Penelope Potter Ss.T
a house divided against a house falleth
"GOOD MORNING MISS POTTER!"
"Is everyone ready to begin their Sunday School lesson for today?"
"YES, MISS POTTER!"
"Very good. Then we will begin. Today's lesson is about the Church, the body of Christ. Can anyone tell me what the Church is? Yes Nancy? Tell us what you know about the Church."
"The church is a big building Miss Potter. It's like a giant museum and it's filled with pictures and statues and things. I saw a movie about it on TV once. I'd like to go see a church some day. I like paintings and stuff like that."
"What you're referring to is a cathedral Nancy. Yes, we call buildings a church when it's dedicated to the worship of God. But there's more to the Church than just a building. Yes Bobby, you have something to add?"
"I don't know adding Miss Potter. I only know my pluses. But my mommy said our church is a denomationable or something like that. I always thought I came to church like everybody else, but I guess I go to a denomationable instead."
"You do go to church like everyone else Bobby. Denomination just means name. Different churches have different names, and most churches are called by the denominational organization they belong to."
"Miss Potter? What is a denoma...demonatable..., that thing you said? Isn't a church a church? How can it be something else, like that thing you said?"
"Well Becky, this is off the subject, but let me see if I can explain it this way. Becky, you go to school. And Bobby, you go to school. But do you go to the same school?"
"No Miss Potter. Becky goes to a different school than me, but we're both in the same grade."
"Uh huh Miss Potter. But I go to a special class in my school that teaches different things than the regular kids learn. We're not in the same school, and I learn other things. Like Bobby said he doesn't know addition yet. I do. My class teaches addition and subtracting and division and all that stuff."
"Very good children. And what you just described is the same thing that makes a denomination. For instance, you both go to schools that teach the same thing, yet you both are learning that same thing at different speeds, by different teachers, and through different methods. This is very similar to churches in different denominations. And although you both go to elementary school in the same town, the name of the schools are not the same."
"Miss Potter? The big kids in my school say that Becky's school is no good and they have fights all the time. I mean they have fights like in baseball and soccer and things like that, not real fights. Why do big kids fight like that? I mean, just because they go to different schools, does that mean they shouldn't like each other?"
"I agree with you Bobby. For some reason I don't fully understand, people like to support whatever group they belong to, thinking it can't be wrong, and insult and argue against all other groups. It seems to be something that began with Cain and Able, the first two people to have a disagreement in the way God should be worshiped. Unfortunately, that attitude is not only prevalent in schools, but in governments and in our churches. And that is a very sad thing."
"Miss Potter? That demonic thing you told us about. You said it's just a name. But what does it have to do with the church and all? I mean, isn't the church supposed to all be the same? I mean, isn't it supposed to be like Jesus? I mean, like a hand or a foot or something like that?"
"Yes it is Timothy. The Church is an extension of Christ Himself. It is to be God's presence here on earth. Unfortunately it is not doing a very good job of this, and is instead trying to sell itself and draw attention to itself instead of God."
"In school I'm learning about division Miss Potter. I think I told you that. They learned us that if you put a number on top of a line, and another number under the line, that the under number is a denominatior that cuts up the big number into itty-bitty pieces. And I learned that if you cut an orange in two it isn't two oranges but it's still one orange. That sounds weird to me how I can have two things and they both be just one. But we did it, and that's what happened alright. I could hold one in each hand, but still have only one orange."
"You have just described the Church better than I could Becky. That is exactly what the church is. But instead of just two pieces of that orange, we have thousands of pieces of that one orange. Tell me Becky, what would happen if you cut that orange into tiny little pieces?"
"It wouldn't be much good Miss Potter. And I don't think I'd want to try and eat all those little pieces. That would be a lot of work, and I think the juice would run all over everywhere. And I like the juice the best."
"Very good Becky. Is there anything else you can tell me about the orange that is now in little pieces that makes it different than when it was one whole orange?"
"It rots, Miss Potter. It dries up and turns all icky."
10Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. 12Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. 13Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? (1Cor 1:)
1And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 2I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. 3For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? 4For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? (1Cor 3:)
17Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. 18For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. 19For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. (1Cor 11:)
17Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. (Rom 16:)
51Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: 52For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. 53The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. (Luke 12:)