Division Among the Church

Over the years of ministry we have seen a lot of division among different fellowships. We meet people every week that say they are experiencing division in their fellowships. When we found a home fellowship to worship with we have not found any division. The Holy Spirit lead us to one another and we can see why. We're all experiencing a revival, answered prayers, healing, reconciliation with others, and the list goes on. I wondered why there is so much division among 'churches' today, when we weren't seeing any division among our fellowship. Isn't division bad?

From what I have seen over the years among denominational churches, they have division when the people are not in sync with their spiritual leaders. Perhaps the members of the congregation desire a higher standard than what their leader is exhibiting and he won't raise the bar. Perhaps it's because the members find an error in a doctrine of that denomination, and actually speak up about it. Maybe it's because the people have become pharisees, judging and distancing themselves from the very people who are their brethren.

Many times when we have seen a division it is labeled as gossip, yet if it is a biblical question they have a right to have that question answered. A persistent believer who has experienced a revelation of truth is often outcast as the divider among such denominations. So what's a believer to do?

Should the believer continue to quietly accept such doctrine just to keep the peace and avoid division? I don't think this is what Jesus had in mind. Many times we read about the Pharisees asking questions, and Jesus answered them. Each time His answers brought division among those who think they knew all the Law, but he brought unity among those who were willing to receive His grace and trust in Him. In their day, to disagree with the Pharisees was considered 'causing a division'. Jesus and our brethren disciples were cast out of the synagogues for how they spoke.
Luke 12:51, "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:"
Fast forward to today's modern Christianity and we see the same pattern developing here. Those who are coming to trust Christ and question their leaders are seen as wolves, critics, dividers, all in a negative sense. Many parents today are experiencing their teenagers breaking away from their churches and families and wonder why it's happening.

Not all teens leave because they just want to go into the world and sin. Teens really are keener than we give them credit for. Parents report that their teens are questioning their faith in Christ and are rebelling against Him. I think it would be wiser for parents to step back and ponder for a while what exactly they are questioning. Are they really questioning their faith in Christ or their faith in their denomination? You see Christ and denomination do not go hand in hand. Denominations were made by man, not God.

It's when parents vehemently defend their preacher and denomination, over guiding their child to Truth that they sway from what they have been taught. I was admonished many times by a local preacher to "Know what I believe and why I believe it." Each time I heard preaching I would come home and find every verse in the Bible that corresponded with what they were teaching. I would find verses that connected and ask the preacher why he hadn't used these other verses in their messages. I wondered if they realized that when you put all of the verses on that topic together, why they didn't add up to what they were preaching. They didn't like these questions.

I was labeled a critic, I was told I was causing division, I was even told that the preacher was protecting his people from a false prophet. A false prophet? Because I had questions about why their denomination was not lining up with the whole counsel of God's Word? Something was wrong with this picture. Weren't we supposed to read the Bible and ask questions?

Acts 17:11, "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."

In my experience, a child of God grows at their own pace and can't be rushed to accept doctrine if they have unanswered questions. A wise Christian teacher will be patient and longsuffering with a new disciple to be sure they understand God's Word. If they have questions that steer us away from what the denomination's norm is, then we owe it to them to dig into the word together to find the answers.

When we experience a revelation from the Holy Spirit and we desire to share it with someone, they often times will not understand it. If it doesn't line up with what their denomination teaches, they disregard the revelation as a work of the devil. When believers experience a true revival, other 'Christians' will mock them and refuse to accept their revival. They many times will actually belittle those who are experiencing a new and deeper relationship with Christ.

Is it possible that they simply don't understand their revival, because they have not experienced one themselves? Maybe they don't believe you when you say "I've been healed" because they have not experienced supernatural healing. Does this mean that it is proper to label their experience as from the devil? Is it proper to give the devil credit for something God is doing? Maybe you speculate if this really is of God. If it is drawing people to Christ, then it is most certainly of God, because the enemy doesn't want you giving any credit to God the Father for healing and a deeper walk with Christ.

There are so many different denominations today and it leaves the world confused as to who Christ really is. I was asked by a fellow brother today why there were so many baptist churches around. (Please don't take this statement personally.) I simply said "Because they can't agree."

So why is there so much disagreeing between denominations? Even among denominations that hold the same labels? Why can't they just agree? It seems to me that the root of the problem of division is the denominations themselves. Each one believes 'they' have it right. Each denomination believes they have it as close to the Bible as possible. Yet they don't like it when you question their doctrine. If you question them, you're causing division.

Perhaps it's the denominations that caused all this division in the first place. Even during the reformation of the Catholic Church, the people split from the government controlled religion and declared their freedom in Christ to believe what they wanted. From the reformation we saw several denominations split off and people following the leaders they most closely agreed with.

So what is a believer to do? My family choose to wipe the slate clean and start all over with Christ as our head and the Holy Spirit as our teacher.

So just what is division and who is really causing it?

Related Articles:
One Heart, One Mind by Serena Woods of Grace is for Sinners.

Sisterlisa is a homeschooling mom of four children and married to a ministry leader of a Rescue mission. She is the owner of Growing in Grace Magazine and AGMinistries.

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{ Kathy } at: August 17, 2009 at 11:27 AM said...


Your article is very well done, I believe. I have experienced, and also seen in those close to me, God's supernatural healing.

It is actually a blessing to re-think what we've been taught, figure out what we truly believe, deep inside, and do all we can to examine ourselves, before The Lord, to be sure we are understanding Him correctly, as far as we are able, by His Grace.

He uses His Holy Spirit as our Teacher, and we can trust Him to "sort it all out" ... for us. He will assure those who are pure in heart, humble & meek about what He wants them to believe, as they seek His Face.

It's a blessing to read what you shared, Sisterlisa. Thank you!
~ Kathy ~

{ Sisterlisa } at: August 18, 2009 at 8:04 PM said...

Thank you Kathy.

Anonymous at: August 21, 2009 at 8:31 PM said...

Thank you so much for writing this! I think you are right on and this was just what I needed to read. I have been feeling discouraged and confused lately (not about God and not about my saviour Jesus...they are my rock and the only thing I am sure about these days) and reading your thoughts encouraged me!

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