Am I Divisive? Please Answer.   12 comments

division

By Lori Rodeheaver

Recently I heard part of a sermon on being divisive.  Naturally, it caught my attention because of how many times I’ve been accused of being divisive.  I really didn’t get to hear a lot of what Mr. Swindoll said bc I was in the car and had to get out.  Anyway, I thought I’d look up some scriptures about the subject and try to determine if I am guilty as charged.  Does clairity in doctrine even matter?  I personally have always believed it matters a lot, but everywhere I go, it seems, if I bring up matters of doctrine, others will either tell me it really doesn’t matter or that I’m being divisive.  Should we really all just put away any and all distinctions and never discuss them?  I’m searching the Word of God to see..

Divisive –di·vi·sive (dɪˈvaɪsɪv)

–adjective

1.  forming or expressing division or distribution.

2.  creating dissension or discord.

Just reading the definition I would admit that I have indeed caused discord among believers in the past.  Is it because I want to be at odds with people or want to stir up trouble?  Do I have a problem with unity or loving people unlike myself?  I think it’s just the opposite.  When I ask another Christian to explain their beliefs or foundation for such, I simply want to know why they believe what they believe and if it lines up with the scriptures.  In my heart, I am looking out for them in love, understanding that we cannot build on false teachings or half truths.

Apparently this makes them fearful or insecure in some way and soon after my questions they label me a dissenter or troublemaker.  How does the bible describe a divisive person though?  Look at Romans 16:17-18:

“I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. 18For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.”

Divisive people 1. are NOT serving Christ in motive, but self and 2. they use smooth talk and flattery in an effort to deceive.

The first point, I admit, I may indeed be guilty of in many cases.  When it comes to defending truth, however, I see no reason to do so apart from serving Christ and helping others to grow in knowledge and wisdom of His Word.  The second point is directly opposite of what I do when trying to correct false beliefs or half truths.  Dissenters use “smooth talk” and “flattery” with a motive to lead someone astray; I try my best not to hurt of offend in an effort to lead someone to the truth, but always get accused of offending ppl. That isn’t flattery.  lol.

In Paul’s definition of divisive people, he describes them as ppl who, if you will, form alliances so as to gain popularity and spread lies; they are not genuine in words or in friendship.  He does not describe them as someone who is willing to forsake popularity and lose friendship in an effort to spread truth.  That’s what Jesus said HIS followers would look like.

Why do this if it makes people dislike me?  Because it’s what we’re called to as Christians.  Some, possibly more than others, as many times I’ve wished for a gift other than discernment. Why couldn’t I just be able to sing or cook? I could bless people so much more happily! God is Sovereign, though.

1Timothy 4:3:16-17 says this:

”All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Scripture is useful for correcting as much as it is for teaching and training.  Why?  So we might be equipped to do whatever it is God has called us to.  If Christians get offended everytime they are corrected, it’s not me they should be upset with, it’s themself bc they are hindering their own growth and preparedness for God’s work.

17 He who heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray. ~Proverbs 10:17

1 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.~Proverbs 12:1

Finally, in 1Timothy 4:13-16 let’s look at one more instance where Paul speaks about doctrine:

”Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. 15 Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. 16 Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.”

Why would Paul speak so adamantly about reading, exhorting, and learning doctrine?  He tells Timothy and the others to give themselves “entirely” to these things!  What does the word exhort mean?

ex·hort

–verb (used with object)

1. To urge, advise, or caution earnestly; admonish urgently.

–verb (used without object)

2. to give urgent advice, recommendations, or warnings.

He says to take heed to yourself and to the doctrine.  Take heed to your actions and to the truth of the gospel.  That’s what we’re called to do.  But what of false teachers and those who spread unbiblical teachings?  Jude has a word concerning them:

“These men are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.” ~Jude 1:16

“These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.”~Jude 1:19

What do divisive people do?  They flatter and grumble.  They do not share the truth in love and genuine concern for a brother or sister with a wrong belief, honestly.  Hank Hanegraaff puts it this way in description of the essence of Jude’s letter: “True believers must show great care to defend the truth against opposing ideologies and to lovingly, but sternly, draw others out of the snare or licentious living and unbiblical beliefs.”

