The word for today

 Just one thing: As citizens of heaven, live your life worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or am absent, I will hear about you that you are standing firm in one spirit, in one accord, contending together for the faith of the gospel, not being frightened in any way by your opponents. This is a sign of destruction for them, but of your salvation—and this is from God. For it has been granted to you on Christ’s behalf not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, since you are engaged in the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I have.

If, then, there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, make my joy complete by thinking the same way, having the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look not to his own interests, but rather to the interests of others.

-Philippians 1:27-2:4

The problem being addressed and the purpose of Paul's letter to the Philippian's is disunity.  It comes as a shock that Apostle Paul was opposed by fellow Christians.  Paul was very generous towards these people, calling them "brothers".  

In the face of being opposed by fellow believers, my pastor I grew up with had a saying, "your brother is never your enemy, even if he acts like one."

It seems like the church has never been so divided.  Listening to current sermons or reading what Christian leaders are writing or talking about on podcasts, bashing other parts of the body of Christ has become very common.  Christians calling other Christians heretics and self-righteous "concern trolling" is also very common today.  There seems to be very little "live and let live" or recognition that we are different parts of the same body, unified in Christ.

There is a concept in Philippians called "unity, not uniformity".  Many Christians can not handle the lack of uniformity and divide over politics, social issues, baptism, styles of leadership, music... and the list goes on.

Being a Christian means you have given your whole life to Him (lock, stock, and barrel: mountain style) and have become His disciple.  I am now a person in Christ, working out my salvation (working out what He has worked into me: through His grace).

Philippians addresses the question of when other Christians oppose you.  They are indeed born-again as far as you can tell, but they are mean, hateful, nasty, uncharitable, undermining, devious, and deranged maybe.  

I heard the story about a church who was reaching out to the gay community.  And they said that the biggest problem in that ministry were Christians who would come and undermine what they were doing.  I recently heard a missionary to Afghanistan share that while there was great danger from the Taliban, what was shocking was other Christian missionary groups who undermined and endangered their efforts to evangelize there.

The root of disunity may be a self-serving and self-centered attitude.  Paul teaches in Philippians that we are to follow Christ in selfless service to others.  This lifestyle will lead to a different way than the path of selfish ambition and vain conceit. 

We need to strive for unity, harmony, and humility with fellow Christians.  We should give up demanding uniformity of opinion, that we should all think alike; but rather strive for an attitude of loving kindness towards other believers.  We need to find our commonality in Christ and live together from there.