I was recently introduced to a friend of a friend as a fellow Christian. His first question posed to me was "what
denomination are you?", and our first conversation turned into a debate on his part to defend his doctrinal beliefs
while refuting mine. Have you ever been in this situation? Well, I have, and this wasn't the first time. It seems to
me that a lot of people enjoy trying to cause schism, division, and separation in the Church. These people are
easily identified because their first act in fellowship is to build a wall around themselves separating them from
others. Rather than truly fellowship with their brothers and sisters in Christ they say things or ask questions that
cause division. Now, I know that some well-meaning Christians sometimes do or say these things
unintentionally. So when in fellowship with another believer, or non believer, I encourage you to make your
intentions known so that they won't feel justified in having ought against you.
Paul teaches us, in 1Corinthians chapter 12 that God has made no provision for schism in the Body of Christ. If
that is our creator's stance on the issue shouldn't we as Christians follow suit? There is no room in God's draw
others to Christ by the preaching of the Gospel. Imagine how one seeking solace in the house of God could feel
if they thought that a wall had been put up to keep them out. How would you feel if someone singled you out in
church because of denomination, ethnicity, or some other ungodly reason for separation? I believe that one
could feel hurt, unwanted, unloved, angry, and even be compelled to sin. As Christians it should not be our
desire to cause our brother to sin.
Schism is not a new word in the church. Since the church age began the devil has tried to cause separation and
disorder in the church. Many churches have split and many denominations formed over differences of theology
and many other reasons. Please understand that I am not attacking any denomination or difference in theology. I
believe that we need to agree to disagree, refrain from building new walls, and tear down the existing ones. The
bible tells us that there is one body, not two or three, and that body is made up of all who believe on the name of
Christ and are saved. Let's learn to love that body as a whole without trying to sever limbs from it based on our
own judgements or opinions.
Rev. John R. Butler, Jr.