Blessed Division


At a time when our country seems so divided, it would be easy to think divisiveness in itself is the problem. It is not! Rather, the root of our national woes is, and always has been, sin. Division itself is not always a bad thing. At times, it is an essential and necessary thing when its purpose is to uphold God's revealed truth in his Word. After all, God himself was the first great Divider, dividing light from darkness, day from night. Our Lord Jesus was himself a source of division among the people. (see John 7:43) And on that great day of judgment he will separate the sheep from the goats. (see Matthew 25:31-32)

It should come as no surprise that once the lines between truth and error, right and wrong, become blurred other distinctions will begin to fade, i.e., normal from abnormal, holy from profane, even male from female. We, as Christian men, have a responsibility to make these distinctions clear so as to make the truth plain for the sincere of heart. How do we do that?

1. Know the Truth.

There is no way to distinguish between truth and error without knowing the truth yourself. Biblical illiteracy has been called the scandal of today’s church. Researchers George Gallup and Jim Castelli have noted: "Americans revere the Bible--but, by and large, they don't read it. And because they don't read it, they have become a nation of biblical illiterates."

Gentlemen, please understand that your lack of personal Bible study, or the struggle you’ve had with it, is by satanic design. As long as our enemy can keep us from knowing and loving God’s truth, he can continue to keep the church in a moral fogbank. For example, as Dr. Albert Mohler wrote, "if the Bible does not speak clearly to the issue of homosexuality, it does not speak clearly to anything." However, there has been a gradual shift in the attitudes of American Christians, with a majority (54%) saying in 2015 that homosexuality should be accepted by society (up from 44% in 2007). The trend holds among evangelicals and those who said they read the Bible at least once a week.

Mohler observed, “we will not believe more than we know, and we will not live higher than our beliefs. The many fronts of Christian compromise in this generation can be directly traced to biblical illiteracy in the pews and the absence of biblical preaching and teaching in our homes and churches.”

We will not be able to discern between truth and error unless we personally and purposefully study God’s Word.

2. Refuse to be silent.

To those who know the truth, the attempt to silence any dissent to the new morality becomes increasingly obvious. Nobody wants to be labeled a bigot or be thought of as a hatemonger. But when words can be called hate, and hate can be called violence, the temptation to remain silent intensifies. At what point do we, as believers, risk these misapplied monikers in order to defend the truth?

Michael Knowles, in Speechless: Controlling Words, Controlling Minds, states: “Political correctness does not merely mask the harsh realities to which clear language refers; it actually contradicts the underlying meaning of words, thrusting culture through the looking glass.” In other words, secular culture is conditioning the public to accept the abnormal as normal and what is wrong as right.

Solomon said, “There is a time to keep silent and a time to speak.” (Ecclesiastes 3:7) The time to speak up for the truth is now. Dr. Martin Luther King said it well: "There comes a time when silence is betrayal. Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends…For evil to succeed, all it needs is for good men to do nothing.”

In our daily discourse, as circumstances arise, do not hold back when truth is assaulted and when falsehoods are proclaimed. You have a voice, use it for the good of your hearers and the glory of God.

3. Be Gracious.

It is only by God’s amazing grace that you and I are no longer captive to the devil’s lies. We must remember that those who rail against the truth are not the enemy but simply Satan’s unwitting pawns. It is the Christian duty to speak truth in love. That curious blend of courage and compassion which loves both people and truth is greatly needed today as it was in the early church.

As the Apostle Paul exhorted Timothy, "Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths." (2 Timothy 4:2-4) Let us keep the light of truth shining through the moral fog in hopes of leading the wanderer home.

Finally, don’t fear division where it is desperately needed. A.W. Tozer’s words spoken over fifty years ago still ring true. “Power lies in the union of things similar and the division of things dissimilar. Maybe what we need in religious circles today is not more union but some wise and courageous division. Everyone desires peace but it could be that revival will follow the sword.”

Three ways to make the truth plain for the sincere of heart.