My head is small and lumpy. Somehow, though, I’ve managed. There are disadvantages (grave disadvantages) to having an under-sized, and irregular pate. One is that shaving your head is not really an option. I look at guys with a perfect dome, and envy them the way I used to envy guys that were a few inches taller. Also, one never looks good in a hat. Fedoras, Homburgs, Ten-Gallons, Ball-Caps, Derbys, Riding Caps, even Yarmulkes only accentuate the comparative smallness and irregularity of my capo, and I end up looking like someone closely related to Abe Vigoda.
For some reason, that is not true about a Tri-corn hat. I can really wear a Tri-corn hat – and I have a nice one. The thing is, although I’ve waited, and waited, they have never come back into style. For years, my only opportunity to wear a Tri-corn hat has been on trips to Colonial Williamsburg. It seems that now even that opportunity has been taken from me.
Because, the Tri-corn hat has make a come-back of sorts, as a symbol of the Tea Party movement. When the news media covers one of the many rallies held by the Tea Party it seems half the men, many of the women and children, and even a few of the dogs are wearing Tri-corn hats. So I guess I’ll go sans chapeau for a while, lest my headgear associate me with a group I am not associated with.
I’ve been to congregations where the Bible you carried identified you as clearly as a Tri-corn hat at a political rally. At one congregation it was not enough to carry a fat KJV – it had to be a Dickson Study Bible. I’ve visited congregations where lack of a jacket on Sunday morning, lack of a tie on Sunday night, and a pair of blue-jeans at any service identified one as lacking in true conviction.
We seem to naturally find trinkets and symbols that identify, and divide. We want to know what group you are in, and want you to know what group we are in. When we have clearly delineated our group, we set about the task of subdividing. When Thomas Campbell brought his family to America from Scotland at the end of the 18thCentury, he was not just a Christian, not just a Protestant, not just a Presbyterian – he was a New-Light/Anti-Burgher/ Presbyterian. He and his son Alexander were not satisfied with the situation, and so they, along with like-minded others began a movement to restore New Testament Christianity – to become Christians only.
Judaism in the 1stCentury had parties. Pharisees were Jews. Sadducees were Jews. Herodians were Jews. Zealots were Jews. Christians had no parties. There is one Lord. There is one Faith (Ephesians 4.5). The truth was “once for all” delivered to us (Jude 3). “Factions” or “parties” are one of the “deeds of the flesh” listed in Galatians 6.19-20.
With football season, and a political season gearing up I wanted to remind us that we are not many. We are one – One Family, One Body, One Flock. To subdivide that One into parties – political, or otherwise, is against the will of God.