Sunday, January 22, 2017

Devotion 1.23.17

"By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.

There are two methods of curing the mischiefs of faction: the one, by removing its causes; the other, by controlling its effects. 

There are again two methods of removing the causes of faction: the one, by destroying the liberty which is essential to its existence; the other, by giving to every citizen the same opinions, the same passions, and the same interests." Publius, Federalist #10 (James Madison)

The Founders recognized that society would be divided by passions which, as you see, were referred to as "factions."  Factions divided by cause, idea, or passion.  It IS going to happen, and we shouldn't be surprised when it does.

I was born in a time of division, just before the 1960s era ushered in antiwar protests and civil rights marches and eventually , as the decade went on, riots.  So today, we witness the same thing.  Those on the side of the cause and those who oppose it.  Some are joyous and some are in anguish.  So, as Madison notes, rather than an attempt to eliminate the passion, and hence remove liberty, find a way to control its effects while allowing the citizen to express his or her passions.

In the church, we turn to Paul, who in Corinthians deals with factions.  A fractured church in Corinth in all kinds of hurt from various forms of misunderstandings, malpractice of faith, and ego of who they follow hence more valid faith.  We see the same struggles today, so Paul's admonition is something to which we should pay heed.

"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 judgement.... For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power." (1 Corinthians 1:10 and 17)

Divisions in society and country (and world) is expected, hence means created to "control" or "limit" its impact.  Divisions in the church are completely unacceptable and reveal that we are not looking at Christ and the cross which gives us victory, but rather our own wisdom.  Pray that at all times and in all places for the church and that we continue to witness to the miracle of the cross and Jesus Christ, our savior.

Hope Men's Ministry

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