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Old 07-08-2008, 10:53 PM   #1
Terry
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Default What determines divisiveness

Over the years, there have been ongoing references to quarantined brothers of 1990. They were assumed to be divisive among many other adjectives.
What exactly determines divisiveness?
These are verses that touch the matter of divisions and factiousness in the Bible.

Romans 16:17 (RcV)
Now I exhort you, brothers, to mark those who make divisions and causes of stumbling contrary to the teaching which you have learned, and turn away from them.

Galatians 5:19-20 (RcV)
And the works of the flesh are manifest, which are such things as fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, divisions, sects

Titus 3:10 (RcV)
A factious man, after a first and second admonition, refuse,

2 Thessalonians 3:6, 14 (RcV)
Now we charge you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from every brother walking disorderly and not according to the things which were handed down to you and which you received from us.
And if anyone does not obey our word through this letter, mark this one so as not to mingle with him, in order that he may be ashamed.

Diotrephes in 3 John along with Hymenaeus and Alexander in 1 Timothy 1:20 are examples of divisive brothers in the Bible.

There are examples where brothers do not agree and cease working together. Does that imply being divisive?
In Acts 15:39 there’s situation between Paul and Barnabas over Mark. Paul did not want Mark to go after Mark had withdrawn on an earlier trip. There was contention between Paul and Barnabas because of Mark which caused Barnabas and Mark to leave Paul. In 2 Timothy 4:11 Paul writes to Timothy and says about Mark “for he is useful to me for the ministry.” Even though Paul had a problem with Mark, Paul considered Mark a useful brother.

By practices within LSM local churches, brothers like a Barnabas and Mark are considered divisive in addition to Diotephes, Hymenaeus, and Alexander. Yet the Bible does not say Barnabas and Mark were divisive. Only that they separated from Paul in his work. Couldn’t the same be said about brothers currently quarantined? Some did not see eye to eye with Witness Lee and left his work? I would suggest some brothers excluded from fellowship are more like a Mark or a Barnabas. The quarantined brothers are still ministers of Christ, but the Lord led them apart from Witness Lee’s work.

When brothers are labeled as divisive and maybe even quarantined, we as individuals must take these matters before the Lord as to determine if such brothers are truly divisive as laid out in the Bible.

Terry
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Old 07-09-2008, 01:19 AM   #2
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In my opinion, devisive person is the one who brings serious heresies (like denying the deity of Christ etc). Other small things can really be avoided. For example, if someone feels that in the church we need to do something, he/she shares his/her view with others. Others can discuss it, and either agree or disagree. If they disagree, and this person still believes that his/her feeling is from the Lord, he/she is free to do it himself/herself together with those who would be willing to help. If there is no position of authority in the church to be coveted, many divisions will not just occur. In my experience people who really caused disruption and had to be dealt with were crazy guys with some really weird doctrines.
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Old 07-10-2008, 05:00 AM   #3
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Another thought I have had for years is that divisive ones bring you "to themself" rather than only to "Christ."
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Old 07-10-2008, 07:23 AM   #4
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Divisive ones bring you to themselves rather than only to Christ.” (slight editing by my new Wood 2007 which I hate vehemently)

That is a most insightful definition of divisiveness. If it has any merit, then the LC is generally, and the LSM LCs definitely, more divisive than much of Christianity.

I recall several years ago when we often had short dramas before the sermon they poked a little fun a another nearby church making reference to “that dot-com church.” The following week there was an apology for even doing it in jest. There was never animosity between our assemblies, but we were convicted within for even such a comical slight.

PSRP (did I get that right?) that in your Sunday meetings.
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Old 07-10-2008, 04:00 PM   #5
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Terry I think you are right. Barnabas and Mark and Paul were not divisive. They had a minor work-related dispute. So what? Happens everyday around the world in Christian and non Christian work contexts. But Lee extrapolated this minor event into some major thesis on there being one stream/flow and Paul was it with the implication that Nee was it and now Lee was it. And therefore those who disagree with Lee regardless of the nature of the dispute are automatically out of the one flow. Pure self-serving speculation!
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Old 07-10-2008, 07:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
Barnabas and Mark and Paul were not divisive. They had a minor work-related dispute.
djohnson, yes there was a minor work-related trip. What happened between Paul and Mark did not diminish Mark's value to Paul. Even if Paul could not trust Mark enough to take him on the second trip, Paul still considered Mark a useful brother in the ministry.

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Old 07-10-2008, 10:03 PM   #7
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Yes Terry and Paul was not the head of the Body. He did not make the final decision. He did not temporarily want to work with Mark but he could not reject him from ministry or from the Body. Christ is the head. And so the Lord used Barnabas and Peter to nurture Mark and help him grow. Eventually the Holy Spirit inspired Mark to write a book of the bible. No small thing considering most of the 12 apostles were not even used in this kind of function. Eventually Paul came to realize Mark's usefulness.

Lee's view of the Paul/Mark dispute is completely skewed and self-serving.
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Old 07-10-2008, 10:18 PM   #8
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Default 1 Corinthians 1:13

Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized into the name of Paul?

djohnson, I don't disagree with what you said. Speaking for myself I have a view and vision considering ministry or ministries some may not concurr on. However when Christ is the subject, there is no dividing. We may have had different brothers or sisters provide guidance of whom we have fondness for. They weren't crucified for me, it was Jesus who was crucified. It was in Jesus name in whom I was baptized. When I meet with the brothers and sisters, the time is blessed when our fellowship is Christ only.

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Old 07-11-2008, 06:34 AM   #9
aron
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
Terry I think you are right. Barnabas and Mark and Paul were not divisive. They had a minor work-related dispute. So what? Happens everyday around the world in Christian and non Christian work contexts. But Lee extrapolated this minor event into some major thesis on there being one stream/flow and Paul was it with the implication that Nee was it and now Lee was it. And therefore those who disagree with Lee regardless of the nature of the dispute are automatically out of the one flow. Pure self-serving speculation!
djohnson your point is insightful. I remember how Barnabas was presented as "lost" to the flow by his disagreement with Paul.

Aren't we all glad Paul didn't quarantine Mark? We would only have 3 Gospels!
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Old 07-11-2008, 06:50 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by aron View Post
Aren't we all glad Paul didn't quarantine Mark? We would only have 3 Gospels!
But probably Mark later repented and recognized Paul as the minister of the age. So his gospel got one publication policy imprimatur.
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Old 07-11-2008, 07:19 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
djohnson your point is insightful. I remember how Barnabas was presented as "lost" to the flow by his disagreement with Paul.

Aren't we all glad Paul didn't quarantine Mark? We would only have 3 Gospels!
At a recent sharing on the Lord's day in Toronto, Nigel shared how Barnabas' ministry was to take care of Mark so that later he could write the gospel of Mark. His ministry was not the same as Paul's but it was still needed and he was not written out of the NT as some of us had been taught. (1Cor9:6 is on Paul's second trip and the Corinthians knew Barnabas.) In fact it could be argued that since Mark was able to write his gospel after being cared for by Barnabas, this is also an endorsement by the Lord of Barnabas' ministry.

Nigel's complete message can soon be seen at church in toronto message archive.

Last edited by AndPeter; 07-11-2008 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 07-11-2008, 12:50 PM   #12
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Barnabas was a "son of encouragement" and after the dispute with Paul I'm sure Mark needed some encouragement. Barnabas was able to provide this by taking Mark under his wing. I would also suggest that Barnabas stature among the believers was probably a protection to Mark who otherwise may have suffered more widespread rejection by those too immature to realize a minor dispute does not make or break anybody in God's work.
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