Not long ago, I ministered in a church where there was a couple that was very divisive. They opposed the pastor and other church leadership at every turn. They even spread untrue rumors about some of the people in congregational leadership.
I wish it was the first time I had encountered such divisiveness, but it’s definitely not. In fact, I’ve seen it much too often. Self-appointed leaders who push their own agenda with no regard for anyone else seem to be rampant in the Church today.
Such scenarios always remind me of Titus 3:10-11. “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.”
First let me say that anyone who suggests we should not judge people has not really read the Bible, and certainly not this passage. How could you know if someone is stirring up division unless you judge him? You can’t!
So, if someone is being divisive, he gets two warnings. That’s it. Two freebies and then the hammer falls. “Have nothing more to do with him.” This makes me think of the time God was violently angry with Israel because of the golden calf. In essence, the Lord told Moses, “Get out of the way so I can annihilate those reprobates.” (That’s the Tom Kraeuter paraphrase of Exodus 32:10.)
“Have nothing more to do with him.” That’s the concept of excommunication. Leave him on his own with no spiritual covering. That’s a dangerous place to be.
But it must be understood that there’s a reason for such harsh treatment. Because “such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.” Warped. Sinful. Self-condemned. Those are strong words. But that’s clearly what God thinks of divisive people.
May I make a recommendation?
Don’t be divisive in God’s Church.