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 The Cause of Division ... and the Cure by Dean Taylor



In A.D. 449, in the famous New Testament city of Ephesus, bishops from all over the world gathered to discuss what they saw as a life-or-death point of theology. The issue? They wanted to nail down just how the two natures of Christ coexisted in the person of Jesus. Fully divine and fully human, they all agreed. But that wasn’t enough. Precisely how those two natures existed in the person of Jesus was the debate. At first glance you would probably think that this must have been some fine point of theology reserved only for the elite theologians. But no … this got big.

Just as always, the root of the issue wasn’t theological. Personal differences and political agendas fanned the fires of dispute and contention. There’s an old saying that goes, “If you want to beat a dog, it’s easy to find a stick.” Through the centuries there have been a lot of dogs.

In the case at Ephesus, the dispute went public. The local “Christians”—who probably had never experienced an ounce of the engrafted nature of Christ—were getting in on the debate everywhere. Akin to our presidential elections or sporting events, people were taking sides. There even is a report that at the sporting complex, the Hippodrome, the “Christians” could be seen wearing colors on their sleeve to represent their theological sides! Seriously, the ones known as “Orthodox” wore blue, and what came to be called the “heretic Monophysites” wore green ones.

Once the theological debate got underway, things went from bad to worse. When one side of the debate didn’t feel that things were going their way, a group of monks, accompanied by a gang of militia, proceeded to take over the debate by force. Threatening everyone with their life, they took a blank piece of paper and made the bishops all sign it. They planned to later simply put what they wanted on the blank section. After they got the signatures, they turned to their leading opponent, Flavian, and cried out, “Slaughter him!” Immediately a band of monks proceeded to beat the bishop so badly that he died a few days later.


“May those who divide Christ be divided with the sword. May they be hewn in pieces, may they be burned alive.”
—”Gangster Synod”
At last, when they felt the debate was settled, the synod proudly pronounced, “May those who divide Christ be divided with the sword. May they be hewn in pieces, may they be burned alive.” Through the centuries, this little meeting has affectionately been named “the Gangster synod.”

Just last night I heard Leroy Beachy say that “we study history so we can see a reflection of ourselves.” Perhaps it’s easy to look at these Ephesus bishops and say, “Wow, they obviously had some issues.” True, they did. Hopefully we won’t hire a group of gangsters to accompany us to the next brothers’ meeting. But I wonder sometimes that during difficult church disputes if we don’t have more of these Ephesus gangsters in our hearts then we care to admit.

We all like passionate churches, right? Well, passion comes in two packages: good passion and bad passion. If you study radical church movements and times of first-generation revival, almost always you find some pretty rocky roads. What’s surprising is that if you were to roll out the annals of church disputes over the centuries, it’s amazing just how confident each side was.

Are we any different? I don’t think so. The Bible has much to say about everyday, practical things like this. Let’s look at just a few Scriptural principles that can help us discern if we are on the right track during difficult times.

1. Ask yourself, “Am I falling into the trap of getting the right answers to the wrong questions?”

Jesus, warning us about future contention, said, “They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.” Jn. 16:2 Like the gangsters at the Ephesus synod, these synagogue guys that Jesus was talking about thought they were doing the right thing. Jesus told us that they even thought God was happy with them. I assume they all had good Scripture quotations for their causes. But even in their zeal to be right with God … Jesus tells us they were missing everything. They were getting the right answers to the wrong questions.

To further explain this point, consider a young man who, although he is in a cult, is serious about trying to please God. Wanting to hear God’s will, the young man asks God, “Should I buy a new sports car or go to the mission field?”

Looking from our perspective, we know that both of his questions are wrong. More than anything else, the young man needs to get out of the cult. But that’s not the question he’s asking. Now imagine him there, studying the Scriptures and praying to God for the right answer. Finally he comes up with the deduction: “The Scriptures teach that it would be better for me to go to the mission field than to buy a sports car.” You see, he got a “right” answer but he asked the wrong question.

