Church-Splitting is Heretical

Kicking It With Heresy

Recently for some reason I’ve been on a heresy kick. Many of my recent articles I’ve written have been about heresy in some shape or form. This certainly was not something I planned to do, and it’s only really now as I’m writing this that I’ve recognized this. If you’re wondering what’s so important about Heresy please check out my post on The Orthodoxy of Love. Today I’d like to address a heresy that is so prolific that it’s actually seen as a norm. To the point that most people don’t actually see it as Heresy. Indeed it is so common that many of us good “Orthodox” Christians are heretical. And that’s the topic of Church or Denominational Splitting or as the church fathers called it, Schism.

The Body of Jesus is Being Sawed Apart

Schism in the church is heresy because it’s an attack on the oneness of the God-head. It’s a tearing apart of the body of Christ, violently ripping the arm from the rest of the body, sawing the foot from the leg. It is completely heresy and is always unacceptable…I mean always. Our calling in the church isn’t to take a chainsaw to the body cutting it into small pieces but is to seek unity in the body, thereby living into the reality of the unity of the Triune God. It grieves and angers me to see the church continuing to practice schism. The witness that we are displaying to the world is not the witness of Christ, for Christ is not divided. So do not be surprised that culture wants nothing to do with the Church. A house divided cannot stand. And do not be surprised if the church continues to fall. As Clement of Rome once said, “Love knows nothing of schism or revolt. Love does everything in harmony.” There is no love in schism, and those who reject love reject the triune God who is love. 

The Worship of Non-Essential Squabblings

What’s worse is that much of these schisms are over doctrinal issues that are not matters of Orthodoxy. And if that wasn’t enough these doctrinal issues are elevated to matters of Orthodoxy which is also heretical. Why is it heretical? Because Orthodoxy which as Kallistos Ware rightly points out means not only right belief but has the double meaning of right worship. That’s because the church’s orthodoxy was always tied to the church’s worship and still is! The matters of orthodoxy are few and far in between because we worship God alone. The Trinity, full humanity and full deity of Jesus Christ, the Virgin birth, and the bodily resurrection are the only essentials to the Christian faith. Only does this list of essentials get expanded to doctrines outside the nature of the God-head when we begin to worship things other than God. Scripture so often gets placed into this category for determining orthodoxy because it’s worshipped. And issues of sexuality, while I don’t think become matters of orthodoxy because sexuality is worshiped (although in our culture that may be true), rather i think this too gets placed in the category for determining orthodoxy because we believe scripture teaches on sexuality and since we worship scripture we must bow down to it’s intrinsic authority. 

Idolatry: The Root of Our Problem

Now my point isn’t too argue for a particular position on sexuality, or a particular doctrine of scripture, but rather to point out rather bluntly that we have begun to worship things other than God, who is always unified, and since our worship is tied to our orthodoxy we have thus made doctrines matters of orthodoxy that are indeed not unified which has led to our many schisms. You become like what you worship. If you worship the unified Triune God, you will be a people of unity. On the other hand if you worship that which is other than God and not unified you become un-unified. 

This is a call to the church back to faithfulness. A call back to the worship of God.

Photo by Trym Nilsen on Unsplash

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