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Division in the Church (
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Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .
 
Division  in  the  Church
 
The believer in Christ should understand that dissension and division in the church are brought about through the working of the powers of darkness, in order that those who profess to be the children of God may not present the oneness for which Christ prayed. God's people greatly dishonor his name, and misrepresent his truth, when they manifest a lack of love one for another. As love for God grows cold, they lose the childlike simplicity that knits heart to heart in loving tenderness. Hard-heartedness comes in, and there is a drawing away one from another. Many are saying by their actions, "I care not for the prayer of Christ." They feel under no special obligation to love others as Christ has loved them, and Jesus can do little for these souls, for his words and Spirit are not permitted to enter into the heart.  {ST, February 7, 1895 par. 7}
 
 
However large may be a man's claim to knowledge and wisdom, unless he is under the teaching of the Holy Spirit, he is exceedingly ignorant of spiritual things. He needs to realize his danger and his inefficiency, and to place entire dependence upon the One who alone is able to keep the souls committed to His trust, able to imbue them with His Spirit, and to fill them with unselfish love for one another, thus enabling them to bear witness that God has sent His Son into the world to save sinners. Those who are truly converted will press together in Christian unity. Let there be no division in the church of God, no unwise authority exercised over those who accept the truth. The meekness of Christ is to appear in all that is said and done.  {GW 485.1}
 
However large may be a man's claim to knowledge and wisdom, unless he is under the teaching of the Holy Spirit he is exceedingly ignorant of spiritual things. He needs to realize his danger and his inefficiency, and to place entire dependence upon the One who alone is able to keep the souls committed to His trust, able to imbue them with His Spirit, and to fill them with unselfish love for one another, thus enabling them to bear witness that God has sent His Son into the world to save sinners. Those who are truly converted will press together in Christian unity. Let there be no division in the church of God, no unwise authority exercised over those who accept the truth. The meekness of Christ is to appear in all that is said and done.  {9T 146.3}
 
 
The order that was maintained in the early Christian church made it possible for them to move forward solidly as a well-disciplined army clad with the armor of God. The companies of believers, though scattered over a large territory, were all members of one body; all moved in concert and in harmony with one another. When dissension arose in a local church, as later it did arise in Antioch and elsewhere, and the believers were unable to come to an agreement among themselves, such matters were not permitted to create a division in the church, but were referred to a general council of the entire body of believers, made up of appointed delegates from the various local churches, with the apostles and elders in positions of leading responsibility. Thus the efforts of Satan to attack the church in isolated places were met by concerted action on the part of all, and the plans of the enemy to disrupt and destroy were thwarted.  {AA 95.3}
 
The apostle made no mention of the false teachers who were seeking to destroy the fruit of his labor. Because of the darkness and division in the church, he wisely forbore to irritate them by such references, for fear of turning some entirely from the truth. He called attention to his own work among them as that of "a wise master builder," who had laid the foundation upon which others had built. But he did not thereby exalt himself; for he declared, "We are laborers together with God." He claimed no wisdom of his own, but acknowledged that divine power alone had enabled him to present the truth in a manner pleasing to God. United with Christ, the greatest of all teachers, Paul had been enabled to communicate lessons of divine wisdom, which met the necessities of all classes, and which were to apply at all times, in all places, and under all conditions.  {AA 303.1}
 
The apostle made no mention of the false teachers who were seeking to destroy the fruit of his labor. Because of the darkness and division in the church, he wisely forbore to irritate them by such references, for fear of turning some entirely from the truth. But he called the attention of the Corinthians to his own work among them, saying: "According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master-builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."  {LP 153.1}
 
God has united believers in church capacity in order that one may strengthen another in good and righteous endeavor. The church on earth would indeed be a symbol of the church in heaven if the members were of one mind and of one faith. It is those who are not moved by the Holy Spirit that mar God's plan. Another spirit takes possession of them, and they help to strengthen the forces of darkness. Those who are sanctified by the precious blood of Christ will not become the means of counterworking the great plan which God has devised. They will not bring human depravity into things small or great. They will do nothing to perpetuate division in the church.  {6T 238.5}
 
The church is made up of persons of different temperaments and of various dispositions; they have come from different denominations; for the Cleaver of truth has separated one here and one there from the great quarry of the world, and in the church of Christ all these various members must be cemented together by the Spirit of God. If the love of Christ is in the hearts of the members of the church, through the abundant grace of Christ, there will be oneness, unity, among brethren. We must close the door of the heart to every suggestion that shall have the least tendency toward keeping us from this state of harmony. We must not hamper the soul and cripple its powers by the indulgence of selfishness. Selfishness is sin, and it grieves away the Spirit of Christ. When we cherish unkind thoughts, and harbor suspicions against our brethren, we are cutting ourselves off from the channel of God's light and love. Jealousy is as cruel as the grave, and should never be cherished in the heart, much less expressed in the actions. How cruel it is to cherish evil surmising against those who are members of Christ's body! Accusation, condemnation, and revenge are all of Satanic origin, and evil thoughts of others should be at once rejected from the mind, for these things repulse, and separate the hearts of brethren. Satan rejoices when he can create division in the church of God; for weakness follows, and the things that remain are ready to die.  {ST, April 13, 1891 par. 3}
 
 
Divisions  in  the  Church
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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