Have you ever read through the travels of Paul, Peter, and the other early missionaries in the New Testament and thought about the job they had in spreading the gospel? Their religion was a new one, deemed to be one of rebellion because of its followers’ apparent inability to go along with worshiping the Roman emporer or at the local synagogue. Yes, they gave unto Ceasar’s what was Ceasar’s, but their devotion was to someone/somewhere else.
Paul, observing a lack of cohesion among the Church, also put it into perspective with his analogy of body parts working together. Each part has its own advantages, but also depends on the others.
We’re one country, but anyone can see we have sections where people believe and see things differently from others. The book American Nations: A History of Eleven Rival Regional Cultures in North America explores the 11 cultures within our country and how they’re linked.
Of course, those in each region are spoken of in generalities and there are always exceptions, but for the most part the initial descriptions in this Business Insider piece are spot-on. In addition to pointing out the differences, the article also notes how the strength of two particular “nations” – Yankeedom and the Deep South – dominate the country’s politics. Also, our tendency to want to live among those who are like us is leading to a more divided country even in a time when we’re becoming more diverse.
And divisions happen in a much smaller area than a nation. In our state there’s the mountains up north, the metro Atlanta area, middle Georgia, and below the gnat line. Each brings a mental picture to anyone who’s lived here any amount of time. Division lines go further to a county, city, even a church.
We can always find the differences in others. The difference between the Church and the rest of the world is we know this, acknowledge it, and even celebrate that “every tribe and tongue” is part of it.