As recent events force us to consider what to do with people who cause division in the Body of Messiah it is a very good time to look at a very pertinent chapter in Romans.
The most important segment in this chapter begins at verse 17:
And I plead with you, my Brothers, that you beware of them who cause divisions and stublings apart from the doctrine which you have learned: and that you stand distant from them. For they who are such do not serve our Master Y’shua the Mashiyach, but their own belly: and by bland speaches and good wishes, the deceive the hearts of the simple. But your obedience is known to every one. I therefore rejoice in you: and I would have you be wise in what is good and blameless in what is evil. And the Elohim of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our master Y’shua the Mashiyach be with you. (AENT)
So let’s see where else division and divisive people appear in scripture.
Joh 9:16 Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them.
Joh 10:19 There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings.
These are the only few times the topic of division is brought up during Y’shua’s ministry. Each time was in response and in regards to something that Y’shua was establishing as doctrine which is cemented as Paul says
“Them who cause divisions and stublings apart from the doctrine which you have learned:
So what doctrine did Y’shua teach?
John 7:16 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.
So Y’shua did not bring any new doctrine but that which was already established by his Father. Which he contrasts with others people doctrine (leaven of the pharisees for example)
This topic of divisive persons brings another verse to mind..
Mat 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Luk 10:3 Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.
Act 20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
I Think it is safe to assume since paul speaks so strongly about these divisive people that they are equal to the wolves we are warned about by Y’shua which begs the question, what exactly are these wolves/false prophets/divisive people?
The Tanak tells us very clearly
Eze 22:25 There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof. 26 Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them. 27 Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain.
It is clear that these divisive people/false prophets/wolves teach against the Torah of Yah! And in doing so caused division. We are told by Paul what to do remove ourselves from these divisive people. And he cements this point by contrasting non-divisive people with the divisive in saying this:
For they who are such do not serve our Master Y’shua the Mashiyach, but their own belly: and by bland speaches and good wishes, the deceive the hearts of the simple. But your obedience is known to every one. (AENT)
So the divisive people are disobidient while the non divisive are obidient. The divisive serve their “own belly” (Works of the flesh, see Romans) while the non divisive serve Y’shua (Works of the Spirit)
This is what Paul is speaking against in a literal sense. When disobidience arises in the asembly it must be dealt with swiftly as a little leaven leavens the whole lump. As children of the light we can not dwell in darkness and as Y’shua himself says:
Joh 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
So according to Paul’s own words we can not allow sin to enter the camp!
But apart from that divisiveness is also covered by paul in the letter to Titus.
Titus 3:9-10 Titus 3 Commentary
But foolish questions and stories of genealogies and the disputesw and contests of the scribes, avoid: for there is no profit in them and they are vain. An heretical man, after you have instructed him once and then again, avoid: and know that such a man is perverse and sinful, and self-condemned. (AENT)
So once again Paul is very straight forward that vain discussions about genealogies and contests of scribes MUST be avoided, and so dangerous is this that he says that if you warn someone twice to stop the division they are self-condemned.
Obviously as believers we must strive to always discuss things in love and peace and try our best to walk as Y’shua walked.
On the other hand Y’shua (and Paul) was also very adamant that Sin if allowed unchecked in the camp (assembly) will pervert the entire assembly.
We are a body. If a limb of your body is diseased and you do not deal with it the disease will spread throughout the body, so we must remove the sickness from the body of Messiah accordingly! If we allow the sinner to go on uncorrected, then we according to scripture HATE the sinner. So let us correct in love Brothers and Sisters!
Yah Bless, Faith, Grace, and Torah