Because of expected ice storm on Sunday January 9, only 8:30 worship will take place onsite.

June 8, 2023

A Pastoral Word. . . Strength in Unity

Rev. Kevin Freeman

June 8, 2023
Are you familiar with the Aesop fable about the quarreling brothers? This is how it goes:

A certain Father had a family of sons, who were forever quarreling among themselves. No words he could say did the least good, so he cast about in his mind for some very striking example that should make them see that discord would lead them to misfortune.

One day when the quarreling had been much more violent than usual and each of the sons was moping in a surly manner, he asked one of them to bring him a bundle of sticks. Then handing the bundle to each of his sons in turn he told them to try to break it. But although each one tried his best, none was able to do so. The Father then untied the bundle and gave the sticks to his sons to break one by one. This they did very easily.

“My sons,” said the Father, “do you not see how certain it is that if you agree with each other and help each other, it will be impossible for your enemies to injure you? But if you are divided among yourselves, you will be no stronger than a single stick in that bundle.”

If a bundle of sticks maintains its strength when bound together, how much more is this true for God’s children?

Next week, the Southern Baptist Convention will meet in New Orleans, and it is clear that Satan wishes to divide its membership. I will not pretend to have all the answers on how best the convention should proceed or how messengers should vote, but I do know this: God values unity among His children. He tells us this in His Word. Consider these verses:

  • I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. (1 Corinthians 1:10 NLT)
  • Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. (1 Peter 3:8 ESV)
  • I in them and you in me--so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (John 17:23 NIV)

It is okay to have opinions about matters within the SBC and how they impact us, but I want to remind you of the unity that our Pastor Emeritus Mark Adams so carefully cultivated during his tenure as senior pastor. When he passed on his notes for RBC101 classes, he shared with me, “I always tell the class that at Redland we embrace this saying, ‘There should be freedom in the non-essentials, unity in the essentials, and love in all things.’

I am praying that we never let Satan loosen the cords that bind us together. Let us keep our unity as we pursue the work God has called Redland Baptist Church to accomplish. We are a GRACE-driven people for a GRACE-needing world, reaching the heart of Montgomery County with the heart of Christ .

Your partner in ministry,
Kevin Freeman
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