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Division is Sin!

November 15 2007 at 5:02 PM
Doug Jones 
from IP address

Jesus Prayed for Unity

John 17:21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

In this prayer Jesus asked His Father to allow the church to all be one. The Lord's strong desire was based on the last statement of this verse "so that the world may believe that you have sent me".

Paul commanded Unity

1 Corinthians 1:10 I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.

Division does harm to the body of Christ, and to it's ability to carry out the great commission. Notice that Paul does not preach "unity in diversity" but says "be united in the same mind and the same judgment".

There is only one way for this unity to exist. Having the same mind and same judgement can only come from agreement upon God's Word. The apostles new this, as we will notice shortly, and those brave men who started the restoration movement knew this. That is why they abandoned all creeds and consulted only the bible for all aspects of faith and worship. Their plee became "Let us speak where the bible speaks, and be silent where the bible is silent". The authority of the silence of scriptures is not a man made doctrine.

1 Corinthians 4:6 I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another.

2 John 1:9 Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.

Revelation 22:18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

It is clear that we are not to go beyond what is written and interject the ideas of man into spiritual matters.

Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

We go beyond what is written by adding to or taking away from God's Word, and when we do so we are not abiding in the doctrine of Christ.

Do Instruments in the worship go beyond what is written?
Colossians 3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

Ephesians 5:19, “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;”

Matthew 26:30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Instrumental Music in the assembly goes beyond what we see examples of and commands for in scripture.

Safety First
We all understand this concept, when presented with two options take the safest option.

How do we apply this to scriptural worship?

Everyone agrees that singing without the aid of an instrument is acceptable to God in the worship assembly. Not everyone agrees that instrumental music is acceptable to God in the worship assembly. The safes choice to avoid division would be to keep instruments out of the worship assembly. Remember, division is a sin, and should not be caused by someones preferences.

Who caused this division? Division was caused by those who went beyond what is written.

What about christian liberty?
1 Corinthians 8:1 Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that "all of us possess knowledge." This "knowledge" puffs up, but love builds up.
2 If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know.
3 But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.
4 Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that "an idol has no real existence," and that "there is no God but one."
5 For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth--as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"--
6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
7 However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled.
8 Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do.
9 But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.
10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol's temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols?
11 And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died.
12 Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ.
13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.

1Co 10:23 "All things are lawful," but not all things are helpful. "All things are lawful," but not all things build up.

My Christian Liberty ends where my brother's or sister's conscience begins.

It’s like American freedom: My freedom ends where my fist meets your nose.

If in exercising my freedom I punch you in the nose, I go to jail.

If in exercising my Christian Liberty I cause my brother to stumble, or cause division, I sin against Christ.

From either perspective it is a sin to divide a congregation by bringing instruments into the worship.

Let us have unity based on God's Word.

In Christ,
Doug Jones

 Respond to this message   
Ken Sublett


December 23 2011, 10:40 AM 

Couldn't have been better said. Jesus connected unity based on His Word. There simply cannot be unity based on my word which has no more authority than your word.

It's really pretty simple: If it has not been taught then you cause division when you reject the command of Jesus to "teach what I have commanded to be taught." That really is not complicated at all: The Sayings of Jesus are collected in the gospel accounts and if we follow HIS Wisdom we don't need anything which is NOT based on His wisdom.

I don't understand people who have "run out" of the teachings of Christ in the Apostles and Prophets. The Campbell's didn't do any harm to others when they--like Paul--restricted the community gatherings to teaching and musing on the Word of God.


 Respond to this message   
Ken Sublett

Update Ryan Christian Standing in the Holy Place Claiming to be Jesus Christ?

December 23 2011, 8:35 PM 

I have Updated Ryan Christian's absolute definition of fulfilled prophecy. Those who have been deluded produce lying wonders. These are religious services devoted to all of the performing arts and artists.

If this doesn't make you blush then nothing can.

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