In the case of the Ephesus gangsters back in A.D. 449, whether or not the “Orthodox” ended up with a right answer to this fine point of theology is a bit beside the point. Someone should have asked a different question. Like maybe, “Is it OK to slaughter fellow Christians simply because they don’t understand the nature of Christ like I do?” That would have been a better question to ask.

2. Be careful with your spirit and your attitude. Be painfully honest with how you are feeling deep inside.

The book of James has some very good guidelines to gauge the spiritual temperature of our heart. James said:

Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. Ja. 3:13-14

James stressed that our character and demeanor would reveal the source of our wisdom. In several places throughout his epistle, James stresses the great need for wisdom. He reveals in chapter 3 that we can actually receive wisdom from a good or from a bad source—from God or from the devil. Furthermore, he provides a great way to check if our wisdom is coming from the wrong place.

This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. (vss. 15-16)

So, ask yourself, “Is there envy or strife or confusion in my heart?” Now be careful how you answer. It is easy to see those flaws in your “opponent’s” attitude. However, God wants us to look at our own heart. If any of these problems are there, then James puts it to us straight … we have received wisdom from the wrong place. That’s scary! That might mean that we may feel pretty smart. We might even be winning the argument. But if these flaws in our attitude are there, then we are practicing “every evil work.”

Paul also put it sternly to his young disciple Timothy: “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men.” 2 Ti. 2:24 My feeling is that Paul was speaking here from experience. History might have been different if the bishops at the “Gangster Synod” in Ephesus would have used these Scriptural checks before pulling out their swords and chanting, “May those who divide Christ be divided with the sword. May they be hewn in pieces, may they be burned alive!”

Think about it, when was the last time that you heard of a church split over something like not giving to the poor, or not visiting the sick?
3. Was your issue a big issue for Jesus?

I remember once years ago I was in a church that was going through some major doctrinal crisis. I can’t even remember now what the issue was, but I can remember taking it hard. I remember going out on my porch that night, looking up into the night sky, and crying out to God, “Why didn’t You just tell us what things were the most important to You?”

Years later I finally realized that He had told us. The words of Jesus are those “most important things.” Jesus came to give us God’s perfect plan for humanity. The Gospel of His kingdom is the answer to every problem. If Jesus’ teachings and plan for humanity would become our emphasis, the whole world would change.

Think about it, when was the last time that you heard of a church split over something like not giving to the poor, or not visiting the sick? If we could be saturated with the red letters of our Bibles, we will become instinctively aware of the things that are important to God. Again, bringing up the gruesome Ephesus debate … think about it. What if the Ephesus bishops, instead of excommunicating people for having the wrong definition of how the two natures of Christ can be mixed in one person, actually disciplined people for things like storing up treasure on earth, or not visiting people in prison (not to mention hacking other believers in two)?

What if the Ephesus bishops, instead of excommunicating people for having the wrong definition of how the two natures of Christ can be mixed in one person, actually disciplined people for things like storing up treasure on earth, or not visiting people in prison?
Luke recorded Jesus saying, “He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.” Lu.11:23 I know we all want to say we are “with Jesus.” But do we seriously hold on to what He said? Are the teachings of Christ the things that matter most to us? Do we really believe that Jesus meant every word He said? Jesus is saying in this passage that if we are not “gathering” with Him, then we cause division.

Christian unity is an essential theme throughout the New Testament. And since the hallmark of Jesus’ teaching is the ushering in of the new kingdom here on earth, we better take it seriously. A look at Jesus’ rebuke to the seven churches of Revelation reveals that He still expects the church to continue to “hear His voice” and act on it while we address the crisis of every age. Re. 2, 3

Church unity is one of the things that was very important to Jesus. He said that His testimony was at stake by how unified we are. “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” Remember also that the same Lord also gave us another test of true Christianity: “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” Jn. 13:35

Jesus said it well: “Smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.” Mt. 26:31 As long as the people of God disparage the teachings of Christ, the church will scatter.

