When God Moves Faster Than We Do

church-splitThis will be an unpopular post and probably make some people angry, but the bible is full of people that offended in an effort to speak of Jesus and what God wants. I do ask either read this post all the way through or don’t read it at all. I’m going to start by saying I have never been in a church when it split. I’ve been in a church where there was tension over a decision and some people left and I still bear the scars from seeing how Christians react to these kind of situations. I also saw and did what was necessary to rebuild harmony so that the Body of Christ would not suffer. The church I attend did split many years ago before I was there and I still hear negative comments by people who do not belong to either church or they are new to the community. As far as church members both churches communicate on events and invite each other to events.
The main thing we as Christians most remember is that the church is not ours. It belongs to and IS the bride of Jesus Christ! When you insult a biblical church you are saying “hey Jesus your wife is ugly.” Now back to the subject of church splits, The book of Acts tells us about the early church and how we should do church. Paul went from town to town planting churches.
When a church grew it sent members to start another church. Look at Romans 16. First Paul asks them to accept Phoebe from the church of Cenchrae. Next he greets Prisca and Aquila who were at the church in Corinth and now they are back in Rome. (Acts 18:1-2) This is just a couple of people who went to help grow a church. Before somebody says vs. 17 says to watch out for those who cause divisions it also says contrary to the doctrine you have been taught. The biblical example of a church is for it to grow and then split and start a new church.
Sometimes Christians resist change. We like our church why would we go to another one. Many think the bigger a church is the more it can reach out. The more “means” it has. The fact of the matter is New churches are good. there are many excellent books and lessons on churches that prove through data that new churches promote growth in the established church and the new church. Every church split I have heard or read about both churches wound up gaining members.
God wants us to grow and multiply, when we move to slow for him God finds His own way of speeding things up. I’ve heard the people use the excuse that the devil was at work in splitting “that” church. I agree, just like God used the devil to teach Job some lessons and how He used to the devil lead a bunch of Jewish people to crucify the very person that they had been waiting on to deliver them. That worked out pretty good for me in that through the crucifixion of Christ my sin was atoned for.
As Paul and Barnabas were leaving Pamphylia, A young man named John Mark decided instead of continuing with them he would go back to Jerusalem(Acts 13:13). Later Paul and Barnabas decided to go back and see how the churches they planted were doing.(Acts 15:36-40) Barnabas wanted to take John Mark, but Paul refused and they “Split”. Is that a bad thing? Paul gathered other people and went anyways. Silas and another young man named Timothy(Acts 16:1-5) learned under Paul’s tutelage. Barnabas and John Mark didn’t give up ministry either, they continued on and Paul himself felt that John Mark was a great help in Ministry(2 Titus 4:11).
God split two experienced church planters up to accomplish His will twice as fast. We are all one church the bride of Jesus we must come together and act like it! We should encourage one another, support one another, and pray for each other. I pray for both churches that split near me. I pray that God will bless both of them. I pray for the leaders of both and pray that they will again realize sometimes God’s will is not ours.
God Bless,
MSW

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