One Body

As most readers of my blog are aware, there has been a serious dust-up in the manosphere as of late. I hadn’t involved myself before because I couldn’t see how my intervention would have made the situation any better. If anything, it would have probably made matters worse.

However, Deep Strength, in his post Unity, has pointed out that as Christians we (or rather, I) shouldn’t have been concerned with who was right or wrong. Rather, what we (I) should have been doing was urging repentance and reconciliation. This is because we are all, as Christians, supposed to be united as one body in Christ. As part of one body we must maintain unity and peace among ourselves.

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all.

(Ephesians 4:1-6)

Dissension and division have no place amongst us. Now, if most of those involved weren’t Christians this wouldn’t be an issue. But nearly everyone involved at least professes to be a Christian. And unfortunately many involved have not followed the precepts that the Apostle Paul has outlined for us.

Deep Strength’s post already encapsulates most of what needs to be said. So I will keep the rest of this short and to the point. I urge everyone involved to stop what they are doing, and to look inside themselves. Search your heart, and delve into your soul. Ask yourself if you have acted as Christ would have acted. Are you motivated by love, or something else? Then ponder on this:

25 Therefore, putting away falsehood, let every one speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his hands, so that he may be able to give to those in need. 29 Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for edifying, as fits the occasion, that it may impart grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, with all malice, 32 and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

(Ephesians 4:25-32)

  • For those who have done wrong to others, I urge you to seek forgiveness from those you have wronged.
  • For those who have been wronged, I urge you to forgive those who wronged you that seek your forgiveness.
  • For those who have neither wronged nor been wronged, I urge you to pray for reconciliation and peace among your brothers and sister in Christ.

Lastly, keep in mind the words of our Savior:

34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

(John 13:34-35)

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19 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Red Pill

19 responses to “One Body

  1. mdavid

    DG, This is because we are all, as Christians, supposed to be united as one body in Christ. As part of one body we must maintain unity and peace among ourselves.

    The sentiment is nice, but I’m not sure it makes much sense logically. There is no “one body of Christ” nowadays unless you limit it to Christians who actually claim to be unified regarding doctrine and willingly accept Church authority (like Catholics or Orthodox or even perhaps Mormons, and they are a minority of self-described Christians in the US today, although I’ll give you that Catholics are a slim majority worldwide).

    The reality is that self-described Christians today are in wholesale disagreement about critical things. Such as what makes up Scripture. Or the truth of serious doctrine like the Eucharist and Salvation. Or the authority of Church leaders. Even the authority of Church councils. And much, much more. So there will be very, very limited unity among Christians on other more trivial issues (like what DS has been talking about). If Christians were really concerned with unity (and they should be if reading John 17 seriously) they would first focus on unity over doctrine. But most modern Christians seem very comfortable with division and disunity on doctrine (last I checked there were nearly 30,000 denominations and rising). So I don’t lose any sleep over more minor squabbles like the blog lament you were referencing. Rather, I focus my concern over lack of unity among Christians who are at least on first base, of which there is plenty. Otherwise, logic requires disunity merely as part of the landscape.

    Happy Holy Week!

  2. I suppose my comment is similar to mdavid’s. One of the reasons I ended up returning to the Catholic Church is because after several years active within Evangelicalism, the notion of every man and woman was their own spiritual authority began to make less and less sense. Every church, every bible study, every prayer group insists on its own view of Scripture and God’s plan of redemption.

    You cannot have unity unless everyone is willing to submit to authority outside of their own opinions. You cannot have unity if there are people who gain followings and teach without being accountable to proper authority. The internet makes this a tricky thing to get right.

    I’ve thought for a while that one of the ironic things about the Christian part of the manosphere is the emphasis on authority, but limited to the need for women to submit to the authority of men. At the same time, there is a general denigration of the authority of church leaders (of whatever denomination). The need for authority permeates our lives, and wherever people are unwilling to submit themselves to the right authority over them, there will be problems.

  3. mdavid

    Denise, …one of the ironic things about the Christian part of the manosphere is the emphasis on authority, but limited to the need for women to submit to the authority of men. At the same time, there is a general denigration of the authority of church leaders….