So the next time you find yourself in a church crisis or theological meltdown, ask yourself these three things:

Even though I feel I am right, could I possibly be getting the right answers to the wrong questions?
Am I careful with my spirit and attitude? Am I honest with how I feel deep inside?
Was this issue a concern for Christ, or is it of the spirit of Christ? ~

from: http://www.charityministries.org/theremnant/2011/05/theremnant-2011-05-division.a5w


_________________
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2011/5/29 15:21Profile









 Re: The Cause of Division ... and the Cure by Dean Taylor

As The Apostles had warned, Paul especially,

the wolves had already torn the flock apart, gotten control of it,
'ruined' it in Ephesus(and most places) by and before 449a.d. .....

The restoration , so to speak, of truth to the people, step by step, proceeded hundreds of years later
according to Yhwh's(God's) Plan and Purpose in Jesus Christ Savior King Messiah Master....

Step by step, (humanly speaking like layers of onion)
the truth was 'restored' by Yhwh thru Martin Luther
and then other reformers (not all of them though)
right up until David Wilkerson recently,
and Lorraine Day (yes, even a woman was used by God!!!) ,
and Antoine Bechamp (concerning health, the truth, buried and forgotten now; few have heard of him) ,
and Carey Reams - the most successful Godly natural healer of cancer and disease in the history of the world.

Charles Chiniquoy, Keith Green, E.W.Bullinger, Andrew Murray, the Brethren (some, not all), Anabaptists (true and free in Jesus early on, later absorbed into babylon) ), Waldensians (early on likewise as the Anabaptists; today absorbed into babylon, opposed to Jesus today(televised broadcast revealed apostasy last year in the Waldensian Assembly in Lithuania - they sought to 'join with anti-christ' publicly !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

 2016/9/15 14:07









 Re: The Cause of Division ... and the Cure by Dean Taylor

quote part: "Think about it,
when was the last time that you heard of a church split
over something like not giving to the poor,
or not visiting the sick?"

When? >
TODAY*
TODAY
and for the last 30 years plus (in the USA churches).

That's why the tunnel people don't consider the 'church' a safe haven, or even a place to find eternal or temporal help - not even just lunch or a dollar for gas, or diapers.

David Wilkerson helped as God said to help - right there with them - drug addicts, lawyers, pastors, prostitutes all in one place. All together - no prejudices, no favoritism.

Keith Green helped as God said to help. He GAVE the Gospel Away FREE to whoever - cds, dvds, albums - convicting and encouraging and delivering , not entertaining ....

They both provided places to stay for fellow believers and/ or for recovering addicts/ gang members/ and more...

They both spoke out against complacency and the feel-good and the false gospel inundating churches around the world .

The same false gospel as occurred shortly after 300a.d., already been in the making for a couple hundred years (it wasn't new on the scene - it was growing all the time as the true ekklesia was growing ) ....

The Cause of Division ? IS God's House Divided ? (if you get to visit the persecuted church, underground, in secret, you will know it is not divided. Oh, the 'outward' 'visible' church is not just divided, but false too ....)

*recently in several different organized regular churches :
a young teen daughter at dinner table with father/pastor of church ASKED the father pastor of the church ,
or TOLD(gently,like a good daughter) him, "I think we should do more to help the homeless and the poor"

He said "No." - "We will do just what we have been doing"(very little if anything as a family or as a congregation) ...

Another time at dinner, another church - the DEACONS asked the pastor to let them start
meeting together DAILY FOR PRAYER, OR MORE OFTEN at least...
again the pastor said "No." "We will just do things the way we have been doing them..."

Another time at kindergarten classroom with teacher/man of church ---
He said "Before you, we have NEVER SEEN A HOMELESS FAMILY OR a HOMELESS PERSON"
"We DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO"

(and that was 20 years ago --- I talked to him a month or two ago, and THEY STILL DON'T DO ANYTHING FOR THE HOMELESS, twenty years later.... )

and again a few years ago: asked the pastor at a church as it was letting out after service - "Can you help do anything for the homeless ? "

His Answer? .....

