Do you allow division? Are you unwittingly contributing to the demise of your church? Scriptures instruct us to identify and then avoid those who cause divisions! These instructions are to protect the church and facilitate the prayer of Christ – that the church be unified. The casual observer will see this commandment not only violated but the violation embraced in many churches. We must follow the clear teachings of the Scripture.
There are many, many very good people in church who think it would be rude to follow God’s commandment to “mark out dividers.” So, those who are gossipers, division mongers, constant complainers, have free reign in many churches. Their poison demoralizes and divides. Usually there is an element of truth in what they say (following the example of the father of lies).
What’s a soul to do? A “sweet” person begins to cause division with their forked tongue – how do you respond? First, fear God more than man. Do not fear what the divider will then say about you in retaliation if you take a godly stance! You must decide if you want to please God more than get along with others. Second, with a very godly spirit, clearly let the divider know that you will not listen to their complaints. You may want to say something like, “Have you spoken with that person privately?.. if not, please talk to them.” Third, share Scripture with the individual about the importance of humility and church unity.
This “not so silent” sin is killing the church. Many churches are divided because they tolerate dividers, amazingly all in the name of being a “good Christian”! Then when the church dwindles down and members look around, they wonder what happened. Take note, we cannot flagrantly violate Scripture without consequences.
Obviously, Paul’s instructions do not pertain to clear violations of Biblical doctrine or principle. Surely unethical, unbiblical, and unhealthy matters demand to be dealt with in a timely, biblical manner.
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them that are causing the divisions and occasions of stumbling, contrary to the doctrine which ye learned: and turn away from them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Christ, but their own belly; and by their smooth and fair speech they beguile the hearts of the innocent.” Romans 16:17-18 ASV