Today's Bible Study, Authored by Arthur Cincotti. 04/17/2022
Listen to our Bible Study Discussion at: How to Split the Church Podcast
Or watch the Video Zoom Session of our Study on YouTube: How to Split the Church YouTube Video
“You shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach…” Is. 58:12
The church is in such a state of confusion today. This is displayed in the kaleidoscope of doctrinal systems. One thing we can say with certainty; when we apply the law of none contradiction to doctrine, it still holds.
Today we will look at three significant church splits in order to draw principles of avoidance. Correct response to division in the church should flow out of Christlike character nurtured in the believer,
1) Gen. 4:1-15; Cain and Abel constitute a church.
Bloody conflict seldom arises over one incident, but what we see in this passage of Scripture is a conflict over something fundamental to the human soul; worship. Abel’s expression of worship was acceptable, and received by God, whereas Cain’s was not.
The word used in vr. 4&5 is “respect”. “And the LORD respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering”. It is also translated “regard”, and defined consider, compassionate, be nonplussed (as looking around in amazement) or bewildered.
This situation actually had a clear path for restoration since God directly gave Cain instruction on how to behave.
When we have a clear direction from the Word of God and refuse to take it, that’s called disobedience.
“Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,” I Sam. 15:22
Appropriate worship, that God has regard for, is still an issue in the church today. Jesus said,”But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth” Jn. 4:23
2) I Kg. 12:1-17 is the account of Rehoboam’s ascent to the throne.
Once again we see that divisiveness is not merely a response to one event but a long brewing of conflict.. I believe that it is appropriate to say that the North South division of the nation (church) of Israel was due to tribal factions; see vr. 16
Factions will split a church like dry kindling. See I Cor. 3 1-7
Factions surface when people consider their own importance something greater than the whole. Rom. 12:3, “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not think of himself more highly than he aught to think, but to think soberly…”
Prov. 16:18, “Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before a fall.”
3) Disputes over doctrine; heresies. Read III Jn.
The early church was no stranger to false doctrine. John likes to use the word “truth” to speak of sound doctrine.
See II Tim. 2:14-19 and Ti. 1:10,11
Sound doctrine is very important. In Rev. 2, Jesus rebukes the church in Pergamos, “because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam” and “those who hold the doctrine of the Nocolaitans, which thing I hate.”
Most heresies embrace the same old things man is easily susceptible to; sexual immorality, personal gain, abusive power and authority; Satan isn’t very creative.
Wesley cautions against the piety that can come with right doctrine: “Orthodoxy, or right opinion, is, at best, a very slender part of religion. Though right tempers cannot subsist without right opinions, yet right opinions may subsist without right tempers. There may be a right opinion of God without either love or one right temper toward Him. Satan is proof of this.
Paul puts it this way: “Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.” I Co. 8:1
To return to our opening theme, when division occurs it’s not possible that both parties can be right. Either both are in error or one is right and the other wrong. The spirit behind the contention will flush out the truth.
-----Join us for another Bible Study Next Week -------
Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!
at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts
(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com.
These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTxjSNstREpuGWuL0bF3U7w/featured
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.
My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)
Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship