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Amy is co-host and blogger for both Stand Up for the Truth and Naomi's Table, two ministries that give her the opportunity to write and talk about Jesus all day long. She has written, produced and broadcast in the realm of television and radio news, magazine business journals and marketing materials. She continues her freelance work as a writer and social media consultant.

Troublemakers in the Church

catWho are the real troublemakers in the house of God today? Is it those who cry over the abominations of the church? Is it those who expose sin and testify against the wicked deeds of religious leaders who twist Scripture for their own gain?

No, all division is caused by one thing: compromise. All trouble in God’s house is the result of apostasy and the forsaking of the Lord’s commandments. “For where envying and strife is, there is disorder and every evil work” (James 3:16).

David Wilkerson recently penned a sermon about this, and says:

…All trouble in God’s house is the result of apostasy and the forsaking of the Lord’s
commandments. “For where envying and strife is, there is
disorder and every evil work” (James 3:16).

Paul warns the brethren to “mark them which cause divisions . . .
and avoid them” (Romans 16:17). But who were these who
“caused offenses contrary to the doctrine taught?” They were
none other than a self-centered, backslidden group who “served
their own belly” (verse 18). This proves that division is caused
by proud, arrogant catering to self-interests. Paul said, “By good
words and fair speeches [they] deceive the hearts of the simple
(unsuspecting)” (verse 18). Those who are soft on sin, overlooking
evil deeds and crying unity, are the real divisionists. The true
body of Christ has never been nor ever will be divided. Those in
holy union with Christ are already united to each other. Sin is
the divider!

Paul and Silas were brought before the magistrates of the city of
Philippi, having been accused of “exceedingly troubling” the city
(Acts 16:20). They were beaten and cast into prison as a result
of the trouble they had caused. What was this exceeding great
trouble? Paul and Silas had cast a fortune-telling spirit out of a
damsel who had “brought her masters much gain by soothsaying.
… And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was
gone, they caught Paul and Silas” (Acts 16:16 and 19).

When self-interest is threatened in any way, the cry goes up,
“Troublemakers! Division! Threat to unity!” Paul and Silas had
uncovered a religious con game, a demonic deception under the
guise of religion. It was a very profitable scheme for a select few
who knew how to manipulate undiscerning crowds. What raised
the cry, “Division”? It was a revival of cleansing. Those who
accused Paul and Silas of causing dissension had ulterior
motives and they refused the call to repent and walk in holiness.

God, give us more troublers of Israel who are not afraid to stand
up against religious hypocrisy and disobedience!

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8 Responses to “Troublemakers in the Church”

  1. Sad to see some people twist things upside down…and how people in the church today can be so undiscerning

    August 11, 2013 at 5:48 PM Reply
  2. lyn #

    “Be ye not unequally yoked together.” This applies first to our religious or ecclesiastical connections. How many Christians are members of so-called “churches,” where much is going on which they know is at direct variance with the Word of God either the teaching from the pulpit, the worldly attractions used to draw the ungodly, and the worldly methods employed to finance it or the constant receiving into its membership of those who give no evidence of having been born again. Believers in Christ who remain in such “churches” are dishonoring their Lord. Should they answer: “Practically all the churches are the same, and were we to resign, what could we do? We must go somewhere on Sundays,” such language would show they are putting their own interests before the glory of Christ. Better stay at home and read God’s Word, than fellowship that which His Word condemns." A. W. Pink from 'a call to separation' http://www.the-highway.com/Separation.html

    August 12, 2013 at 6:23 AM Reply
    • Ian #

      Lyn, the verse you quoted refers to unbelievers. To say that it applies to other christians is a false teaching, an abuse of the Bible. All christians are our brothers and sisters in the Lord, and God's word does not condemn sharing fellowship with them other than in exceptional circumstances. Yes, there is a point at which fellowship should be broken off, but the threshold for that is quite a high one – serious sin or major error, I would suggest. The general principle is that we are united by a shared belief in one Lord, one faith, and one baptism.

      The events in this humorous video are sadly not that far from the truth in some branches of the church:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0zIv2I37UU

      August 13, 2013 at 11:14 PM Reply
  3. lyn #

    Ian,

    Where did my comment state the text was for believers? It didn't…Pink speaks plainly in referencing to those who profess Christ but are not truly born from above. Pink is urging true followers of Christ to separate from the false.

    Understand this, not everyone who makes a verbal profession is a follower of Christ. Roman Catholics profess to be Christian, but the teachings of that false religion lead sinners down the broad way and keep them in their sins.

    When should we break fellowship? Look no farther than God's word.
    'but now I write unto you not to keep company, if any man that is named a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such a one no, not to eat.
    For what have I to do with judging them that are without? Do not ye judge them that are within, whereas them that are without God judgeth? Put away the wicked man from among yourselves. 1 Corinthians 5:11-13

    Sadly, since church discipline is seldom practiced, many true followers of Christ are forced to leave churches that do not deal biblically with sin within. Thus, Pink's writings on separation from those who embrace falsehood, lies, sin.

    August 14, 2013 at 1:29 AM Reply
  4. Ian #

    Hi Lyn,

    The Arthur Pink quote included "the worldly attractions used to draw the ungodly, and the worldly methods employed to finance it". This is what I took issue with. The first bit sounds like a reference to, for example, seeker friendly services, the second is less clear – it could be any form of fundraising he disagrees with.

    Those points are things that Christians in evangelical churches get up to. Someone can engage in them and be a true born-again believer. I can't see how the passage you quoted (1 Cor 5:11-13) applies to them.

    Example 1 – a church shows secular movie clips to illustrate the preaching at its services. Is this a "worldly attraction to attract the ungodly"? Possibly. But even if it is, is it covered by the list of the serious sins from 1 Cor 5:11-13? No.

    Example 2 – a church takes a loan from a secular bank for a building project. Or it holds a raffle or bake sale to raise funds. All these are practices that some would regard as unbiblical. But are they covered by the list of the serious sins from 1 Cor 5:11-13? No.

    These practices are not grounds for separation, and they certainly do not call someone's salvation into question.

    Yes, there are obviously churches which teach major error, or fail to exercise discipline, and these should be avoided. But we must never shun other believers for trivial reasons. I've also found that Churches which emphasise separation often have serious problems of their own, such as pride or authoritarianism, which discerning Christians should avoid.

    Incidentally, Pink died in 1952, so I do wonder exactly what he meant by "the worldly attractions used to draw the ungodly" ?

    August 14, 2013 at 2:23 AM Reply
  5. lyn #

    Ian,

    Thank you for clarifying, I apologize for the misunderstanding.

    August 14, 2013 at 7:54 AM Reply
    • Ian #

      Lyn, Thanks for your gracious response. Do you agree with what I've said? Regards, Ian

      August 14, 2013 at 8:20 AM Reply
  6. lyn #

    Ian,

    In all honesty, I cannot know for certain what Pink was referencing to, so whatever assumption we come to is our own, not his. There is far too much twisting of words within Christendom, and I do not desire to be a partaker of that.
    Fair enough?

    As for what you've listed, I would state that any church who resorts to worldly ways to make a point is in need of repentance. The world should never be the example used to make any point, the word of God is sufficient, as the Apostle Paul makes clear in his epistle to Timothy, ' All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.' 2 Timothy 3:16

    What I've seen repeatedly on the internet is Christians debating over scenarios like the one you've presented, sort of a 'what if' type situation. Personally, I believe this is a waste of time. We are called to defend the faith. We would all do well to leave it at that.

    August 14, 2013 at 8:38 AM Reply

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