HomeDailyFriday: Further Thought – Causes of Disunity    

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Friday: Further Thought – Causes of Disunity — 23 Comments

  1. Saturday: disunity - The main cause of disunity is self-interest, or selfishness. It is the sin that consumed Lucifer, tempted Eve, drove Adam, and remains the reason why we lie, cheat, covet, etc, today.
    Sunday: Return - “Return, backsliding Israel”, says the LORD; “I will not cause My anger to fall on you. For I am merciful”
    Monday: Right - How do you measure right and wrong? Is it absolute or relative?
    Tuesday: Counsel - 1 Kings 22:13 The messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, “Look, the other prophets without exception are predicting success for the king. Let your word agree with theirs, and speak favorably.” 14 But Micaiah said, “As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell him only what the Lord tells me.”
    Wednesday: Focus - If I be lifted, I will draw all men unto myself. Let us lift Christ.
    Thursday: Wolves - Wolves in sheep's clothing is hard to identify. When we follow other sheep we will surely be lost.
    Friday: harmonious - Harmony was broken in heaven because satan chose to challenge God. Harmony is only possible when our focus is only on Christ.

    Amen!(13)
  2. We are studying unity/disunity in God's people.

    It seems that sometimes God ordains/allows disunity for a good reason like God appointed Jeroboam over the 10 tribes of Israel and left only Judah (plus Benjamin) with descendants of David.

    Is this a good example to follow? What was the result of this division?

    1Ki 11:11  And Jehovah said to Solomon, Since this is done by you, and since you have not kept My covenant and My statutes which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant. 
    1Ki 11:12  But I will not do it in your days, for David your father's sake, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son. 
    1Ki 11:13  Only, I will not tear away all the kingdom, but I will give one tribe to your son for David My servant's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake which I have chosen. 
    1Ki 11:29  And it happened at that time, when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, the prophet Ahijah from Shiloh found him in the way. And he had clothed himself with a new garment. And the two of them were alone in the field. 
    1Ki 11:30  And Ahijah caught hold of the new robe on him, and tore it in twelve pieces. 
    1Ki 11:31  And he said to Jeroboam, Take ten pieces for yourself. For so says Jehovah, the God of Israel, Behold, I will tear the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon and will give ten tribes to you, 
    1Ki 11:32  but he shall have one tribe for My servant David's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel,
    1Ki 12:19  And Israel rebelled against the house of David to this day. 
    1Ki 12:20  And it happened when all Israel heard that Jeroboam had come again, they sent and called him to the company, and made him king over all Israel. There was none who followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only. 
    1Ki 12:21  And when Rehoboam came to Jerusalem, and he gathered all the house of Judah with the tribe of Benjamin, a hundred and eighty thousand warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, to bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam the son of Solomon. 

    Amen!(1)
  3. 1. The postmodern individual is no different than all those who have decided to be their own 'god", whether it is by serving an idol as a god or one's self. This will not affect the unity in the church until such thinking is adopted by church members. Unfortunately we have this to face today don't we? This challenge must be confronted as we have been taught to address all departures from any decisions made by the body.

    2. The lesson we should get from Rehoboam is to fear God and keep HIS commandments. And don't have a king.

    3. Stop issues? In what way? Force those who oppose unity to CONFORM? How? Unity is an individual choice. How could God have stopped Lucifer? In how God dealt with Lucifer we have the model for maintaining unity within the church body don't we?

    4. No one can prevent discord in another person, for it is a personal choice, but there are Divinely appointed ways to meet it and restore unity again among faithful members.

    Amen!(2)
  4. Just as it is absolutely necessary to discern and distinguish between uniformity and unity, it is also absolutely necessary to discern and distinguish between diversity and disunity. Failure to do so will lead to attempts to remove something which is actually enhancing the scope of the body of Christ to be salt and light to a perishing humanity (see 1Cor 12:12-27).

    Amen!(1)
    • What is the practical application of this necessity? In my experience, it is the necessity to personally understand the will of God as He has revealed it. From there, we should know the difference between unity and disunity. If we are united on God's will, diversity vs uniformity should take care of itself among those who know and follow God's expressed will. This knowledge is a personal obligation, requiring each branch to be connected to the True Vine.
      Our unity with one another is through our unity with Christ and His Father(John 17:21).

      Amen!(0)
    • we are all, as individuals, to be grafted into the one parent stock, and there is to be unity in diversity. The great Master Artist has not made two leaves of the same tree precisely alike; so His creative power does not give to all minds the same likeness. They are created to live through ceaseless ages, and there is to be complete unity, mind blending with mind; but no two are to be of the same mold.--MS 116, 1898. {2MCP 426.2}

      God calls upon us to burst the bands of our precise, indoor service. The message of the gospel is to be borne in the cities and outside of the cities. We are to call upon all to rally around the banner of the cross. When this work is done as it should be, when we labor with divine zeal to add converts to the truth, the world will see that a power attends the message of truth. The unity of the believers bears testimony to the power of the truth that can bring into perfect harmony men of different dispositions, making their interests one. {1SM 84.4}

      From the lesson:

      "Truth ALONE leads to godliness and harmony among believe"

      Amen!(1)
      • Thank you for those helpful quotations.

        we are all, as individuals, to be grafted into the one parent stock, and there is to be unity in diversity. The great Master Artist has not made two leaves of the same tree precisely alike; so His creative power does not give to all minds the same likeness.

        What you wrote is very true if we define "Truth" as the person of Jesus Christ, rather than propositional truth, which is seen differently by different minds - because they do not all have "the same likeness."

        "Truth (Christ who said "I am the Truth") ALONE leads to godliness and harmony among believers"

        And Christ is revealed in Scripture from Genesis to Revelation. If we search the Bible with the aim of understanding Christ and His character better, we will come closer together in Him - as leaves are united through the vine.

        Is it possible that pride prevents us from having this unity when we believe that our view of propositional truth is God's view, and we weaponize the Bible to prove another wrong?

        I believe humility is a component of love, and when we relate to each other in love and humility, then the world will know that we are Christ's disciples.

        Amen!(2)
        • general conferance theme that the world may know trying to tell everybody about somebody who can save every body that want to be saved.he can do every thing but fail try trusting jesus understanding christ draws us closer together as grape vine leaves through the vine we are one in jesus happy sabbath amen amen.

          Amen!(0)
      • I just noticed this:

        God calls upon us to burst the bands of our precise, indoor service.

        So it seems to me that in unity there is room for different kinds of services.

        As one of our previous lessons suggested, we can have "unity in diversity."

        Amen!(1)
          • Thank you for asking, Daniel. I believe the Bible gives us a wonderful example in the account of the first "general conference" session in Acts 15. There were two factions in the young Christian church. The Jewish faction had biblical proof that circumcision was required to be part of God's covenant community to which Jesus came as the "Messenger of the Covenant." They knew this because God had told Abraham that circumcision would be a sign between Him and His people "forever." So naturally, they believed that all Gentiles must be circumcised before they could become a part of this covenant community of Christ follower.

            On the other hand, Paul, under the leading of the Holy Spirit taught that circumcision was not necessary for Gentiles. So the Gentile converts were not circumcised. But Jewish teachers followed Paul wherever he went to teach his converts 'the rest of the gospel.' Can we even imagine the fundamental difference between these two groups?

            Thus a council was called in Jerusalem. And this council, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, brought about unity among believers by allowing for diversity of practice. The Jewish Christians continued to circumcise for hundreds of years. The Gentile Christians did not.

            Admittedly, some of the Judaizers did not give up so easily, an some continued to plague Paul's converts. But the official policy of the apostolic church was to allow for diversity. Through this allowance of diversity unity was preserved.

            So of what did this unity consist? The all worshiped the same God. They accepted Jesus as their Savior and took seriously the mission He gave them - to go into all the world to preach the gospel. Because of this preaching and the resultant persecution, they did not have time to sit around belly-gazing and collecting slights. The love of Jesus and the mission of saving souls united them.

            Consider please that the source of unity was to the central truths of the gospel. Those practices that had divided them were external acts rathr than heart commitment.

            Unfortunately we seem to ignore the lessons of the Jerusalem Council far too easily. And we make mere externals and manmade policies a cause for division in spite of the clear council of God's messenger to this church that this should not be so. Ellen White was very clear that different localities should not be held to a standard set at Battle Creek but should devise the best methods to use in their areas.

            I believe God is waiting with longing desire for His people (particularly the leaders) to put away their emphasis on manmade policies, allowing diversity in such matters, and join together in the core mission of warning the world of imminent judgment while modeling the character of Christ in clear distinction from the self-focus of Babylon. God is waiting for us to let the Holy Spirit lead!

            Amen!(1)
          • So Inge I really want to make sure I understand what you posted here. Are you saying that those who disagreed with Paul re circumcision were still united with him?

            And yet Paul says elsewhere those who are preaching a different gospel than HE preached, even it was an angel from heaven let them be accursed??!! They WERE preaching a different gospel, one in which works, their works saved them!!

            Amen!(0)
          • Daniel, you are not applying the lesson of the Jerusalem Council, as I see it. The unity of the church was preserved by allowing for diversity. This meant that neither side was to impose its views on the other.

