Self-condemned

self-condemnedI have written two books specifically about unity in the church, two others that are partially about unity, and yet another that shows the biblical connection between unity and worship. This issue of unity in the Church is a big deal for me. When people ask me why I talk about it so much, I tell them it’s because it’s a primary issue for God.

The Apostle Paul said to Titus, “As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned” (Titus 3:10-11).

According to this verse, the consequences of being divisive are sort of like batting in baseball. You get a couple of strikes and the next time you’re out. “Have nothing more to do with him.” That sounds pretty final.

But the passage also tells us why. It’s because the person is “warped,” “sinful,” and “self-condemned.” Those are strong and clear descriptive words, aren’t they? I don’t know about you, but I really don’t want to be in those categories.

The final phrase, especially, strikes me. Self-condemned. That means the actions are declaring the judgment. What has been done and said pronounces the verdict. Self-condemned.

I hope you’re not involved in anything divisive in your church. If you are—and I’ll try to say this as kindly and gently as the Apostle Paul did—you’re warped, sinful and self-condemned.

Just thought you should know.

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3 Responses to Self-condemned

  1. Jeanelle Reider says:

    The church can’t be reminded of this enough. I can’t be reminded of this enough. Thank you, Tom.

  2. Good word! I’ve also been walking this road of learning to prize unity in the Body.
    Gleaning lessons from Old Testament battles teaches me to recognize the enemy’s attempts to rout, disperse, undermine, and destroy our common focus and unity as His people. I’ve come up with 4 questions I ask myself when things go wrong in the church (and elsewhere): 1) What does the enemy want? 2) How should I respond? 3) What does God say/do? 4) How will He get the glory? Obviously God wants to disciple us to seek Him first and obey, both of which are really at the heart of worship.
    I’m encouraged to read your passion for unity in the church – we’re definitely on the same team!

  3. judi duck says:

    Thanks, Tom. Most every church I’ve been in has struggled with unity…several have gone to the point of fracturing (I’d say splitting, but that would imply dividing into two pieces, when in fact these church divisions produced far-flung shards). Being in the middle of seemingly continuous battles of this sort is disheartening. I find myself withdrawing, trusting almost no one in the church, and not even desiring to be a part of a so-called Christian assembly.

    You have been an encouragement to me in the past and as I heal and come back to life, I am glad to find you online again and be refreshed by your words and your life. I attended one of your worship seminars in Portland, Oregon, and attended a worship leaders conference in Missouri. You are a man of integrity and faith. Thank you for being strong and continuing the ministry.

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