Should we avoid divisions and offenses?

stay or go

This is an intentionally ambiguous question, forcing you to think. The correct answer, ” It depends”.  Let’s explore the two options.

In Romans 16, God presents why to avoid divisions and offenses.

17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

18 For they that are such serve, not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

The pivotal phrase in this section is “contrary to the doctrine which you have learned”. We should avoid divisions and offenses which contradict the Word of God. This foolishness proceeds from walking in the flesh. Since God’s thoughts and ways are superior to our thoughts and ways, then it is wise to choose God’s thoughts and ways.

What if the divisions and offenses are in congruence with the Word of God? Should we avoid them? First of all, walk in love. Second, pray for wisdom and understanding. You may be called to walk away, pray, or to highlight what is contrary.

Also, notice the motivation from verse 18. Avoid those that want to serve themselves instead of Jesus Christ, by deceiving the naïve or unsuspecting. Take heed if their goal is to serve Christ selflessly by proclaiming the Bible honestly to the hungry.

This section is about evaluating the one causing divisions and offenses. The key evaluation tool is to measure their thoughts and actions with the Word of God.

This is Godly instruction to address a vital, but potentially uncomfortable decision. Choose wisely by filtering life through the Bible.

 

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