The church is not a social club that serves only as a gathering point for learning and worship. Rather, it is an organism in which all the saved share the same Spirit and new birth and are fused together with Christ such that they are collectively called “the body of Christ and members individually” (1 Cor 12:27).
The church is so bonded together with Christ we become inseparable. The church is to be protected as though it were the person of Christ Himself.
All Christ’s followers should unite around learning and obeying the revealed word of God. Any deviation from the original apostolic teachings as revealed in recorded Scripture only creates divisions and distrust among the brethren. Divisive teachers demand conformity to their views.
Paul wrote in his last letter to the churches, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth and be turned aside to fables” (2 Tim 4:3–-4)—-that is, imaginary, usually miraculous, stories that prove their extrabiblical concepts.
The unity and peace of the church are such priorities that anyone disrupting this harmony must be “rejected,” which means to “shun, or avoid.” This is a “divisive” person, which is the origin of the word heretic. This word appears in the list of words that describe the “works of the flesh,” such as “immorality, impurity, sensuality . . . outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,” and so on (Gal 5:19–-21). Division in the church is not allowed.
Many Christians are neither discerning enough to detect when a teacher deviates from Scripture nor courageous enough to warn him, much less to separate from him if he does not cease. Do you love the church enough to protect its bond to the Scripture only?
“Heavenly Father, please help me recognize a divisive person and avoid friendship with him. I want to help edify Your church, not to be a part of dividing it.”