Divisions In The Church

Divisions in the church are nothing new; they are as old as the church itself. The early church was ridden with problems even from the start. In fact, every epistle written in the New Testament was written to address a problem or issue that had arisen in the body of Christ. The solution, of course, was always the same: return to the words of the apostles and prophets. At least that was the case for the first several centuries of the church.

Even in the first century, however, the church had problems. Consider the church at Corinth. The problem in the church at Corinth which caused Paul to write 1 Corinthians was that the Corinthians were elevating themselves, their wisdom, their power, their prestige. The problem was that their wisdom, power, and prestige were all based on the world’s value system. Therefore, they had no regard for Paul, his apostolic revelation (God’s wisdom), his power (see Acts 14:19-23; 19:11-20; 20:7-16; 28:1-9), or his prestige (chosen by Christ to be a steward of the mystery of God’s revelation) since he didn’t have any of the worldly value system. In other words, the core issue was that the Corinthians rejected the authority given to Paul from the LORD. Instead, they wanted to be their own bosses, justify their own views, elevate their own gifts. Unfortunately for them, they had forgotten that the church was built on the testimony of the apostles and prophets (i.e., the Scriptures). Thus, the Corinthians (along with everyone else in history) would be judged by those words.

Sign-Up To Receive Email Only Daily Devotionals Sent Straight To Your Inbox

Fast forward to the last 1000 or so years of the church. Divisions and church splits have multiplied at almost an unbelievable rate. Unfortunately, we “protestants” are the worst! Around 1000 A.D., the Roman Catholic Church split from the Eastern Orthodox churches over an issue with a creed. Some 500 years later, the protestants left the Roman Catholic Church because of more doctrinal issues. Today, churches split over such ridiculous things as the type of music, color of the carpet, or personal issues. While these may sound like they are a long way from the early church, they are really no different. The problem is still that people in the church are concerned with their own personal views (i.e., worldly wisdom), their own quest for power, and their own prestige. If someone can’t get along with someone else in the church, they cause divisions. If someone doesn’t agree with the pastor, they leave and find someone with whom they agree. If someone doesn’t like the style of music, they leave and find a church with “better music.” If someone doesn’t like “the leadership,” they leave and start their own church where they can be a pastor/elder. If someone doesn’t like the building, the budget, the carpet, the women’s ministry, the children’s ministry, the hospitality, or whatever else, they cause divisions in the church. In short, people in the church are still unwilling to learn and listen to the words of the apostles and prophets.

Today we begin our podcast series on Paul’s letter to the Corinthians (called 1 Corinthians) where Paul addresses the divisions that had arisen in the congregation in Corinth. As Paul explains, the church isn’t about you; you are to be about the church. In 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, Paul states, “do y’all not know that y’all are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in y’all? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what y’all are.” Each of us are members of the body of Christ, the temple. And as such, we are to build up the body of Christ, not tear it down. Paul’s words to the Corinthians are truly timeless and just as applicable today as they were to the first-century church.

Get The App

Stay connected and get the latest content.

Download The App

No Comments