“Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?” 1 Cor. 1:10-13.
Certain people in recent days have questioned the integrity of the dear saints of God. They have accused us of worshipping the message of the one body of Christ (Eph. 4:4). They feel we focus too much on this particular doctrine, when we should just be preaching “about Jesus,” as they say. They do not care to talk about the sin of division, but would rather focus on Christ alone.
Good. Let’s talk about Christ. I will put to you a question from the scriptures: Is Christ divided? What, dear soul, is your answer to this question?
There is a great tendency today in the ecumenical atmosphere of sectism to overlook their apparent divisions and “work together.” This is an enormous contradiction. The very fact that there is division to overlook forces this question upon them: Is Christ divided? We have to come to terms with this. It does you, oh sectarian, no good to avoid it. And you can have no valid argument against those of us who have come to terms with it and reached a conclusion.
We thank God for those precious saints who were of the house of Chloe. They were alarmed by the sectarian spirit that was being exhibited around them. Not only did they not try to gloss the matter over and meet each other on the common ground of what they could agree upon, but they told Paul. They stand as our examples today, and your judges, oh sectarian.
Does it glorify God for Christians to be divided, having one saying that he is of this or that group, while another says he belongs to another denomination of any of the current “666” names of Protestantism? Was Luther crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Wesley? How, oh sectarian, can you consistently call yourself by the name of men?
You say, “I am a Christian. It is silly to quibble about the name over the door.” No, it is not silly. Paul didn’t think it was, and we, who believe the words he wrote in the inspired Volume, do not either.
The message of the oneness of God’s people has never hurt the cause of Christ. It was taught by the Lord and His apostles, and thank God, we can teach it today by the authority of His Word. Is Christ divided? If we neglect to ask ourselves this question, we are neglecting the Word of God.
Oh sectarian, you censure the saints because we fearlessly proclaim that denominations are wrong, and there is just one church. But why? You do not criticize Wesley for extolling perfection. You do not utter a word against Whitefield’s incessant sermons on the new birth. In fact, you idolize these men for preaching the portion of truth so needful in their day, erect edifices to their memory, and call yourselves by their names! Yet, the dear little ones of God who dare to honestly answer the question put forth by Paul, and call themselves by God’s name alone, discerning the body of Christ, these you call “dangerous,” “fanatical,” “cultish,” yea, what not!
There is no need to multiply scriptures on unity in this article. The Bible is full of them. If you are ignorant, you are willfully so. But do not cast stones at the work of God and those engaged in knowing and preaching the full standard of the New Testament.
Was there ever a message so needful as the message of unity upon the Bible plain of holiness and the sin-free life? This we preach and will continue to do. But you, oh sectarian, what will you do with the message? You cannot ignore it, nor can you gainsay it. You haven’t one scriptural text upon which to prop your shaky denomination.
There could be but two reasons why people are uncomfortable with the message set forth by this restoration:
1. They are ignorant of the scriptures they profess to love.
2. They love their sect too much to see it exposed by the Word of God.
Is Christ divided? We can safely answer by the scriptures, NO. If I am divided, I am not in Christ.
“But,” you argue, “you are divided! You saints divide yourself from the rest of the body of Christ. In renouncing denominations you have become one yourself.” Such reasoning is pure blindness and a very thin cloak indeed behind which you seek to hide. Was Paul a sectarian? Did he, when reproaching the party-spirits in Corinth, set up his own denomination? Do we make ourselves a sect by coming out of sects and standing on the Word of God alone? Oh sectarian, why will you try to pull out the mote, when you cannot see for the beam?
Jude exhorted us to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints.” Are you doing this? Not if you are in a sect. You cannot trace your roots back that far. “We live in a day of denominations,” you argue further. “You cannot exist without being a denomination.” This is faulty reasoning and contrary to the Word of God.
The very fact that Jude exhorts us to fight for that primitive faith is evidence enough that it is there to fight for. And just because some do not care to contend for it, does not make it any less available to those who do.
Was the primitive faith, of which Jude speaks, a denominational faith? You know it was not. And since you are not earnestly contending for it, what right do you have to say ought against those who are?
Paul demanded unity in the church. He was not a sectarian. He would have been had he allowed things to go on like they were. We stand alongside Paul in this regard. Christ is not divided. If I am in Christ, I am one with all of His people. But they are not His people who are heedless of the words in His Bible, and indifferent to the sin of division.
Is Christ divided? Let every heart answer by the Word of God, not human opinions. And let those who find the answer tremble to walk against the light.
Note: The church of God believes there are many saved people scattered among the various denominations, and that at this time God is calling them together in one, that we may meet the apostolic standard of one body, one Lord, one faith (Eph. 4:4-5).