I am not saying I am above correction on these matters or any other, in fact, PLEASE correct me when and wherever you see error or untruth in anything I write or say!  I am saying that if I correct a belief or ask for an explanation, it’s out of concern and love for you as a brother or sister.  It is not because I want to lead you astray or hurt your feelings.  I don’t enjoy losing friends, but I’m willing to if Christ calls me to endure that for His sake.  I hope this brings some clarity on my gift of discerning error.  I love all of you who are of the faith and I pray we can be unified in love and charity in all things.

So…am I divisive?  Please tell me if I am looking at this wrong or deceiving myself.  I truely want to know.  Thanks!

Everyday Encounters with the Creator

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12 responses to “Am I Divisive? Please Answer.

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  1. “These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.”~Jude 1:19

    There can be a big problem or disconnect between young believers and mature believers. Young believers slouch towards the letter and mature believers are spiritual. In my experience, young believers will always try to correct you because you are not shallow and carnal like they are. I usually only correct or rebuke someone if the Lord tells me to.

    I am a spiritual man and my life is led by the Holy Ghost. Many believers have the Holy Ghost, but they are not into the power (dunamis–Greek) of the Holy Ghost. Most or all young (carnal) Christians get discombobulated when they see my life of obedience. The Lord told me to quit going to church on Sunday way back in 1991. This really offends them.

    Back in 1988, I had been going to this church in Ames, Iowa for a year and then I left because it was so dead. They were very much into the letter and not the power of the Holy Ghost (it was called Great Commission Church–it is a cult–I prayed many times to leave, but the Lord had me there for a year for some reason–I guess He was using me to reach out to some people). In 1989, the leadership of that church kicked me out of my house (other Great Commission people were living there as well) because I was preaching about the Baptism of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues and I told them that I had been delivered of many demons.

    Before I was kicked out, one of the deacons told me that I was being divisive. I told him that I was doing the will of my Father and that I would preach the Gospel wherever I could (but in that situation, I may have been casting pearls before swine). He told me that I was going to an immature church (this was a put down) (I left Great Commission in 1988 and started attending an Assembly of God)–of course, he was projecting himself onto me.

    Then something absolutely unpremeditated happened. I looked at him in holy anger and shouted, “The Lord is going to spew the lukewarm church out of His mouth!” (The Lord put those words in my mouth) The guy started shaking in his boots and said, “Tim, that’s a hard judgment.” And then he ran out the door.

    “I came not to bring peace, but division.” Which means, I don’t make peace with worldly Christians.

    Many Christians that I have met HATE the power of the Holy Ghost. My obeying the Lord is very unnerving to them. I am also very prophetic, so I will always be on the outer edge of the Christian mainstream. So be it.

  2. I like the way you put that ; “I don’t make peace with worldly Christians.”

    I am beginning to recognize ‘worldly Christians’ more now, but at first, I really struggled with this. Whenever we questioned the leadership at our old church, (Evangelical Lutheran one,) we were labeled divisive. Soon we were cast out from the church, and those who had been my friends, wouldn’t even give me the time of day if we met out in public. It was very painful and shaming. Yet I could not go back from what the Lord was telling me to do. I had to obey Him above all.

    What was the big divisive issue? Well, they had everyone take attendance at the Sunday morning service, and this got put into their computer system. If you missed more than one Sunday in a month, they sent you a warning postcard. I got several of those post cards, because I found it extremely difficult to get up so early in the morning every Sunday, due to some medicine I was on. I was sick quite often, and found it almost impossible to perform up to their standard. I asked if I could have someone pray with me, whenever I struggled to make it in. They refused, and said all they wanted was for me to call in to the office every time I’d be absent, and let them know if I was not able to attend and why. When I asked to have one person to report into, one that remained the same, so I could have a relationship with that person, (I was thinking of maybe one of their secretaries,) they coldly told me no, and that I simply had to answer to the computer. When I went to God about it, He told me to NOT submit to their computer, and that no matter what, He would shelter me under His wings. It was still so very painful though. We had gone to that church for years, and I had been a part of the worship team. But things changed when the church began to really grow in its numbers. Then they were chosen to be a ‘mega-church’, and changes were implemented that left many in the dust. Others who had been born again in the Spirit soon left afterwards.