            Please read again what I wrote:

            Admittedly, some of the Judaizers did not give up so easily, an some continued to plague Paul's converts. But the official policy of the apostolic church was to allow for diversity. Through this allowance of diversity unity was preserved.

            Those Judaizers were the ones preaching "a different gospel." They were not willing to allow for diversity. Is is possible we are dealing with the same issue today?

            Perhaps you should share what you learn from the Jerusalem Council.

            Amen!(0)
          • No, the Jerusalem council was not allowing unity in differing views, it was preventing the forcing of a practice no longer required because Jesus had fulfilled the law of types, and the church needed to proceed forward with a unity of belief. If some wanted to practice circumcision, go ahead, but the church was united in the belief that it was no longer required by God. So the council was making sure the unity was based on agreement, not in "diversity" of doctrine.

            Amen!(1)
          • Robert, it looks like we are in agreement that the Jerusalem Council allowed for diversity in practice, since you wrote:

            If some wanted to practice circumcision, go ahead,

            You wrote further:

            the church was united in the belief that it was no longer required by God.

            That's a valid observation, based on the teachings of Paul. But we know from history that the *practice* of circumcision continued for hundreds of years, and it did not cause a schism in the church.

            So the council was making sure the unity was based on agreement, not in "diversity" of doctrine.

            The question at the time was whether or not circumcision was to be required of Gentiles. The Council decision was that it was not to be required of Gentiles. It did not require the Jewish Christians to stop circumcising. In this manner, the unity of the church was preserved by allowing diversity of practice among its members. For Jews, circumcision was as much a cultural practice as it was religious. In their culture, to call someone "uncircumcised" was a pejorative term, but the Jerusalem Council effectively removed the stigma of uncircumcision from the Gentile Christians.

            In hindsight, perhaps we would like to have had the Jerusalem Council make a more decided decision in favor of uncircumcision, since the church was plagued by Judaizers who taught the necessity of circumcision for years to come. But God is more patient with us than we are with our neighbors, and He deals with His followers according to "where they are born."

            Amen!(1)
          • From the perspective of God's will, circumcision was a non-issue except if trying to force others to practice in order to be saved. It's like the church saying "you can drink only distilled water if you wish, but don't make it a test of fellowship...please." God doesn't require drinking distilled water only in order to be saved from sin. 😉

            So, while some wanted to make circumcision a doctrinal issue, the church said; "no, it's not". So there was no diversity of beliefs, just no strict enforcement upon all of something irrelevant which some were insisting on others. Circumcision was and still is practiced, but it has no bearing on, and is not done to be saved. It was not required of Jews by God either, only faith in Jesus.
            (God has dispersed the nation of Israel as He said He would, and as Jesus foretold, and they are no more in God's reckoning, except as sinners needing a Savior to died to save them as individuals. They too only need faith.)

            I don't see the need for the Jerusalem counsel to make uncircumcision a tenet of faith since it's no different than parting one's hair on the left instead of the right, or having facial hair or none. Circumcision/uncircumcision is nothing, and the counsel made it clearly understood. You won't be lost if you are or if you aren't. Also, blue borders are not required, or heave/wave offerings, or sacrifices of any kind, yet, if you wish to have a barbecue, ok, just don't insist that all other members must barbecue in order to be saved.

            Jesus made it clear didn't He, when He commissioned to the church to teach converts " to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:". Circumcision, distilled water, barbecues...not on the list of commands.

            Amen!(2)
        • When one reads what Mrs. White says about "unity in diversity" she makes it clear we are ALL singing off of the same sheet, the diversity is in our backgrounds, our level of education, etc. We are to have a certain sound and that sound must not be confusing!

          Amen!(3)
          • Not just different backgrounds, Daniel, but different personalities and different levels of Christian maturity as well. And those differences come with different understandings.

            The "same sheet" is the character and mission of our Savior. When we are focused on the mission of presenting Christ to the world, our differences will fade into nothingness.

            As I mentioned earlier, the idea that unity means uniformity has been the basis of all persecutions in the past, including the Inquisition. And wherever this view is cherished and leadership seeks to enforce such unity, some form of persecution will surely follow, even if the laws of the land do not allow such forms as were popular in the Inquisition.

            Amen!(1)
        • You are right. I am not seeing those Judiazers as the issue here, against diversity. Paul made it clear. There is only ONE gospel, not two. Paul was NOT dealing with a situation in which he was advocating diversity. No he made it clear, they were dead wrong and he was NOT allowing for "another" gospel at all. NO diversity at all. One Truth, ONE gospel, ONE baptism etc. There is but ONE Tree, ONE door, ONE Shepard, not a second, diverse gospel. They, the Judiazers were wrong, they of course were NOT allowing for diversity anymore than Paul was.The difference was/is they were wrong, Paul was right.

