Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. - Titus 3:10Throughout the New Testament scriptures there are verses that call for believers to use wisdom not to associate or promote individuals that were divisive to the body of Christ. Unity was essential and proper to be upheld and protected as our Lord prayed for unity in those would believe in his Name (John 17). The verse before the one we are looking at states that we should "avoid" (Titus 3:9) controversies and other arguments that would not be profitable and it is stated that they are really useless. On the other hand the verse before this speaks of believers being careful to "devote themselves to doing what is good" (Titus 3:8). In other words the Apostle Paul is saying that when the Church stops doing godly deeds and simply is arguing over non-essential things then it becomes not only unprofitable but in the end creates division. He gives a remedy in avoiding those type of discussions and in the end if there is a divisive person, to warn that person. Many believers take licensee to use this verse to warn fellow believers of anything they do not agree with. This perhaps has created more disunity and hurt then good.Rather we need to realize this was an Epistle written to Titus who as a leader in God's Church and he was sent of Paul the Apostle to the island of crete to "appoint elders in every town" (Titus 1:5). This exhortation to warn a divisive person and to exclude them from fellowship was reserved for the Overseer Titus who became a Bishop over the island of Crete, remaining there into his old age, dying in the city of Candia. Division and those who created it were considered very sinful individuals. Early believers looked at this practice as stabbing and separating the very body of Christ. That is why Paul gives the very strong words in the next verse that such ones that create division amongst true brethren are "self-condemend" by their actions. Also the early Church was united as one body and most if not almost all separate groups were considered heretical and unwholesome. Imagine if every one of the 12 disciples started their own church movements, what a travesty that would have been! Ignatius in A.D. 110 said, "Be not deceived, my brethren: If anyone follows a maker of schism, he does no inherit the kingdom of God." Let us gain back this holy sense of the unity of the Church and seek not to be divisive with other brothers and sisters in the Lord.
_________________SI Moderator - Greg Gordon