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DIVIDING THE BODY OF CHRIST

By Apostle Dr. Michael Henry

An Apostolic Voice


1Corinthians 1:10 “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment”

We must remember the gospel did not depend for its success on the reasoning’s of philosophy, or the persuasions of eloquence. In the above verse the Apostle Paul affectionately exhorts the brethren rather than exerting an authoritarian command. He cautions them to take all proper measures to avoid the evils of schism and of strife.

There is a general view among Christians that; 'unity' is when all 'Christians' come under one priestly or religious arrangement. In history, this has been the status of the Roman Catholic Church that is; to have all Christians contained by its arrangement under the authority its head; the Pope.

Many cults share a similar view to those outside their group. A cult is a religious or social group with unusual or narrative beliefs and practices. This belief system or practice is rearing its ugly head in Christendom. Concentrated efforts of influence and relationships and control lie at the heart of cultic groups. Their members are been manipulated, exploited and even abused.

Sadly, some Charismatic and Evangelical churches appear to suggest a comparable state of affairs that there can only be 'one church in any city'; or for everyone to be under ‘apostolic authority'. The difficulty with this analysis is that it does not recognize that unity in the Christian faith is essentially spiritual. Governmental unity can ultimately include a gathering of people who have no ‘real’ unity in Christ at all. Any Christian leader who seeks to defy someone else publicly is breaking the unity of the Body of Christ. Thus, they bring the Name into disrepute.

A familiar false impression is that 'unity' is expressed through 'being tolerant' by not disagreeing with anyone.  This is a heartbreaking unity indeed! It is completely foreign to Biblical unity. The Apostles were willing to publicly rebuke and correct individuals and churches - and urged the churches to do likewise, in light of God’s Word. Scriptural unity is not a shallow tolerance but a profound spiritual bond based on truth and committed to upholding that truth. This means that at times a Christian or group may have to be lovingly challenged if they are denying the unity they profess to have; like in the warnings in the letters to the churches in Revelation 2-3  and 1 John 2:19.

So often those who cry out loud "unity" and blame others for "dividing the Body" by daring to question their teaching or practice are the very ones who are dividing the church by introducing strange and unbiblical teachings and practices. In carrying out such a mission we are to do in a humble manner of loving concern for the cause of Christ and “His Church”.