          Amen!(2)
          • Let me try to understand you: Are you saying that the decision of the Jerusalem Council to allow for diversity of practice (circumcising and not circumcising) was wrong? Should Jewish Christians have been forced to abandon circumcision and other holdovers of their culture?

            I intended to address diversity of practice, not diversity in the foundational belief of how we are saved.

            That is a huge difference.

            The Judaizers who followed Paul around clearly believed that circumcision was necessary for salvation, and that was "another gospel." But other Jewish Christians went on circumcising their children for hundreds of years because it was ingrained in their culture, not because they deemed it necessary for salvation. That was diversity of practice.

            Amen!(0)
        • You wrote this:

          Not just different backgrounds, Daniel, but different personalities and different levels of Christian maturity as well. And those differences come with different understandings.

          My response: I agree with the above statement but Paul does NOT agree with the rest for he wrote:

          1Co 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. 

          The "same sheet" is the character and mission of our Savior. When we are focused on the mission of presenting Christ to the world, our differences will fade into nothingness.

          As I mentioned earlier, the idea that unity means uniformity has been the basis of all persecutions in the past, including the Inquisition. And wherever this view is cherished and leadership seeks to enforce such unity, some form of persecution will surely follow, even if the laws of the land do not allow such forms as were popular in the Inquisition.

          Mrs. White's comments re the Straight Testimony brings about the Shaking certainly suggest there is going to be uniformity among those accept it. Those who do not will fight against it!

          Amen!(1)
          • Daniel, can we maybe agree that when Paul expressed the desire that "all speak the same thing" he was referring to the gospel as he had taught them, rather than some peripheral matter? He was not talking about what to have for dinner, nor even what music to have in church. In reading such texts, we all bring our own understanding to the text, and that may result in different interpretations. Thus I stand by what I wrote earlier:

            The basis of unity is the character and mission of our Savior. When we are focused on the mission of presenting Christ to the world, our differences will fade into nothingness.

            The idea that unity means uniformity has been the basis of all persecutions in the past, including the Inquisition. And wherever this view is cherished and leadership seeks to enforce such unity, some form of persecution will surely follow, even if the laws of the land do not allow such forms as were popular in the Inquisition.

            You wrote:

            Mrs. White's comments re the Straight Testimony brings about the Shaking certainly suggest there is going to be uniformity among those accept it. Those who do not will fight against it!

            Perhaps I need to ask you to share what you believe the "straight testimony" to be in your own words, because it may be different from my understanding. Quotations are subject to personal interpretation, so it will have to be in your own words.

            Amen!(0)
  5. As disparate as they are, gangs, spouses/parents, law-enforcement, clerics, the UN, will all agree that unity of purpose is an essential to maintaining their existence. "Unity" appears to be the universally agreed "holy grail" within and without our species. While "unity" is obviously valued among humans, it appears to be quite elusive (Dan 2:43). The aforementioned disparate entities, employ equally disparate philosophies and methods to achieving unity of purpose.

    Enter Jesus Christ--revealed to BE God (Jn 1:1) and at the same time the supreme Messenger FROM God (Heb 1:8,1-2). Was He just another idealist--hopeful but only seeking for the elusive--when He prayed to His Father for unity among His followers (Jn 17:20-21)? Hardly. Without question, His Father heard and granted all His prayer requests (Jn 11:42). Now, if I/we don't see unity among Christ's followers, the resolution might exist among several possibilities: 1) The Father's response to His Son is time-related and therefore for a future period. 2) My/our concept of unity differs from what Christ was actually praying for. 3) The actual beneficiaries exist somewhere other than where I/we might be looking.

    On the basis of God's sure, prophetic Scripture (2 Pt 1:19; Dan 2:44-45), I refuse to accept that the entity depicted in Rev 12:5, even though persecuted (Rev 12:13), emerges from her "wilderness" respite (Rev 12:6,14) lacking the health and reproductive vitality to resume bearing the siblings of Christ (Rev 12:17)! Isn't this the "church" that Christ foresaw (Mt 26:31; Zech 13:7-9; Mt 16:16-18)?! I encourage sincere seekers of unity, to reject the popular whining and hand-wringing culture. Our INDIVIDUAL consent to CHRIST'S BAPTISM in His Holy Spirit (Mt 3:11) WILL wash (OR cut, Rm 2:29) away our objectionable self-interests (Mt 16:24; Php 3:3), thus creating the effective, witnessing body for which Christ prayed (Jn 17:26; 13:34-35).

    Amen!(2)

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