DISUNITY IS THE PRESENCE OF DIVISION NOT THE ABSENCE OF UNITY
Disunity is not the absence of unity, but the presence of division. Unity is not an end, in and of itself, it is a byproduct. Unity is not our cause, it comes to those who are committed to the same cause, which is the Gospel of Christ. Disunity is the result of people getting the minds of God’s people off the cause of souls and onto themselves baptized in their desires. Preachers will not have unity by preaching on unity, but by focusing their people on the right cause, while preaching against those things which bring about disunity.
There are two elements at play here; the local church and local churches. Local churches were never supposed to have unity with each other, but they should have harmony within limits. Satan loves to promote unity as the cause both on a local level and a movement level. However, unity is only meant for the local church, while an atmosphere of harmony should exist on a movement level.
The distraction is when unity and harmony become more important than the winning of the unsaved to Christ both locally and nationally. This is where disunity is caused by division of purpose.
Paul said in Romans 16:17-18, “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.”
Let’s break that down.
“…mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.” Here Paul tells us that those who divert God’s people’s attention from the cause, the Gospel of Christ, are the ones who are dangerous. Paul says to mark them by identifying their contrary doctrine, practices, and avoid them.
What does marking them mean? Identify what they do by comparing it to what they were taught by God’s Word and God’s men. Make it clear to the others in your church who the trouble makers are, with this identification, and avoid them.
You do not have to name them necessarily, but you need to mark the doctrine and practices. In other words, those who are not of the cause divide those who are, but how do they do this? One does not catch “wellness” rather one can catch “sickness.” So, avoid the spiritually unhealthy ones whether locally or nationally. You cannot help them. Only God can help them! He goes on to explain.
“For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” This is not only true in the local church membership, but also among so-called fundamental churches with powerful influence. To say the previous generation of leaders failed is a copout and an excuse to change fundamentalism fundamentally. Thus, enter new music, new methods, and a new morality.
Let’s break this down carefully.
1. They are not serving the Lord Jesus Christ. Who are they serving? They are serving their own causes, some of which are not bad causes, but which divert the attention away from the main cause of the Lord Jesus Christ. Anything that will steer, guide, or steal attention from keeping people from going to Hell is divisive in nature to the cause of Christ. To say one is serving the Lord without seeking the unsaved is divisive.
To avoid the power of the Holy Spirit’s participation in the conviction of the unsaved by the dimming of the platform lights during specials for mood is absurd. To teach a distorted view of “Grace” in order to let up on separation from the world to accommodate new members’ lifestyle is offensive to God. If we use the world to reach the world we will end up in the world.
When the overpowering element of a church service is the music, worship teams, or drama teams something is wrong. The music with a beat, the cross-dressing female singers (during the week), the associations with CCM, etc., is not what we have learned. There is an agenda here and it is patterned after the Emerging Church playbook.
The doctrine will soon be the next to be corrupted as is the case with Rick Warren and the Muslims. Never forget this; when some of our leaders promote reading material from Emerging Church leaders it is ON PURPOSE. Some of these writers are walking back their stand on same-sex marriage because their own children are fighting them.
2. They are serving themselves. “…their own belly” is a description of one who is fattening himself up for his own gain and power. They are their own cause. They would overtake the cause of Christ for their own gain. Their causes may be good humanly speaking, but they are not the cause of the Lord Jesus Christ. They have a cause that they will divide the local church and other local churches in order to advance their cause. The ones who are not soul winning are soul losing.
These neo-fundamentalist were abused they say and now they want to make it their cause. They were hurt by another church member or mentor, so they want everyone in the church or churches to take their side against that person and teaching. Like their counterpart the elder brother in the story of the prodigal son, their standard cry is, “thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends.” They want their way at the local churches or other churches expense.
3. They are slick in their methods. They do not act evil even as they do evil. In fact they appear quite righteous. So does the devil as he does his evil work.
- They do good works. They are going to clean up the “corruption” in the local church or churches or movement. They are going to bring greater accountability. They are going to expose hidden sin (except their own) and create more transparency. They have all kinds of good ideas, but the motive is self serving not Gospel proclaiming.
- They talk a good game. I have discovered that it is difficult to argue with transformational distorters because they know how to quote Scripture and use (distort) it for their own purpose. They always have out of context Scripture to back up their causes.
- They seek naive Christians to deceive and draw into their cause. Every church and churches have people who are not mature and easy prey for these dividers, which is WHY you must mark them early and avoid them. They will get their claws into your church or other churches. They will accuse you of cover-up when you do, but you are only doing what the Bible has instructed you to do. We are afraid to say something for fear of a back lash, but I wonder what kind of a future our children and grandchildren will have when we say nothing.
Pastor, do not get distracted by the unity movement by some with colleges who desire for you to be in unity with them. There is no call by God for all local churches to be in unity. That is Catholic in nature. God does not call for unity among churches, but harmony as much as possible.
Christ will bring unity to our local church as well as other local churches, if we keep the Gospel as the center focus of all we do.