Stop Tolerating Division

March 28, 2018

Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

Paul did not believe in laissez-faire when it came to truth. There was not a concept in him of “in essentials unity. In nonessentials charity.” There was only one truth. There was only one doctrine for the Church, the Body of Christ. There are no gray areas, only gray people for indeed gray is a mixture of darkness and light and in Him there is no shadow of turning for He is light.

Paul said that if any man, including himself. or angel preached any gospel other than what he first taught the people they should reject him as that man or angel is accursed.  In this verse, he says to mark them or point them out. Call their name to warn people of their heresies and acts of division. Rebuke them. Paul was not one to shun confrontation when it came to the Word.

Many think that false doctrine is the only heresy, but it means to divide as well. A heretic will split the church in some way. When a church splits someone is the heretic. Oh the doctrine may be the same, but they have divided a Body when the Body is called to unity. Many churches were started by heretics and many churches are not growing because they were planted via heresy, not the call of God.

Just because someone “feels called” to start a church does not mean God called it when there are already sound churches in an area. There are many areas in the country where there are few to no sound churches, but a man says God called him to a town where there are already 81 churches and some are very solid? Hard to believe and reconcile that to Paul only writing to THE Church at Ephesus, THE Church at Corinth, etc. Jesus prayed that we would be one as He and the Father were one. We cannot be one when we meet in 81 buildings and have numerous doctrines that conflict. That is not of Him.

The Spirit came to lead us into ALL truth and there is only one truth about any issue. Baptism is either by immersion or not. Sprinkling or not. Aspersion or not. All three are not correct. The candidates for baptism are either children or professing adults, not both. We could go on for sometime. If all were listening to the Spirit there would not be these divisions. Someone is right and the others are wrong thus teaching heresy. That heresy divides the Church making it doubly heretical.

Marking them, not tolerating them, is our command. If friends do not let friends drive drunk then it is even more an act of friendship to not allow friends to believe false doctrine or to participate in the heresy of splitting a church over anything other than doctrinal issues.

I was often told that I should start a church and I said no to that. As long as there is at least one church in a town that is solid, not perfect, there is no need to start another. It is my duty to offer my gifts and callings to that church, not start my own. God will give me a vision and mission that will build up that body so that THE Body is stronger. After all, it is His Body and His callings and He does not cause division. That is confusion and He is not the author of confusion.

Luke 22:31,32 is my call to ministry and I cannot fulfill that calling by splitting a church just so I can have a pulpit or title. There is already too much of that going on. If I can strengthen the established brethren by my gifts that is proper way to do ministry. God did not ask for buildings and points of view. He asked for us to be His temple and to be one. When true revival comes we will see churches merge or close because the Spirit will conquer the flesh that divides us and bring us into truth.  May that happen soon! Maranatha!!