Why Is This Important To Me?
The author posed this interesting question to himself during his research. That thought was probably the motivating factor behind taking on such a controversial subject. I often wonder if somehow our Heavenly Father has given me the same burden as Lutzer. I don’t understand why it’s so important to me. Maybe it’s because of the things I have experienced since becoming a member of Christ Body. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made this statement before his assassination. Maybe some of you have never heard it. It changed the way I look at factions and or denominations.
He said: “Sunday morning from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. is the most segregated time in this country because everyone who calls themselves Christians all go to different Churches; Lutherans, Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterians, etc., are all reading the King James Bible, but are all interpreting scripture differently”.
“Therein lies the rub.” The exact quote is from Hamlet; “there’s the rub”, which speaks to the problem of an obstacle ahead. It is a pity, that what Jesus and His Apostles gave their lives to achieve (unity of the faith) has come to doctrines that divide. For example, a denomination I attended decades ago taught that women were not allowed to wear pants in or outside of the church. If by chance the Pastor or a leader of that denomination saw a female member of the church wearing pants at store or just in the neighborhood, they would tell her that was a sin. Shaming people over something like that is the opposite of edification. Never in my life had I been so glad to be a man. There are way too many existing conflicts throughout The Body of Christ. One thing is for sure, we’re certainly not listening to The Head .So much so, the council split hairs over some of the minutest of things. Words like “similar” and “same” in Greek has the difference of but one letter in the alphabet, the letter “I”. They all have their own ideologies in the by-laws setting themselves apart from one another. Somehow they cannot, or will not remove these self-imposed blinders long enough to see the carnality of it all (1st Cor. 3:1-3).
“William E. Hordern tells a story that illustrates how a single letter or comma can change the meaning of a message. Back in the days when messages were sent by telegraph, there was a code for each punctuation mark. A woman, touring in Europe, cabled her husband to ask whether she could buy a beautiful bracelet for $75,000. The husband relayed the message back “No, price too high.” The cable operator, in transmitting the message, missed the signal for the coma. The woman received the message “No price too high.” She bought the bracelet, the husband sued the company and won! After that, the users of the Morse code spelled out punctuation. A comma or an “iota” can make a big difference when communicating a message!”
Regarding the council at Nicaea, Greek words like “similar” and “same” are very important. Jesus spoke these words in Matthew 5: 18 “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” Jots and tittles are important to Jesus, as they should be to His Body, i.e. The Church.
The word “jot” in Greek is “iota”. Moreover, in the Greek language “jot” literally meant: 1) the Hebrew letter `, the smallest of them all, 1a) hence equivalent to the minutest part. And “tittle”, a word we don’t normally use means: “keraia” 1) a little horn; 2) extremity, apex, point; 2a) used by grammarians of the accents and diacritical (capable of distinguishing) points. Jesus used it of the little lines or projections, by which the Hebrew letters in other respects similar differ from one another; the meaning is, “not even the minutest part of the law shall perish”.
What they tried to accomplish at Nicaea was extremely important. The problem was they went about this task in the flesh, i.e. with what Paul described as “carnal”.
Walking in your Born Again re-created spirit is diametrically opposed to carnality. If you don’t already have “the fruit of the Spirit” stuck on your refrigerator by now, I’m almost certain you have memorized it. However, context must be factored into every equation:
Gal. 5: 19 “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, CONTENTIONS, JEALOUSIES, OUTBURSTS OF ANGER, SELFISH AMBITIONS, DISSENSIONS, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”
Why is studying the Bible instead of reading it so important to me? On the other hand, why are The Doctrines That Divide equally important? The answer is very simple, as I continue to study God’s Word, and look into extra-biblical resources. I see that we have a very long way to go before we become that glorious church, without spot or wrinkle. I see that most Christians can care less about the fragmented condition of Christ Body. I believe very few of those men at Nicaea considered love, joy, peace, longsuffering (which is patience or the ability to endure), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
What happened at The Council of Nicaea became the foundation of the division we still have over doctrine. Had they not been so consumed with the pride of being right, my way, or the highway, maybe, just maybe the Church would not look like The Tower of Babel Confusion). God is not the author of confusion; we know that is the devil’s domain. An argumentive approach to understanding the scripture led to massive division. I don’t understand why this doesn’t bother more believers. I will continue to pray for unity in The Body of Christ. I am believing and calling those things that are not as though they were.
My prayer every day is that Christians everywhere would soon begin to come out of those zones that have become so comfortable. We will become bold in our faith. You see, the Church is my home; my family. And I’ll be doggone if I’m going to sit back and turn a blind eye to the truth, not in my family. Even if I’m treated like the bastard stepchild. The sooner we acknowledge the truth about divisions, the sooner that our LORD will burst through the clouds and scoop us away with Him. I am so anxious, in a good way, to join Him at The Marriage Supper of The Lamb.