Separation and Division, Part 1

“Therefore, everyone who will acknowledge me before others, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever denies me before others, I will also deny him before my Father in heaven. 34 Don’t assume that I came to bring peace on the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.35 For I came to turn

a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
36 and a man’s enemies will be
the members of his household.[k]

37 The one who loves a father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; the one who loves a son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And whoever doesn’t take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Anyone who finds his life will lose it, and anyone who loses his life because of me will find it.

Matthew 10:32-39

These are Jesus’ words as he prepares his disciples for heartache.

Any of us can baptize our beliefs in Christianity but it doesn’t make our beliefs “christian.” Eventually the life and teaching of Jesus will confront our beliefs. What is true and faithful will be separated from what is not.

Followers will begin separating from fans. Sheep will begin separating from goats.

Love for the vulnerable, powerless, weak, and marginalized will reveal what is true and become the basis of separation and division.

This is where prophetic speech comes in to boldly and disruptively invite us to awareness and repentance, where love must move from sentimentality and belief to truth-telling and action. This is how love becomes a form of power that can drive out fear. This is how we are liberated from the bonds of death and all our violent death-dealing ways. But division will come, and so will heartache.

(See Matthew 25:31-46, 1 John 4:7-21, Hebrews 2:14-15)

About Fred

Fred came to serve greater Williamsburg and WCC as lead pastor in October of 2010 and is grateful to be a part of the family. He is a husband, father, certified trauma professional, S.T.A.R. (strategies for trauma awareness & resilience) practitioner, community organizer, TEDx alum, founder of 3e Restoration, Inc. and co-owner of Philoxenia Culture LLC. He received his B.S. in Ministry/Bible at Amridge University and his Master’s of Religious Education in Missional Leadership from Rochester University. Currently he is a candidate for a Doctorate of Ministry in Contextual Theology in at Northern Seminary in Chicago. Fred has also served as an adjunct professor for Rochester University and Regent University where taught courses in philosophy, ethics, leadership, pastoral care, intro to Christianity, and ethnography. He has also served as a guest lecturer on the subjects of racialized cultural systems, poverty, and missiology at various universities, such as William & Mary and Oklahoma Christian University. Fred has authored on book (Racialized Cultural Systems, Social Displacement and Christian Hospitality) and several curriculum offerings, including The FloorPlan: Living Toward Restoration & Resilience. Fred enjoys hanging out with his family anytime, anywhere. He is deeply grateful for how God graciously works through the Church in all her various forms, despite our brokenness. He is passionate about seeing the last, least, and lonely of every neighborhood, city and nation experience God’s in-breaking kingdom, and come to know Jesus as King. Oh, and his favorite season is Advent and Christmas. Fred is a founding member of the board of directors for Virginia Racial Healing Institute, a member of the leadership team for Williamsburg's local chapter of Coming to the Table, and a member of Greater Williamsburg Trauma-Informed Community Network's Racial Trauma Committee and Training Committee.
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1 Response to Separation and Division, Part 1

  1. jsmartn says:

    Thank you for putting those two passages from mathew’s gospel (ch 10 and 25) together in a meaningful and prophetic way.

    Like

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