OVERCOMING DIFFERENCES

  I am a Civil War buff.  The differences and divisions concerning the North and the South were enormous. Opinions were strong and violently expressed from both sides. Churches were included in this turmoil.  The fierce division makes this story most remarkable.   Michael Mason, Senior Minister at Cornerstone Christian Church in Jackson, Michigan shared this Civil War story in the August 14, 2013 newsletter, “The Christian Caller.”

  “A little Baptist Church sat on top of a hill outside of Hickory Flat, Mississippi. The service was just beginning when there came a loud knock on the door of the church.  Every one grew very quiet. Union patrols had been spotted in the area. Finally a deacon said, “We had better see who is at the door and find out what they want.”  The door was opened and there stood a group of Union soldiers. The Union Officer said, “Please don’t be afraid. We are not here to harm you.  We would just like to come and worship the Lord with you. May we?”  “We will have to talk it over,” replied one of the older men.  “Please wait a moment.”  The door closed. 
No one knew what to do.  This was very unusual. Finally, a deacon said to a lady dressed in black, “Betty, you’ve lost two of your loved ones in the war. You have suffered more than anyone else.  What do you think we should do?  Should we invite these soldiers in to worship with us?”  Betty began to weep.  Finally she said, “Brothers and sisters, if we cannot worship with our enemies, then we can’t truly worship.”  
The door opened.  The soldiers were invited inside and were asked to be seated.  The service resumed.  Songs were sung. Scriptures were read. Prayers were offered. A sermon was preached. One of the soldiers from the Union army even sang a solo. 
When the service was concluded, the soldiers thanked everybody for their graciousness.  They shook hands and all wished one another God’s blessings.”

  As I read the incident, I thought about one of our great slogans: “In matters of faith, unity; in matters of opinion, liberty and in all things, love.”   Oh, if we could just live up to that saying.  There will always be differences in ideas. But never should social agendas or political events or man’s opinions tarnish the reputation of God’s Church.  The Church is the dispenser of God’s truth as revealed in the Bible.  That Word must be told to everyone, everywhere.  The marching orders of the Church are to go into all the world and make all people followers of Jesus.  Obedient believers in Jesus are of one family, united under the one Father of us all.  The ground is level at the foot of the cross. 

 All are welcome to become a part of the family of God. 

3 Responses to “OVERCOMING DIFFERENCES”

  1. Hello my friend once again you have done your job as a servent of ourGod and hit the nail on the head. I say yes we should love everyone even the folk we think we dont like. God bless you and I hOpe you heal up soon and do well.

  2. Max , you continue to express such wisdom in these devotionals. So many receive blessings each week. It is hard to love our Enemies ,and even those that disagree with us. To be like Jesus, we have to Love all as he does !
    Thank you for this beautiful story
    Love and Prayers, Joann

  3. What a great message for all of us to learn and worship together. I was reminded today that one of our associates remind us that we are a church, not the building, but the people. This civil war story also remind me to worship with all people., includiing the races, with evreryone. LOVE IS THE KEY.

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