Does Right Division Cause Church Division?
How important is it to make a stand for mid-acts Pauline dispensational right division? When people are first shown the truth of the Bible and the widespread error that is being taught, they realize that if they make a stand for sound doctrine they may be causing division among an already divided Body of Christ.
The typical response is:
“How important is standing for sound doctrine when many churches and organizations do so much good in the community and the world. Wouldn’t we help more people if we simply remained silent and operated out of peace and love instead of divisive doctrine? After all, we can accomplish a lot more if we work together.“
This ecumenical motivation is well-intentioned when it desires to see the expanding the influence of the church. However, the expanstion comes at the cost of a very special commodity – sound doctrine. Ignoring the supremacy of doctrine is ignoring God’s order for peace.
Peace will ultimately reign forever on earth, but only when the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, returns to establish it:
“Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever.” – Isaiah 9:7
Notice that the worldwide peace is established by judgment, not by compromise. That is, the whole world will know the truth after they are judged by the standard of Truth, God himself. Only after truth is instituted will worldwide peace be established.
God is never willing to sacrifice truth for peace, doctrine for compromise.
Jesus himself, realizing that truth and doctrine comes before peace said:
“Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:” – Luke 12:51
In the dispensation of Grace, Paul instructs us to avoid those which cause division “contrary to the doctrine”:
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.” – Romans 16:17
Again in 1 Timothy 6:4-5, Paul instructs us to withdraw from those who consent not to the doctrine:
“If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;He is proud, knowing nothing, … from such withdraw thyself. ” – 1 Timothy 6:3-5
It is only after he teaches the doctrine of Ephesians chapters 1,2, and 3 that Paul says in chapter 4:3:
“Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” – Ephesians 4:3
It is first that Paul instructs Timothy to teach “no other doctrine”:
“As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine,” – 1 Timothy 1:3
Then after this strong charge, he tells Timothy to “lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” in chapter 2:2.
So then, it is very important to understand that we should not become argumentative, angry, hateful, or divisive. However, to follow God’s order for peace, we are charged to defend sound doctrine. God’s peace comes from like-minded believers who unite through an understanding of God’s Word. Thus we are instructed to:
“Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.” – 2 Tim 1:13