Lament Over Disunity

I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.

1 Corinthians 1:10 {ESV}

The world of Christianity has changed significantly in the last 20 years or so. Once there was a time when the “Christian” ethos varied little between denominations. Yes, there were differences in doctrine, music, dress, and some behavior attitudes, such as movies, alcohol, and even card playing. But there was a sense of unity in the belief in areas that no one questioned.

It’s different now.

There is a general sense of disunity in the world. But what is troubling to me, is the disunity between people who call themselves Christian.

I am being more often confronted by the belief systems of Christians, which are closer to the world’s standards than what I have believed in the past to be Christian. Some views Christians have taken over the past few years have left me, quite frankly, shaken.

Granted, over these past few years I have come to re-think many positions. Some have changed, others have not, but definitely some have softened. I often think that comes with a strong sense of hospitality and respect for others, and also with age, as some things really don’t seem as important as they once were. Still, other things seem so blatantly against God’s word.

I have struggled with this for the past couple of years and I’m not sure I have answers.

Then I am reminded of what Jesus said in Luke 12: 49-53 {ESV}:

I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled! I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.

Is Jesus’ statement simply a reality of the division between people who have become Christian and the family who has not converted? Or does this show a future disunity between people even within the “Christian” family? Perhaps both. Sometimes the meaning of scripture is plain and other times there is a future meaning to the scripture, like mountain ranges – as you come to the top of a mountain, you then see the next range of mountains come into view.

Are we at that place? Did Jesus let us know ahead of time – this idea of disunity? Is it part of God’s plan for the earth?

As I sit with this sense of loss and mourning Christian unity, I wonder several things:

Has God allowed these things to happen amongst his people as a way of weeding out our arrogance?

Like the Tower of Babel. The people thought they were so clever that they could build a tower to reach God. Together in unity, they were a force of arrogance. They could not only reach God, but having a visible symbol of what they created, could become an idol in itself. But God stepped in and put confusion in their midst. Disunity was the result. Perhaps our “unity” was a sense of superiority which excluded people and made us less hospitable with unapproachably high standards.

Is God helping us to re-think our ways of practicing our faith?

Have we as Christians become complacent? The unity made our life easy. Unity made us lazy. If we all agree, who is searching for Biblical directive? If we don’t know the Bible, how do we know the God of the Bible and what he would lead us to do? The warning to the church in Laodicea in Revelation says they had become lukewarm, neither hot nor cold. This might be harsh: Is God weeding out the wheat from the chaff? But the second question becomes, how do we know which is the wheat and which is the chaff, if we don’t know the Bible?

Finally, is our disunity a warning step in the path to the Second Coming?

I know this has been said for centuries, but sooner or later the time of Christ’s return will come. Disunity may be a marker. Are we indeed in the end times? But does that mean we are to fold to the world’s standards? Living in Christian ignorance? Denial? Acquiescence to the world’s values?

In light of this, what does 1 Corinthians 1:10 mean? What does unity in the faith even look like?

Honestly, I am having a hard time navigating these new waters, when what was perceived as the “normal” is now the enemy. Unity with other Christians is now a thing of the past. I can’t believe I am the only one asking these questions, as I try to make sense of the Christian life in our times.

This is what I believe:

As Christians, living in the early years of the 21st century, we need to be on our toes. We must be alert, with the necessity to evaluate every idea thrown at us. We must be Christians in continuous motion, not sitting back on our butts, but working to understand and put into context all we are hearing and seeing. We are not called to be complacent and let the world’s values dictate what we believe.

And perhaps, this is something we do together. We can navigate this time, making the choice to follow God in His truth. Reminding each other of truth. Challenge those things that are not truth. Encourage the way of truth. And of course, doing so in hospitality and respect. A new kind of unity.


Grace & Such strives to advance Christian growth among women. While we believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, we also recognize human interpretations are imperfect. Grace & Such encourages our readers to open their Bibles, pray for wisdom and study for themselves what the Word says. For more about who we are, please visit the About Us page.
Rebecca Montie Preston
Follow me
Latest posts by Rebecca Montie Preston (see all)

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.