I’ve shared that there is an ongoing conflict in CEF with some people leaving the organization, others being fired from their positions. Even though I do not know the details of the core issue, it is not a theological issue. The Gospel of Jesus is not being compromised. Yet, I can say that I have not seen Romans 14:19 played out from either side.
Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.
I am not their judge. But the Bible tells us we will be held accountable for our actions, especially in regards to the ministry of the Gospel. I ask you to be in prayer for all involved.
Now the split has trickled down to our local chapter. It hurts. Our once cohesive Board is divided and some are choosing to leave, others to stay with CEF and carry on the Good News Clubs in our district.
Yes, it hurts. But my prayer is that all of us on the Board will make every effort to do what leads to peace between us, and that we will encourage each other because we all have a passion for sharing Jesus with children.
Paul warns, in verse 20: “Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food.” Now, I know some people believe God’s work can’t be destroyed because He is Sovereign. I read the Bible and hear God’s warning through Paul and through the example of the Old Testament Israelites that God’s will is NOT always done if we get in the way.
Paul is talking about food. “Don’t let an insignificant issue like food harm the ministry,” he tells us. But I also hear him say, “Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of change, or pride, or power, or your need to be ‘right.'” It’s easy to get caught up in the emotion of the issue. I’ve had to fight anger myself these days. It’s tempting to view people with differing opinions as the enemy, and fight against flesh and blood.
“I’ll show them!”
“No one treats me that way!”
Don’t destroy the work of God because you think you’re not being heard, or because you want the other side to suffer in some way, to get what you think they deserve.
My church is in the middle of a building project. Churches have split over paint color. Let’s not destroy the work of God for the sake of a building’s aesthetics. Rather, let’s make every effort to bring peace, and to edify each other. (I’m not actually worried about this in my church. I’m so thankful for this congregation of people on this island who, with differing opinions, are still living out verse 19).
You don’t like the preacher in your church? Don’t destroy the work of God.
You don’t like the music? Don’t destroy the work of God.
You don’t like the amount of money given to missions? Don’t destroy the work of God.
Rather, do everything in your power to bring peace to the situation, and to encourage each other with the love of God.
And don’t think that means offering an olive branch will automatically get you what you want. People may never see things the way you see them in issues of administration, or design, or music, or pot-luck dinners, or wearing masks. Keep the peace anyway.
Don’t destroy the work of God.