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YELLOW PENCILS
Beware! Your Christianity may be coercing you into a box with a lot of other yellow pencils without you even realizing it.
Copyright 2001 / Leslie A Turvey

Several years ago a man said the people of our church were like a box of yellow pencils, each one the same as the next, and lined up in precise rows. How right he was. There's a wonderful verse that says, "Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity (Psalm 133:1)." But does unity mean we have to be yellow pencils?

In our church that's what it meant. We were taught what the church wanted us to know, told what the church wanted us to think, and even dressed according to church dictates. Ah, yes, we dwelt together in unity but at what cost? The unity of the Worldwide Church of God cost us our individuality, our freedom of expression, and enforced its unity by threat of disfellowshipment of those who dared not to conform to the rules. And since the Worldwide Church of God was God's only true church -- at least that's what they taught -- disfellowshipment meant we would be consigned to the lake of fire unless we repented and came into line.

The Worldwide Church isn't the only group to promote enforced unity. Other movements, such as ecumenism in all its forms, are working relentlessly to bring all denominations together under the rule of the Vatican to make Christianity one huge box of yellow pencils. But Psalm 133 doesn't refer to enforced unity because it states "how good and how pleasant it is...."Enforced unity is neither good nor is it pleasant. Enforced unity is regimentation, just like yellow pencils in a box.

The Good News Bible substitutes the wonderful noun harmony for unity thus allowing for us to have our differences yet to get along peacefully. Life is like an orchestra tuning up before the performance. The violins squeak and squawk as each performer turns the pegs to bring the instrument to perfect pitch. The flautists run up and down the scales while the trumpeters practice a few bars of the opening number. Eventually the director taps his baton and the cacophony subsides. Then, with a wave of his hands the magic of harmony blends the strings, the woodwinds, the brass, the timpani, and all the other sections of the orchestra into a glorious reverberation of beautiful music.

When brethren dwell together in unity life makes music. Whether it's the harmony of saws and hammers wielded by a house-building crew, or the laughter of children playing sandlot baseball, it reminds us of the beautiful line from Psalm 133, "Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity." But can we really dwell in unity if we're a box of yellow pencils? The bible looks at our human body and asks, "If the whole body were an eye where is the hearing? If the whole were hearing where is the smelling (1 Corinthians 12:17)?"

We can't all play the same musical instrument, or be the pitcher, or pursue the same vocation. We need to be different just as our nose is different from our ears, and our arms have different functions than our heart. But in the same way the whole of our various parts make up the human body so the whole of our differences make up humanity. There's a time coming when all humanity will dwell together in unity, not because we'll be forced to but because we'll want to. With the maker of yellow pencils, Satan, locked away from mankind and nature.
(Revelation 20:10) even the animals will live together in unity. Isaiah 11:6.

May God Bless you all.
From the Master's Table:

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