Labels#12. “Divisive.”

To deal with the divisive is to strike at the heart of Satan’s demolition crew. Never are the destructive more willing to implode a church than when they are confronted with their evil ways. Knowing they have nothing to lose, they attempt to “torch the place” on their way out—I have seen it with my own eyes!

The strength of a congregation resides in its collective faith and love (2 Thessalonians 1:3-4). Years of labouring together in the church as God’s fellow workers (2 Corinthians 6:1), develops steel in our resolve to keep the unity of the Spirit (Ephesians 4:3). Spirit filled saints are humble and gentle; being patient, they bear with one another in love (Ephesians 4:2).

Such churches are rich in every way. And while the divisive will find such strength hard to exploit, they believe that the inherent blessings are a prize worth fighting for.

Each Christian must keep vigilant watch over the unity of the congregation. Those who use disagreements to get brethren to take sides, must be confronted and corrected. If they persist, they must be marked and withdrawn from (Romans 16:17).

These are very easy words to write, but extremely difficult to carry out. When those who are causing dissensions are your longstanding brethren and friends, it is like chopping off your arm to disfellowship them. So, if your heart isn’t breaking for them and the church, then there is something wrong with your faith and motives.

It is a sad day when a man’s goal shifts from spreading the Word to sitting around waiting for troublemakers to divide the church. Though we must never be blind to those who are given over to divisiveness, our goal must be always that of unity:
“Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10).

John Staiger

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