THE WORKS OF THE
FLESH AND THE MINISTRY
(Written for the UCG Elders'
Forum, November 29, 2010)
Dear fellow elders,
Months ago, we were asked to fast for unity. The focus, we were told, should
have been “self” analysis and how we could be contributing to the present
period of distress and division. The rumblings I continue to hear seem to
indicate that the distress is not over and neither is the potential for
another schism in the Body of Christ.
Given this unfortunate situation, one must ask why is the wound not healing?
A few years ago, I decided to give a series of sermons on a very gloomy
subject: the works of the flesh. The long-term project was tiring but very
enlightening – and sobering. Delving into the works of the flesh in
detail is like doing an in-depth psychological analysis of the mind of
One of the harsh realities that became evident in the study was how many of
the works of the flesh deal with “divisions,” though looked at from
“slightly” different angles.
Variance, Emulation, Strife, Seditions, heresies are all manifestations of
the same satanic spirit which leads to the same painful and destructive
results: confusion, friction and schisms. Furthermore, divisions may also
find its roots in two other “insidious” works of the flesh, “envy” and
“hatred” (or its milder manifestation, “resentment”).
Another exceptionally sobering/scary reality that
emerged from the study was the warning in Paul’s concluding statement:
“I tell you, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such
things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
We all want to believe that the times of distress we are going through are
caused only by sincere misunderstandings and a desire on the part of some to
keep the church “clean” and “righteous.” Though in part this may indeed be
part of the motivations of some, “all” the direct participants in the
present drama must accept the “possibility” that “some” of “their” motives
may not be as clean and innocent as they would like to believe and that the
works of the flesh, to a small or large extent, “might” be at work in them
Fellow elders of Jesus Christ, our people are tired from the battles of the
past and do not need more stress from within. Enough Christians have left
the fold already, tired of seeing ministers who should be the ultimate
example of love and unity embrace causes that lead to confusion, turmoil and
division. In the past some, in fact, have become so disappointed and
embittered that they have left God and Christianity and have become
atheists, which is what Satan wants to see happen to as many of God’s people
Maybe this is why we are all warned by Christ Himself not to offend “the
little ones” and the dire consequences that follow, if we do. Maybe this is
why Paul warns all of us that they who cause division run the risk of not
entering God’s Kingdom. God cannot look lightly at actions that lead to
confusion, strife and divisions which cause distress for His children and
potential discouragement which can potentially destroy their eternity.
Months ago, we were asked to do an in-depth analysis of our own minds. The
fruits appear to indicate that some among us may have done a very
superficial job. The warnings by Christ and Paul should lead all of us to
take a “deeper” look and to consider the possibility that “we” might, to a
small or large extent, be contributors to the present problems within the
Body of Christ.
I hope I have not offended anyone. I am just very concerned, though I am
still hopeful that a potential destructive schism will not happen and that
Satan, in the end, will be the only loser in this whole ordeal.
Your brother in Christ,
THIS ARTICLE MAY BE
REPRODUCED FOR NON-COMMERCIAL PURPOSES.
(This article has been
posted on my, Militant Atheism Exposed web site. I have done so,
not because I am implying any affinity of the disaffected group to atheism,
but because it will provide a faster appearance on the Internet.)
Michael Caputo, 2010