later left Roseanna and married her cousin, Nancy.  After numerous trials, various jail sentences and dozens of murders, the feud finally died down.  The ironic point of the whole feud is that according to many sources, it supposedly intensified over the disputed ownership of a hog.  How sad;  all this over a pig!
In the days of the early church, there was a lot of division over various parts of the relatively young church.  Some were teaching that you had to be circumcised in order to be saved.  Some sources say that some where teaching that you had to be baptized to be saved.  And yet others were divided over who the leadership of the church should be.  Paul had a to-the-point question regarding these divisions: “Has Christ been divided?”
Such divisions do more damage than good to the witness of the church, whose mission is to evangelize the world (Matthew 28:19-20).  We have trite arguments over how the offering to be taken up or what the preacher is supposed to wear.  We have silly divisions over if we should sprinkle, dunk once or dunk three times for baptism – perhaps we should hold them underwater until they really repent!  Some church divisions refuse to allow one to speak to the congregation unless they have been baptized in that denomination!
When the world, who is in need of salt and light, sees the church fussing and feuding over relatively small, trivial matters, and sees different denominations puffing their chest with pride over how they have the best system, it turns them off.  We are to be an example of unity and love, not an example of being worse than the world!  Let us all, whatever denomination or division, determine to find ways to be a united church, not a divisive church!
Besides, all these problems are over a pig!

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