"No. INSURANCE WON'T COVER IT. " (VERBATIM QUOTE)

A few months later, that church building was VACANT FOR SALE.


Over and Over and Over again - the churches REFUSE to help the poor, even IN THEIR OWN CONGREGATIONS - THEIR OWN FAMILIES.

The poor know this - we see it daily.

Worse yet - one large local congregation
takes people with trust funds
and 'separates' them from their money ;
takes older people with property and
'separates' them from their property - even if the children of the older people HAVE NO PLACE TO LAY THEIR HEAD.

i.e. widows and orphans are being ROBBED, not helped, in many churches....

what causes division ? selfishness, satan, sin, greed, false gospel.....


-------------------- for later --------
I remember once years ago I was in a church that was going through some major doctrinal crisis. I can’t even remember now what the issue was, but I can remember taking it hard. I remember going out on my porch that night, looking up into the night sky, and crying out to God, “Why didn’t You just tell us what things were the most important to You?”

Years later I finally realized that He had told us. The words of Jesus are those “most important things.” Jesus came to give us God’s perfect plan for humanity. The Gospel of His kingdom is the answer to every problem. If Jesus’ teachings and plan for humanity would become our emphasis, the whole world would change.
-----------------------------------------
It is "our emphasis" (ekklesia, born again ones, set apart by Yhwh in His Kingdom, following Jesus, living His Way)...

It WAS the emphasis of JESUS, and the APOSTLES and the DISCIPLES ----
they did TURN THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN (town to town)

and do today(it IS the emphasis for the martyrs TODAY around the world) ,

but the whole world NEVER CHANGES EXCEPT GETTING WORSE AND WORSE....

it did not change for JESUS.

it will not change for us. (except a remnant called and chosen and set apart by Yhwh for Himself, all over the world --- a few who find the narrow road to life)

 2016/9/15 14:53
Jeremy221
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Joined: 2009/11/7
Posts: 1439


 Re:

Thank you so much for posting this brother! I have been trying to remember this dear brother's name for a long time. His video on the history of the Moravians was really informative and I want to share it with some saints. God bless you, Greg!

For those who haven't see it, here's the link on SI.

http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/myvideo/photo.php?lid=4026

 2016/9/18 11:22Profile
sermonindex
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Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37007
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

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 Re:

Amen, this is an important message:

--

This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. (vss. 15-16)

So, ask yourself, “Is there envy or strife or confusion in my heart?” Now be careful how you answer. It is easy to see those flaws in your “opponent’s” attitude. However, God wants us to look at our own heart. If any of these problems are there, then James puts it to us straight … we have received wisdom from the wrong place. That’s scary! That might mean that we may feel pretty smart. We might even be winning the argument. But if these flaws in our attitude are there, then we are practicing “every evil work.”


_________________
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2016/9/18 12:05Profile









 brother Jeremy

God love and bless you for bringing this heavenly video to my attention!

in Jesus love, neil

 2016/9/18 14:39









 Re: brother Jeremy

here is the "companion piece" registered in this most wonderful documentary, Dr Tozer's blessed exhortation, "Unity That Brings Revival"

http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/visit.php?lid=369

holy kiss, neil

 2016/9/18 15:20
staff
Member



Joined: 2007/2/8
Posts: 1371


 Re: The Cause of Division ... and the Cure by Dean Taylor

Hi
I think the message misses out on a very important point that the only time unity is mentioned in the epistles is in relationship to the gifts.To cut along story short the epistles are saying that when the gifts are not working in correct order or are absent their will be dis unity.
It is quite a functional way to look at it but thats the way the epistles look at it.For those who do not believe in the gifts its is saying their can be no real unity without them being in operation.
The message looks at unity in respect to humility only
Urs Staff

 2016/9/18 18:54Profile





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