“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.