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Are church splits REALLY from God?
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Are church splits REALLY from God?
By Dave Havir

The writer pastors the Church of God Big Sandy and is a regular columnist for The Journal.

BIG SANDY, Texas--Some of you will probably not agree with me, but I believe that many of the "church splits" are from God.

Don't get me wrong. I don't think that all of the attitudes and the actions associated with the congregational splits are necessarily from God. But I believe that God's hand has been involved.

It is true that the Bible talks about unity. We all love Psalm 133:1, which says, "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!"

But here's something to consider about unity. Congregational splits do not have to affect the unity of the spiritual organism.

The spiritual organism is far superior to the physical organizations that house the people of God.

Author of splits?

Someone is probably saying: God would never be an author of division.

Yet we know such an opinion is not true.

After 10 tribes of Israel rebelled against the house of David (1 Kings 12:19) and made Jeroboam their king (verse 20), Rehoboam assembled 180,000 men to fight against the house of Israel and bring the kingdom back to Rehoboam (verse 21).

Do you remember God's words to Rehoboam?

God said: You shall not fight against your brothers, for this thing [the split] is from Me (verses 22-24).

Again, let me say that, although God was behind the split, He was probably not happy about every attitude and action of the people.

Is God happy?

Someone could ask: Why would God be happy with the congregational splits of today?

It is true that God can't be pleased about everything He sees.

God has expressed His displeasure with pastors destroying and scattering the sheep (Jeremiah 23:1-2). Yet God also expressed His desire to establish shepherds to serve the true needs of His people (verses 3-4). Plus, many people have developed a stronger relationship with the Good Shepherd (John 10:1-17).

Can you see some of the other good things that are occurring?

  • Many people now see the reality of the Church of God being a spiritual organism.
  • Many people now see the reality of headquarters being God's throne in heaven.
  • Many people now see the reality of Jesus Christ being our Apostle and High Priest.
  • Many people are tasting the personal responsibility that comes with true freedom.

Even if you believe that some people (clergy and parishioners) have done a horrible job in reflecting the Great God of the universe, good things have occurred and continue to occur.

As Joseph told his brothers in Genesis 50:20: "Although you thought evil against me, God meant it unto good."

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