C.A.C Sunday School Manual For November 1, 2020 The Unity Of Brethren. Lesson Eight : Topic – CAUSES OF DISUNITY IN THE CHURCH
CHRIST APOSTOLIC CHURCH WORLWIDE
SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
THEME: THE UNITY OF BRETHREN
UNIT: TWO / LESSON EIGHT
November 1st, 2020
II. DISUNITY IN THE CHURCH (1 Corinthians 3:3; Philippians 4:2; 2 Timothy 2:23-26).
Disunity is a lack of unity within a group, especially, one caused by a disagreement, or varying opinions. It is something that should not be given any room to either germinate or flourish among God’s people. Let us trace out some of the causes the Bible identifies, and look, from the same Bible, for how to surmount such cankerworms.
A. THE CAUSES OF DISUNITY (1 Cor. 3:3)
For you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? (1 Cor. 3:3)
i. God isn’t the author of confusion (1 Cor. 14:33). All matters of disunity/separation are the works of the flesh (1 Cor. 3:3) from which every Christian must abstain, and allow the Holy Spirit to fully possess our lives (Gal. 5:16).
ii. Inordinate thirst for leadership position. Satan exalted himself against God for the highest position in heaven (Is. 14:12-15; Ezk. 28:13-17). Even Korah Dathan and Abiram ganged up against Moses (Num. 16:1-14). Remember Diotrephes in 3 John 1:9. None of such will go unpunished.
iii. Act 6:1: Neglect/Cheating. When there is neglect/cheating, knowingly or unknowingly, in church administration, the devil can latch on it to foster disunity. This was the cause of murmuring in the early church.
iv. In the Corinthian church, each tribe had their leader, and this resulted in disunity in the church. This is called Tribalism; it is unchristian, and must be checked and dealt with, outright (1 Cor. 1:10).
v. False Teaching (Gal. 1:9-10): Wherever anyone brings false teaching into the church, and it’s not detected early and stopped, it can lead to separation/disunity (Jude 4).
vi. Fighting for rights (1 Cor. 6:7-8): We must strive to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph. 4:3) and not forget the warning of Jesus in Matthew 18:7.
vii. God is the source and reason behind the church’s existence. Seeking for self-glorification should be kicked out of the Church. More so, any service that does not glorify God is a ceremonial gathering.
B. THE WAY TO HANDLE DISUNITY (Phil. 4:2; 2 Tim. 2:23-26)
Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned (Tit. 3:10,11).
i. As the church grows, Satan will do everything he can to cause disunity. Anyone can be used as a tool of Satan to hurt the body of Christ. The leaders of God’s people have a responsibility to protect the church from Satan’s greatest weapon—disunity! (cf. Act 20:28-30).
ii. 2 Tim. 2:14: People need to know that their words have consequences. Hence, those causing troubles must be warned that their negative words and actions hurt others.
iii. vv. 23-26: Avoid unnecessary arguments (vv. 23-24). We should avoid causing arguments. When a minor argument comes up, we can refuse to get involved in it. We don’t need to have an opinion on everything. Some discussions don’t even deserve our participation. Doing this sustains unity.
iv. Furthermore, we need to teach troublemakers to repent. Most believers don’t like confrontation. But we can’t run away from them. The best we can do as children of God is to gently instruct those creating dissenting and opposing the teaching in the church.
v. Phil. 4:2: We can also make a plea for harmony and disunity. Fighting in a church doesn’t just affect the combinations; it influences the whole church, as people start taking sides. Just like Paul did, at times, we’ll need to make a plea for unity directly to those causing problems. The contentious persons may as well need to be authoritatively rebuked if necessary (Tit. 2:15-3:1).
vi. Utmost dependence on the Holy Spirit for proper guidance is the best way to handle disunity in the Church (Gal. 5:16, 25). Let us be spiritual and sensitive to the Holy Spirit.
vii. Avoid being partial. When handling the issue of disunity in the Church, we must not give partial judgment (1 Tim. 5:21). But it should be settled according to the Word of God and leading of the Holy Spirit.
1. Carnality is the bedrock of disunity; Christian maturity is the way out of carnality.
2. Being filled with the Gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit and WISDOM, is the key to handling disunity.
1. Explain what it means for the church to be in one accord.
2. Mention some causes of disunity/separation in the church.
SUGGESTED ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS
ANSWER TO QUESTION1:
i. To be one in heart and spirit.
ii. Doing things together having common godly goal: the same focus (heaven); achieving common purpose (kingdom of God).
iii. This is seen in how the church members interact with one another, in their believe, in the way they serve and worship God, in how they care for the weak and needy amidst them.
iv. It is also evident in relationship among their leaders.
ANSWERS TO QUESTION 2:
1. Having different beliefs and perceptions.
2. False teaching
3. Gossip and backbiting
5. Differences in interests and expectations
6. Inordinate ambition.
A pastor once visited a couple in their home. Both the husband and wife were in their second marriages that had grown rocky. The 50-year-old husband had cancer. Things weren’t working well. Hence, they considered their spiritual needs and were invited to church by a friend, and they went. During the pastor’s visit to them, having appreciated their coming to church, he asked, “Is there anything about Christianity, Jesus, or the church that I could help you understand?” The husband carefully responded: “Jesus is attractive to me but I struggle with the church. My grandmother sometimes dragged me, to church when I was a kid. What I remember most are the arguments I’d hear in the parking lot and hallways. One person didn’t like the preacher, another defended the preacher, another piped up with suspicions about the church treasures. It was the same arguments, over and over, year after year.” The wife nodded her head in affirmation.” Even today,” he continued,” I drove down the street near our house and came to 10 different churches with 10 different names on their signs. And the people in those churches barely talked to one another. People all around them were dying and going to Hell or so they said they believe, but they just spent all their time arguing.” He finished with this question “Why should I believe what y’all say when you can’t agree on what I tell me?”
The above is true of so many churches. Shouldn’t we swallow our pride search out the causes, and humbly make amends to glorify God? God is not happy with these situations. Let us change.
Let this fact continue to ring in our heart that unless we become agents of unity, love and peace as a Church, we have not fulfilled our God-given purposes on earth. In the lesson we are concluding, we have looked at how united God wants His Church to be. We have also looked at reasons for the division/segregation among believers today in a bid to allow God’s Word help us proffer solution to such causes. May we not stand to be condemned on the last day by these words of warning and encouragement.
DEVOTIONAL BIBLE READINGS FOR WEEK TWO
Mon. Oct. 26: Antidote To Disunity In The Church (Matt. 18:15-17)
Tue. Oct. 27: Agents Of Disunity Won’t Escape Judgment (Num. 16:28-32)
Wed. Oct. 28: Disunity In The Church Is Shameful (1 Cor. 6:5a)
Thur. Oct. 29: Disunity Hinders Prayer (Jas. 4:2-3)
Fri. Oct. 30: Disunity Disappears Where Oneness Thrives (Rom. 12:16).
Sat. Oct. 31: Don’t Allow Food Dismember You (Rom. 14:20)