WHO IS CAUSING DIVISION?
Garland M. Robinson
The brotherhood has an over-abundance of false teachers in both churches and schools. They are counting on their error not being exposed. False doctrine and those who teach it is like a cancer. Therefore, the faithful will stand up and expose them and their doctrine. Error, left untreated, leads to eternal destruction.
The same old tired and misused expressions keep surfacing from digressives against the faithful: “You are sowing discord,” “you’re causing division,” “why won’t you fellowship everybody” “you’ve gotten yourself out on a limb,” “you’re in a dilemma,” etc., etc. Such expressions are no better now than they have ever been. They are insults aimed at sound brethren. They are inspired of the devil intended to cause the faithful to “back off” and let up on their pressure against error. However, those loyal to the Lord must not let up! God doesn’t give us a license to relax when the going gets rough and the liberals start whining.
The ploy used today is the same as that used by wicked Ahab well over 2,700 years ago. Elijah was accused by king Ahab of stirring up trouble in Israel. “And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim”(1 Kings 18:17-18).
The prophet Elijah was faithful in his diligence to proclaim God’s Word. The “sting” of his preaching was felt by Ahab and, as a result, Elijah was hated because of it. Surely, those among Ahab’s camp didn’t like to be around Elijah. You can only imagine the sneers and taunts that were uttered under breath when Elijah would approach. Ah, here comes that troubler! Watch what you say. Don’t let him know what we are doing or he will start preaching about it and we don’t want to hear that! Are not these same sentiments expressed today?
Elijah was not the trouble maker! He simply proclaimed the “whole counsel of God” as all faithful preachers and church members do. Paul made this clear to the elders of the church of Ephesus when he said, “Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I [am] pure from the blood of all [men]. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God”(Acts 20:26-27). A preacher’s job is to condemn error in public and private. “Preach the word”(2 Tim. 4:2). “Mark...and avoid”(Rom. 16:17). “Have no fellowship with”(Eph. 5:11). Those who won’t heed and obey these passages are the ones causing trouble in the kingdom of our dear Lord.
Those who turn aside to the right hand or the left are the troublers in spiritual Israel today. They wish to fellowship everyone and turn a blind eye to the many errors in which they and others are involved! They are the ones who cry, “let us all go along in order to get along,” which is just as false as false can be. There can be no Biblical unity when there is doctrinal error! Those who have “lockjaw” (when it comes to the truth) are the ones who have gotten themselves out on a limb. They are the ones who are in a dilemma. Dear faithful brethren, don’t let the compromisers “turn the tables” on you and make you feel like you are the one in the wrong. This is what Ahab sought to do to Elijah, but he was too wise for that. So must we be also. Stand up for what’s right. “Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might”(Eph. 6:10).
The Bible still says, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them”(Eph. 5:11). To “reprove” means to expose them. Ahab fellowshipped the prophets of Baal. It must not be so among us. The Scriptures are clear. “If sinners entice thee, consent thou not”(Prov. 1:10). “Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away”(Prov. 4:14-15). “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple”(Rom. 16:17-18). “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds”(2 John 9-11). Should we cut these verses out of the Bible like those in error do? No we should not.
Who is out on a limb? It’s not those who are “contending for the faith” as Jude 3 commands: “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort [you] that ye should earnestly contend for the faithwhich was once delivered unto the saints.”
Who will stand up for the Lord and be counted? Life is too short and eternity too long to forfeit the saving Gospel. The apostle John wrote, “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed [are] the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them”(Rev. 14:13). I want to die in the Lord, not out of the Lord. Is that not your same goal?