    I’ve never really thought about things this way, but the more I reflect it’s pretty dang amusing. Think about it this way: individualistic men of the West, each claiming to be their sole spiritual authority to interpret the bible…get exactly what we ask for: division. And our women, following us, soon become a perfect reflection of their men, indeed made from our very (disobedient) rib to continue the analogy.

    In this light, it’s sort of funny to complain about women being disobedient to the very men who are themselves repulsed by earthly spiritual authority. Hey, I don’t want to obey imperfect earthly authority (even though Jesus demanded it) so I’ll follow Christ directly! Well, then, why shouldn’t my wife say exactly the same thing to me? I sure can’t claim perfection for myself nor my earthly spiritual leaders. So the modern western wench is a pretty damn appropriate punishment, the more I think of it. God is clever but never malicious. He is merely giving us what we demand…earthly freedom for us and ours. Ouch.

  4. I disagree.

    If we are not responsible in the small things how can we be entrusted in the large things? (Luke 16:10)

    It’s my opinion that all of the divisions in the Church in terms of doctrine matter very little though. Those that are Christians follow Jesus’ commands — they love one another as He has loved them (John 13:34-15; John 15:12). As Jesus stated many times throughout the gospels those that are in Him will bear good fruit (Matt 7, Luke 6). Those that bear good fruit (fruit of the Spirit Galatians 5) are Christians regardless of what “denomination” they are.

  5. @ Denise

    That was a great comment, and worthy of a blog-post follow up later. That too has been something that has tickled the back of my brain for a while. I suspect that the reason it exists is because most members of the Christian manosphere are Protestant. There aren’t many Catholic bloggers, although a few more commenters. Most Catholic denizens of this general part of the web travel through more Catholic centric circles.

  6. @ mdavid

    Whether or not people agree with the sentiment, or follow the teaching, it is the proper one. I cannot make anyone do anything- this post was merely to serve as a reminder.

    As for your second comment, yes, there is a Western malaise at work here. I’ve been meaning to address something related before, but thanks to Denise’s comment and yours, I will shift gears and work on this specific manifestation of the issue.

  7. Backing up what Deep Strength said, yes, there are divisions with Christianity. But what is at issue here is not something that is (to the best of my knowledge) contested by any of the major sects. This is a common understanding. If there is anything we can find agreement on, it is this.

  8. mdavid

    DG, But what is at issue here is not something that is (to the best of my knowledge) contested by any of the major sects.

    Amusing and beside the point. Modern people demand independence, period, no matter what they give lip service to. I call this Rodney King Christianity – can’t we all just get along? And natch women are doing the same thing. And we don’t, in the end, get along at all. Of course all Christians claim they want unity. Just like modern women claim this when they wear a white dress and walk the isle. But we know people don’t want what unity requires: obedience, because when you start asking hard and serious questions (say about the authority of church to interpret the bible to define doctrine, or about husband headship within families), they quickly flake. So the irony is rich when men who have divided with each other complain about how their women aren’t obedient to them; we create our own punishment here and God merely delivers what we ask for.

  9. @ mdavid

    Amusing and beside the point?

    Your non-chalance is frankly disturbing. People have choices in front of them everyday to do the right thing. Even if it’s just lip service from others, we as Christians should be encouraging those among us to do the right thing.

    I agree that this is potentially an issue of greater magnitude that needs to be addressed, but right now THAT is beside the point. How are these things going to be addressed if people cannot be faithful in the small things? How is it going to be addressed if there isn’t solidarity among Christians to encourage those in sin to do the right thing?

    I find it highly discouraging that Christians would often rather “make a point” than “help others.”

  10. mdavid

    DG, But what is at issue here is not something that is (to the best of my knowledge) contested by any of the major sects.

    MD, Amusing and beside the point. Modern people demand independence, period, no matter what they give lip service to.

    DS, Amusing and beside the point? Your non-chalance is frankly disturbing.

    Hey DS, I find your views disturbing as well. I merely try to be polite and avoid unproductive argument. But against my better judgement, I’ll respond.

    What is amusing: if people were truly seeking unification, they would not be complaining about it but embracing hard things that provide measurable unify: church authority and fixed doctrine, certainly not claiming it to be unimportant. In my business and marriage, I certainly demand this level of unity with contracts, a business plan, and measurable authority, so why not my religion?

