Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
May 30, 1968
NUMBER 5, PAGE 8b-9a

Is There A Remedy For Division In The Body Of Christ

Rufus R. Clifford

That there has been division among the churches for the past few years cannot be denied. It has been well said that division is the devil's master-piece. It fosters many evils and hinders the salvation of precious souls. The Bible condemns division in no uncertain terms. (I Cor. 1:10-13) Just before Jesus died for the sins of the world He prayed for the unity of His disciples. (John 17:20,21) All those who cause division will be lost unless they repent and pray to God for forgiveness.

Recently a group of brethren met in Texas to discuss unity and to see if a way could be found to heal the wounds in Zion. Half of the group have been contending through the years for the all-sufficiency of the Lord's church to do the work of the Lord, and they have condemned and rejected the idea of the church building and maintaining human organizations. The other half have claimed to believe in the all-sufficiency of the church, but they have promoted the building and maintaining of human societies through which for the churches to cooperate. This group and their followers have accepted the "sponsoring church" which is illustrated by the Herald of Truth Radio and TV Programs.

Now, who has caused the division? In answering this question we need to tell ourselves just what we have been preaching to our religious neighbors. We have contended that division is a result of a departure from the Truth. From the house-tops we have shouted that Jesus taught that the only basis of unity was submission to the Will of God. Submission to the Truth of God, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth, is the only basis of unity among the followers of Christ. Our religious neighbors have been called upon to give up their departures from the divine patterns and return to the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth. It follows that division among us has been caused by the brethren who departed from the divine patterns and embraced human societies and the appointments of men. If they will practice what they have preached to the religious world, we will again have peace and unity among the churches. There were no benevolent societies among the churches before 1909, and there were no "sponsoring churches" until in recent years. If brethren will give up their departures from the divine patterns and return to the Lord's way the wounds in the Israel of God can be healed.

We believe that strict adherence to God's Will, as it is revealed in the New Testament, will solve the problem of division and unite all lovers of the Lord in one great body, headed by Jesus Christ. Jesus prayed for unity that the world could see, and know that it existed. The one who causes division or perpetuates divisions antagonizes the prayer of Christ. We believe that division is a result of a departure from New Testament teaching, and that the remedy is to return to God's Word as our only rule of faith and practice.

It has been our contention through the years that religious people were not divided over what is in the Bible, but the division has been over what is not in the Bible. The Government recognized a division in the church in 1906 and took separate censuses of the digressive churches and the loyal churches. The division was over missionary societies and mechanical instruments of music. The division was over what was not in the Word of God. We are divided today over benevolent societies, churches supporting colleges and institutions of all kinds. We are divided over what is not in The Bible. If we will practice what we have preached to our digressive brethren and give up all departures from the Truth there will be unity in the church.

If we are interested in unity among brethren we should be willing to give up all departures from the Truth so that we may be of "one heart and of one soul."

700 Gallatin Road, Nashville, Tenn.