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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Good division or evil division? Division in the church....what did Paul teach? Bethel Church and Christianity and 1 Corinthians 1:12

For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. (1 Corinthians 11:19)

This scripture really stuck out today. This comes right after verse 18 in 1 Cor. 11 which speaks of divisions in the church. Paul was telling the Corinthians that when they come together, there are divisions. I checked the cross references for this, and the divisions Paul is speaking of is that in Corinth, some Christians were saying they followed Paul, others Cephas while others were saying they followed Apollos and some simply stated they followed Christ. Because of this they were separating into groups and not having unity. This can be found in 1 Corinthians 1:12.

Here I see two different kinds of division right next to each other in two verses (verses 19 and 18). Sometimes, people who follow Bethel Church will tell their confronters (who warn them about false teaching) that they are "divisive" and use the scripture from 1 Corinthians 1:12 to prove their point.

The problem with this is that Paul had an issue with the church being divided over the WRONG things. Here in this verse, we see that Apollos, Cephas, Paul and Jesus were all teaching the same thing about Christ. None of these men were teaching falsely!!! One was not saying "Christ was not divine at all times" while the other was saying "Christ was divine at all times". No! These leaders were all of one mind in their teaching. If one of them was a heretic, than Paul says that the Christians that are approved (by GOD) will be made manifest (will become obvious). That is, those who follow the heretic are unapproved by God. Those who separate from the heretic are approved by God. It would be manifest and evident who was REALLY following Jesus and His Word by who divided away from the heretic.

What Paul the apostle did not like about Corinth divisions is that they were being divided for a foolish reason. If pastor A and pastor B both teach correct sound doctrine from the Bible, but I am divided with you because you don't follow pastor A and I do, than that would be the unpleasing division that Paul was referring to. That is what was happening in Corinth. It was just stupid. It's like saying, my favorite color is blue and yours is red. Therefore I am not your friend. Totally immature. Paul says stop.

HOWEVER...

If Pastor A and Pastor B teach two totally different and contrary teachings about Christ, than only one is correct. God is a God of truth! He cannot be right and wrong at the same time. He cannot lie!

If Pastor A teaches correctly but Pastor B teaches heresy, and we are divided because of it, THAT IS THE KIND OF DIVISION THAT PAUL SPEAKS OF IN 1 CORINTHIANS 11:19. Paul explains that the very purpose of heresies is to see which Christians are approved by God!. It is those Christians who "mark and avoid" the false teachers who are mature and obedient followers of Christ (Romans 16:17). They are divided away for the right reasons. To not do so would be disobedience to the Lord Jesus.

Here are some supporting scriptures:


"If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder,
and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, ' Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,’
you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the Lord your God is testing you to find out if you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul." (Deuteronomy 13:1-3)

Heresies are a test, people!  God is testing us to see what our reaction will be with heresies.  Are we going to flunk and keep following the false teachings down the broad road to destruction, or are we going to study the Bible and get on the narrow path (Matthew 7:14)? 

Here, being divided is a command!  Again, there is righteous division and unrighteous division.  Check it out...

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

Marking and avoiding sounds pretty "divisive", yet it is a command straight from Jesus for His followers!


As you can see, not all division is a sin!  It is a sin to be divided for the wrong reasons.  There are also right reasons to be divided!  Jesus Himself said people would be divided:


Jesus Brings Division (Matthew 10) 
34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.
36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
37 He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
38 And he that takes not his cross, and follows after me, is not worthy of me.



If there can be true, righteous division and false, unrighteous division, can there also be true, righteous unity and false, unrighteous unity?  Would being divided away from true Christians who teach true, sound doctrine be good division or evil division?  Have a blessed day.  ~ ADMIN 

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