    Why it’s beside the point: who cares what people claim about unity? Why not merely look to their actions? Sure, everyone claims to care about unity (translation: they want others to follow them). I merely ask: well, how unified are these people within their own church? How unified is their doctrine (interpretation of Scripture) among their own kind? How willing are they to follow? How unified are their own families? These are measurable facts. And the facts are in: it’s never been worse. Religious unity and marriage are self destructing by the hour as churches and families collapse right before our eyes. I repeat: what people claim is crap. To quote James: Prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers, who delude themselves.

  11. @ mdavid

    Nothing you’ve said is untrue. However, you’re arguing a totally different point.

    My argument is that this shouldn’t dissuade us as Christians from confronting that and encouraging others to do what is righteous.

    If you believe otherwise fine. But I believe that to be an incorrect attitude from what I’ve read in the Scriptures on encouragement from believers.

  12. mdavid

    DS, I really can’t be arguing a totally different point, since it’s my comments you challenged (twice); I never opined on your post, only on DG’s comments.

    Regarding your latest poke at my comments: …this shouldn’t dissuade us as Christians from confronting that and encouraging others to do what is righteous. If you believe otherwise fine. Please stop the straw man, I never said I “believe otherwise”; what Christian would? We do likely disagree on what is righteous in this context, and I certainly disagree with your interpretation of Scripture here, but I see no harm no foul for already disunified Christians like us.

  13. @ mdavid

    No harm no foul about not encouraging unity on a topic like this?

    We will agree to disagree then.

  14. mdavid

    DS, you straw man’ed me again, please stop. I said no harm no foul that we …disagree on what is righteous in this context, and I certainly disagree with your interpretation of Scripture here. I can’t force you to believe what I believe.

    Personally, I take unity very seriously and encourage it as often as possible. You can see this by my willingness to follow others, my unity with my Church and family, and my unwillingness to trivialize what unity actually means. It is NOT Rodney King Unity.

  15. @ mdavid

    Yep, and I think you’re trivializing the impact that we as Christians can have on others in a situation like this.

    I would suggest, at the very least, pray for the situation even if you think it’s trivial.

  16. Pingback: Unity Part 3 — The Church | Reflections on Christianity and the manosphere

  17. craig

    Sorry DS, but mdavid has the better of the argument here.

    “Do what is righteous” is sound advice, if you first agree what that entails. If not, then it’s about as useful as telling beta men to “just get it”.

    What is the first thing said about Jesus as He began to teach? That He taught “as one with authority, and not as the scribes”. In other words, the people were used to hearing the back-and-forth opinion tennis that constitutes the Talmudic rabbinical tradition (cf. the joke saying “two Jews, three opinions”), and immediately perceived a fundamental difference in Jesus’ words. He gave answers, rulings even!

    Every authoritative statement tests the authority, both de jure and de facto, of the speaker over the listener. The former kind of submission is the “to whom shall we go, Lord?” aspect of discipleship. The latter kind is the “he who is not against us is for us” acknowledgement of fellow-travelers. But if you reject both the ‘standing’ of an authority and also reject the semantic content of his statement, then you have nothing left but subjective will.

    It’s my opinion that all of the divisions in the Church in terms of doctrine matter a great deal. Disunity is an anti-witness to the gospel; it implicitly declares Christian belief and practice a matter of subjective personal taste and not a comprehension of objective reality.

  18. Craig,

    I can’t see that position any other than caring about the law more than people:

    Matthew 12:1 At that [a]time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath, and His disciples became hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat. 2 But when the Pharisees saw this, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples do what is not lawful to do on a Sabbath.” 3 But He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he became hungry, he and his companions, 4 how he entered the house of God, and they ate the [b]consecrated bread, which was not lawful for him to eat nor for those with him, but for the priests alone? 5 Or have you not read in the Law, that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple [c]break the Sabbath and are innocent? 6 But I say to you that something greater than the temple is here. 7 But if you had known what this [d]means, ‘I desire [e]compassion, and not a sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.

    This is about praying for and supporting unity between Christians regardless of whatever else is going on.

    Sure, God may say “no” to the prayer and you can say “I told you so.” But I’m still going to pray for and support unity in any and all such divisions.

    If you choose the opposite then so be it.

    I’ll take my leave now as I’m not interested in arguing any further.

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