On June 16, 1858, Abraham Lincoln, in Springfield Illinois accepted the nomination for United States senator and gave one of the most remembered speeches of his life. This was at a time were the country was divided on the issue of slavery. Some proponents of slavery saw a necessity to still have slave states as opposed to becoming free. Lincoln, quoting from Mark 3:25, stressed that in order to move forward as a union, there needs to be unity in order for the country to function. Today we as the body of Christ, have in some ways wandered off this path. All roads to God don’t lead to Heaven as some would have us to believe. A church cannot function when the absence of love, fellowship and communication are missing from the mix.
Here is an excerpt from his speech.
A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new — North as well as South.
Reading this speech has made me more conscience of the needs of the people. It’s about meeting them were they are. A mother dying of HIV, or a father who has left his wife and kids for a one night stand, a child who sees their parents fight or grows up without love as a foundation. These are the families and individuals who fill our pews and crowd our sunday morning services. And we have told them that there is no vacancy. How? We have restricted our main objectives by not providing adequate groups, ministries, to facilitate such needs. Instead we have focused our attention on the needs of our own self ambitions by forsaking the brother next door. I have become ill to my stomach with such spiritual propaganda from the pulpit that plays down the call to help our community in its time of need.
A proper foundation is built on the concept of unity. If there is no common goals, objectives or plans, the house (Church) will not stand the test of time no matter how influential or educated the leadership is. It’s about people not policies, about love not your own lifestyle, about the cross and not complacency.