For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body-whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free-and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.” I Corinthians 12:13
Over two decades ago, I was tormented by the words to a chant. If I close my eyes, I can still hear it…
“I’ve got a feeling, that somebodies trying to sneak in my frat…….”
I cringed each time I heard it, first because it wasn’t true and second because it came from the vocal chords of those who had achieved entry and couldn’t keep the organization on the yard because of foolishness. They got in, and then made it increasingly difficult for others to follow, some of which would have been great lights for the group. Sadly, some took pride in this foolishness and felt making the organization more challenging to enter made it more exclusive and somehow made them look more accomplished.
It is interesting that some organizations allow people to rule today and destroy tomorrow. Ok, why this intro? Why this text? include those with this perspective.
As I spend time in the confines of the church walls, there are times when I hear similar chants. They come from the same type of people, and cause the same amount of damage. Practices of “blackballing” and “hazing” from the pulpit and from the pew work against the Gospel Message, often excluding and causing many to drop out of the process leaving with #churchhurt , accepting the head and rejecting the body. This often leads to new movements; feeding sheep directly into the hands of the wolves. It has increased Spiritual Streaming and lead to a Broken Body that’s forced to operate with missing members (gifts, talents, labor, resources).
This is why the intake is so key, and why the process has to be uniform. And from time to time, members must hear the Gospel to be reminded that we are all beneficiaries of the same corporate buyout and experiencing the same painful merger!
Paul, Christian Royalty, states “For we…” Let’s take a second to acknowledge the Paul includes himself in this “we”. Though he was a “Jew” and a “Pharisee” he relabeled himself “slave”, “bond servant”, “chief sinner” and “we” keeping his perspective on who he was, who he is, the purpose of the Gospel and the work of those who follow Christ. Though a focal point of many, Paul chose not to elevate himself, and chose to step down, like Christ from any throne, and dwell among and serve God’s people.
Are you a part of the “we” or do you see it as “I” and “they”?
Most of us are preaching and teaching to the they. This is obvious in some cases because our presentation of the Gospel includes judgement not just love and compassion. The humility Paul had is one we must also carry. Though He has obtained, he was eager to add to the flock daily. And though ministering across the country side, Paul thought of himself as one who was no better than those He was speaking too. And so must we!
Paul didn’t measure his experience to others. Though he was knocked down, heard God’s voice, blinded, and confirmed by the Apostles, Paul acknowledges that his entrance was the same as others. “We were all baptized by one spirit…”. Regardless of who preached, who taught, and who baptized us, Paul writes, it was “…one spirit…” that was present and received by us all.
Sadly, some have stumbled upon pride, not in themselves, it in their church and even their Pastor. Though an honor, there is no significance in the one who baptized, rather the significance is in the Spirit that is received. Paul took the time to squelch foolish arguments, as such, choosing to find common ground in One Lord, One Spirit and One Baptism.
So too should we! Let’s put aside foolish discussions and traps for pride. Let’s be humble and honest about who we are and what we have been called to do. Our hope lay in Christ. Save His sacrifice, we would be uncovered by His blood and exposed as who we truly are, unrighteous.
Because of this, churches should have a no hazing policy. There is no reason, brother should persecute brother and. sister sister. Our judge is God, and none of us are deserving, God shed His blood foe us all.