I like the rendition of the Christian Standard Bible here over the usual, as “Be still and know that I am God” just doesn’t have the same oomph to it. That and it has been taken out of context so often it hurts. It has been often used as a source text for “Christian Meditation” which is a sad pathway for other powers to masquerade their way into the Christian mind.
Nope. “Stop fighting” is so much more relevant, and many Christians could learn this lesson. Who is in charge of this church after all? Is it the keepers of truth or the keepers of love? The keepers of orthodoxy or the keepers of inclusion? Who are the rightful masters of the church? None of them. Jesus is the Master of His Church, His Bride. None of us have the right.
Okay, so that’s all well and good. So how do you decide problems in the church that we often fight about? How do you determine the nature of baptism? Communion? Musical instruments? Paid staff? Contemporary or traditional? Small church or big church? What is a Christian?
I may not know the answers, but I know for certain the path to the solution isn’t the separation of brothers. It isn’t the tyrannical despotism of one side over the other. It isn’t an Inquisition. Of all people on earth, we ought to be best known for our unity. If there is a better way, may we speak the truth in love, seeking union, rather than division.
“Oh, that’s easy for you to say.” No. It’s not. It is a much harder path to seek unity than to declare that I am my own church and only we are going to heaven. It is much easier to say that only my translation of the Scripture is the right one. Are we to be still? Yes. But that isn’t intended as a gentle command, but a warning. It comes from a God who sees us fighting against each other and against Him and He says, “Be Still!” And remember who is God here. If we can’t stop fighting, then we aren’t much of a witness to the world of a God of peace and hope.
Dear God, I don’t know how we are going to solve all the many problems we have made for ourselves as people of faith, but I know the answer isn’t fighting each other, when you expressly command us to “love one another.” We may agree to disagree, but Lord help us never to forget to love. If there is an orthodoxy, help us find it together, let us stop fighting about stupid stuff that doesn’t matter. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.