Division is the Greater Sin.

I'm keeping this one short - In case your head has been buried under a rock - I'll give you a little Christian update. The Church is greatly divided. Just check out pretty much any Christian social media post and you'll find arguments, fights and name-calling. It is ridiculous how immature the church has become in the age of technology. Where everyone thinks they are right because of a simple Google search - you cant seem to have any productive dialogue when it comes to disagreements.

Taking tattoos as my primary example - this seems like a Romans 14 issue to me. Are there areas within tattoos we may be able to draw lines? Sure. If someone asked me, "Can I get a tattoo of a witch over my heart?" I'd definitely plead my case against such a thing. But what about someone who wants to get tatted up with Christian quotes, sayings and Bible verses? What then? Romans 14 comes to mind. And if you are not sure what I mean, jump over and read it real quick.

And the reality is, when Romans 14 comes to mind - we need to stop bickering. We need to say, "we can agree to disagree" and then move on. Not everyone has to believe the exact same things 100% of the time. Or as my young friend, Elijah, said, "We are not called to be their police." He is right. There is such a thing as a "matter of conscience."

Now, as we each grow in our sanctification - we will realize, we may have more "rules" or "convictions" upon us - but we should also know the Gospel calls for us to each stay in our lane when it comes to disagreements. We each have our own process of sanctification. There should be no factions within a local assembly.

On the other side of the coin, if I said, "This is a Romans 16 issue." Would you know what I mean? Granted, I am not sure if anyone else uses that language, but here is what I mean -

Romans 16:17-19
I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the na├»ve. For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil.

In Romans 16 Paul is concluding and implying to the Romans, "I just taught you sound doctrine - I just gave you the truth of the Gospel. I am writing to you the things that matter. And if anyone comes to you with doctrines that stir up strife and division - doctrines that seem nice, but are not what I taught you. AVOID THEM." So, one of the only times we avoid/divide with other "believers" is when they introduce destructive doctrines, contrary to the Gospel and Paul's teachings.

Which is kinder than in Galatians 1 (verse 9) when Paul says they should be an "anathema" - which means to literally put to the side for destruction/damnation. So - if someone asked me about a doctrine on tattoos and that we CANNOT get tattoos or we are in sin - that is a divisive and counter-Gospel doctrine that is worthy of a breaking in fellowship.

So with tattoos, medicinal marijuana, watching rated "r" and so many other things - the point is the title - the division is the greater sin. To divide from someone for a tattoo is a far greater sin that the debate of the tattoo in the first place.

Think on it.
Jesse S. 

JESSE SMOUT

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