It has been made clear to me concerning you, my brothers, by those of the household of Chloe, that there are strifes among you. Now I mean this, that each of you says, I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas, and I of Christ.
— First Corinthians 1:11-12
We are attracted to religion by the fact that religion provides the natural man with ideology. Christ has given us Himself and so many riches of the truth concerning Himself, yet it is easy for Christians to form all this into an ideology. Once something we have received becomes an ideology, we have departed from Christ.
The Plymouth Brethren are a good illustration of this. In the 1800s, they received so many riches from the Lord. So much light came forth from the Word, and so many rich hymns were written by them. But when what the Lord gave them became an ideology, they lost the living Lord. In Plymouth, England, today, a gathering that once brought the blessing of Christ to thousands has become a meeting of a faithful few who hold onto something with their natural man. That which they are faithfully holding is not Christ but rather a collection of teachings that has become their ideology. We have to be careful of this tendency, for ideology develops so easily. It is much easier to hold onto an ideology than to hold onto Christ. Once ideology is in control, Christ is not.
Some hold onto ideology to the point that they ignore or deny the reality of the body of Christ. For instance, some Christians say they are Lutherans due to their ideology. In fact, they are believers, but they have exchanged the reality of the body of Christ for an ideology. Ideology needs followers; it needs allegiance if it is to be maintained. Among those controlled by ideology, there is no true love which seeks what is best for the entire body of Christ. If we are able to avoid the trap of ideology, we will be so precious in the sight of God. Only this will express the body of Christ.
Adapted from Ruth: Growth Unto Maturity, pages 81-82.
Tomorrow: “Self-confidence and Self-development”