    Since then, the Lord has told me NOT to go looking for a church to join. He has told both me and my husband, that he does not want us to ‘officially join’ any ‘church’. So for now, there is one near by that my husband goes to, (Usually I refuse to, for they are still too pagan Catholic for my spirit to take,) and there is a Sabbat meeting an hour and a half one way drive from us that we go to every other week. It is interesting to see, for there they speak of the biblical feasts instead of the usual Catholic holidays like Christmas and Easter. I have yet to meet any there however, that believe in speaking in tongues or healing the sick. They have not mocked us when we told them of the unseen world. So perhaps there is some hope there. There is no ‘official membership list’ to join up with, it is a ‘come as you can and as you are’ group. So that is a refreshing change for us.

    Sometimes I think that people label those who wish to revert back to the New Testament days as being ‘divisive’, so they won’t have to face the changes it could bring. Old habits do die hard….

    Keep posting my brother Tim. You are an inspiration to me in my struggle to look at Jesus instead of man.

    Shalom!

  3. Dunamis: That Evangelical Lutheran church that you went to sounds apostate. They wanted you to check into the computer whenever you couldn’t make it to church? Sounds like a bunch of unsaved control freaks. Control freaks don’t live by faith in God: they have to be in control because the Lord is not in their lives.

    You can’t force someone to go to church. I can’t force anyone to read this blog. I can’t force anyone to accept Christ into their lives. We live by faith, not by sight.

    Whenever I hear the word “church” or the phrase “church on Sunday”, I don’t get this warm and fuzzy feeling inside. Whenever I hear the word “church”, I cringe a little. In my experience, church on Sunday is the same thing as being stoned to death by unbelievers.

    The Christian church is primarily spiritual or mystical. I am so grateful for the brothers and sisters in Christ that I meet on the road or through my blogs or their blogs. The Lord is the center of my life–not some deadbeat, man-made church organization.

  4. Shortly after this incident at that church, another good friend of mine left because they were trying to control him. He was a great guy, filled with the Holy Spirit, who had recently had a born-again experience, and decided to travel around the area with his Harley Davidson bike gang, (these members had also recently converted to Christ,) telling people what had happened to him (and them,) and how they too, could come to Christ. Well, the leadership at this church heard about what he was doing, called him into the office, and told him that he was to not do this, unless it was under the authority of his church. When he asked them if they would O.K. his ministry, they told him no, and to funnel his energies into the ministries that were already there and needed some extra help. He let me know that he could not do this, for the Lord did not want him to, so he also left the church. Last I heard of him, he had helped to bring several more people to Christ.

    Apostate…It heals my heart to hear you speak the truth so clearly. Until this moment, I had not labeled it as such. (Too painful to think much about it.) It was sad to watch this little church, once so filled with the Holy Spirit, loose itself like it did. But apostate is exactly what it became. I feel sad for those who still go there. They have no idea, of the real power of God…

  5. Unsaved men usually want to control other people. When someone is led by the Holy Ghost–and I would say that most church people are NOT led by the Holy Ghost–spontaneity is part of the equation. It is childlike, spontaneous faith that a Holy Ghost believer lives by. When that friend of yours had a biker ministry, I probably would have said, “Praise the Lord! Sounds great!”

    One time I lived in this “Christian” household in Ames, Iowa. I went to the same church as the people in that house for a year and then I left that church for obvious reasons (it was nice and dead). Anyway, one morning I phoned up several friends, invited them over to our house to have a prayer meeting. One of my roommates got wind of it and became very upset because I didn’t go through their church leadership. Some people are so ridiculous and they don’t even know it. But sin blinds us. Some people are ridiculously blind.

    I got so sick of the churches in Ames. After 1991, when I quit going to church on Sunday, I pretty much went to work, went home, read the Bible and avoided the lukewarm church people I used to rub shoulders with. That in itself was a very powerful sermon. I remember coming home virtually every afternoon to my apartment and the Holy Ghost would fall gloriously on me. I had separated myself from shallow, lukewarm churches and the Lord glorified (rapture) my body. You could also say that my life of being separate from dead churches was like taking my shoes off of my feet and shaking the dirt off of my shoes. OUR LIFE IS THE SERMON.

  6. Dunamis: You may want to read this sometime; it is by Lori Rodeheaver:

    “Pleading Insanity”
    http://lorirodeheaver.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/pleading-insanity/

  7. Pingback: The Next Church In Need Of Saving | Dreams Of Dunamis

  8. Thanks for the link; it is a good web site.

    I wrote a blog entry about a dream I had just a few nights ago, concerning this church and others like it. It was very liberating!
    A link to this web page was tucked into the bottom of it.
    http://dreamsofdunamis.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/the-next-church-in-need-of-saving/

    Thanks again for being there for me,
    C. Dunamis

  9. I get told am divisive occasionally. One occurrence really summed it up for me about much that is going on… A tv man twisting scriptures to cause hearers to focus on this present life and self and gain etc was preaching and I couldn’t help but show what the scripture really say’s and it’s full verse explaining and how it shows the tv guy was teaching falsely and to come away from him, and they paused for along time as if weighing things out… said outright-I do not care about what the scriptures say-I like this man, and I’m going to listen to him.

    I was stunned, and feared for them. Without the anchor of the living Word it’s for sure any will drift away onto the rocks. God gave the scripture from old day’s for the very the reason of finding/knowing/following Him, it cannot be cast off or held as nothing, can’t be taken nonchalantly, not if one wishes to know and follow anyway. the time will come when they will not..will not..endure sound doctrine but wanting to have their ears tickled they gather to themselves teachers in accordance to their desires..teachings that feed the fleshly man. 2nd tim 4:3..also, will not, is interesting in john 5:40. another that applies to many things, we plant we water but God causes the growth..who can grow a church but God? in acts it’s said the Lord added to the church daily those who’d be saved..the Lord added..not some dude who also is trained to speak with a “preaching” voice..that’s another that I notice, some don’t talk like they do normally but have this “preaching” voice they use..to do just that, stir up..what can only be the fleshly nature. then you’ll see them off stage and they talk normal..what’s up with that. horrible show they make of things.

    It’s not being divisive to defend the Word once for all delivered, nor the motive which is also to guard one another, help each other away from the reefs. But people have to hear and act on the Word given, I guess refusing the truth they call one divisive and other things. Love covers a multitude of sins though so keep doing as led even if they call you names, overcome evil with good.

  10. Thank you, Bread, for your comment. If people are truly surrendered to Christ, it would be very hard for the devil or a false pastor or a false Christian to lead them astray. But that is the problem: many people go to church, but they aren’t intimate with the Lord.

    The Scriptures are great—they are definitely inspired by the Holy Ghost—but we need to be submitted to Christ so as to let the Holy Ghost teach us. We are not supposed to figure the Scriptures out in our brains—we need to have the Holy Ghost teach us.

    But as we both know: most people would rather follow man than follow God; most people would rather conform to the crowd than be peculiar in the eyes of men and follow the Lord.

    • Your right and can’t wrest a teaching out but in Gods timing He’ll bring us that truth and all the truth step by step.

      some once were intimate and have fallen back to different degree’s for each, stepped into the flesh and not at all good to fall into that condition, I’ve done that too before when it was called word faith in the early 90’s and all about self, just like today., but hopefully God will bring them back after lessons learned and discipline that’s needed and they’ll be even stronger then before, but on the other hand it’s possible to be shipwrecked, suffer great damage to faith, that’s why it’s so overwhelmingly important to just plain not go there but deny self gather with Christ daily and submit daily and sow to the Spirit daily and guard ourselves and help each other and more. But some aren’t and weren’t ever intimate nor have that desire, and the churches they like don’t express living for God and no longer self but the opposite, live for self and the gospel and godliness is a means of gain and other things, just awful.

      the church(real one) will be in homes and etc soon enough probably, the popular worldly church will still be allowed, even be promoted as it is now.

  11. correction-that one part reads funny..the person watching the tv guy preaching paused for along time as if weighing things..AND said outright-I do not care what scripture says…

    ..just occurs to me also..they didn’t get to that point in one day, in one sitting…how did they arrive to the point they’d say and do that? Guard our hearts and minds..stuff we listen to and put before our eyes and more and each other, watch out for each other.

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