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Contributed By:
Craig Cramblet
 
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August 1999 Landover, Maryland

100 years of Christian fellowship, unity, and community outreach ended last Tuesday in an act of congregational discord. Holy Creek Baptist Church was split into multiple factions.
The source of dissension is a piano bench which still sits behind the 1923 Steinway piano to the left of the pulpit. Members and friends at Holy Creek Baptist say that the old bench was always a source of hostility. People should have seen this coming.

At present, Holy Creek Congregation will be having four services each Sunday. There has been an agreement mediated by an outside pastor so that each faction will have it’s own separate service with it’s own separate pastor. Since the head pastor is not speaking to the associate pastors, each will have their own service, which will be attended by factioned members. The services are far enough apart that neither group will come into contact with the other. An outside party will be moving the piano bench to different locations and appropriate positions, between services, so as to please both sides, and avoid any further conflict that could result in violence.



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[Home] Copyright 1999/C.Harper .



 
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Sermon Central Staff
 
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DISUNITY STORIES

A man was stranded on an island. Alone for a number of years. Finally he was located and some people came ashore to rescue him. Before they took him off the island, he wanted to show them around. He took them to his hut and said "This is the home I built with my own 2 hands." Then he showed them to another building and he said "This is the church I built with my own 2 hands." Then someone in the group said "Hey, what's that building over there?" And the man replied "That's where I used to go to church."

I don't know how it is in other parts of the world, but it seems like this is the American way. 2 cars, 2 kids, a dog and half a dozen churches we used to attend.

This isn't bad necessarily. There are times when God would have us move on, take our gifts, abilities, resources and energy and use them to serve another body of believers.
But too often selfishness, pride, unforgiveness, a mentality that the church exists to meet my needs prevails and we become disgruntled, we divide and there is disunity for the wrong reasons. Disunity grieves the heart of God and brings dishonor to his name.

I read about a church where there was division and it began over an argument at a potluck supper when a lady brought a congealed salad she made with Cool Whip instead of real whipping cream.

Churches have divided over whether the pianist should sit to the right or the left side of the podium, over whether the Lord's Supper should be served from the front to the back or the back to the front, over trying to decide whether a kitchen should be a part of the church building or not.

One church split over who was the real pastor. They had two pastors. Two groups thought they each had their own guy, and both of them got up to lead a service one Sunday. Both led the singing. Both groups tried to out-sing each other. Then both pastors started preaching, trying to out-preach each other. Finally, they just broke out into fisticuffs, and the police had to come in and break it up.

This from Landover, Maryland, August 1999:

100 years of Christian fellowship, unity, and community outreach ended last Tuesday in an act of congregational discord. Holy Creek Baptist Church was split into multiple factions.

The source of dissension is a piano bench which still sits behind the 1923 Steinway piano to the left of the pulpit. Members and friends at Holy Creek Baptist say that the old bench was always a source of hostility. People should have seen this coming.

At present, Holy Creek Congregation will be having four services each Sunday. There has been an agreement mediated by an outside pastor so that each faction will have it's own separate service with it's own separate pastor. Since the head pastor is not speaking to the associate pastors, each will have their own service, which will be attended by factioned members. The services are far enough apart that neither group will come into contact with the other. An outside party will be moving the piano bench to different locations and appropriate positions, between services, so as to please both sides, and avoid any further conflict that could result in violence.

(From a sermon by Bret Toman, Unity For the Glory of God, 1/3/2011)

 
Contributed By:
Ed Vasicek
 
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Wall Street Journal
Banned From Church
Reviving an ancient practice, churches are exposing sinners and shunning those who won’t repent.
By ALEXANDRA ALTER
January 18, 2008; Page W1
On a quiet Sunday morning in June, as worshippers settled into the pews at Allen Baptist Church in southwestern Michigan, Pastor Jason Burrick grabbed his cellphone and dialed 911. When a dispatcher answered, the preacher said a former congregant was in the sanctuary. "And we need to, um, have her out A.S.A.P."

Half an hour later, 71-year-old Karolyn Caskey, a church member for nearly 50 years who had taught Sunday school and regularly donated 10% of her pension, was led out by a state trooper and a county sheriff’s officer. One held her purse and Bible. The other put her in handcuffs.

The charge was trespassing, but Mrs. Caskey’s real offense, in her pastor’s view, was spiritual. Several months earlier, when she had questioned his authority, he’d charged her with spreading "a spirit of cancer and discord" and expelled her from the congregation. "I’ve been shunned," she says.

Her story reflects a growing movement among some conservative Protestant pastors to bring back church discipline, an ancient practice in which suspected sinners are privately confronted and then publicly castigated and excommunicated if they refuse to repent. While many Christians find such practices outdated, pastors in large and small churches across the country are expelling members for offenses ranging from adultery and theft to gossiping, skipping service and criticizing church leaders.

 
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SIGN YOUR NAME OR FORGET IT

J. Vernon McGee tells of an incident that happened in one of his pastorates. A man came to him and said, "I want to tell you about a certain situation." He told him about a certain man who was involved in a particular sin. The man wanted to do something about it. He said, "You ought to bring this up before the board, and if they can't handle it, then it should be brought before the church."

McGee answered, "Fine, that is the way it should be done. What night can you come?"

"Oh!" the man said, "I don't intend to come. You're the pastor, you are the one to handle it."

McGee answered, "You are right, I am the one to handle it. I am the pastor. However, you will need to be present to make the charge."

"Oh," he said, "I won't do that."

So McGee told him, "If you are not willing to sign you name to the charge, we will forget it." And they forgot it, because the man refused to back up the charge with his name.

All too often u...

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Contributed By:
J. B. Hall
 
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H. Those who highlight and verbalize the defects of others to you in order to cause division between you and them, are in fact the enemies of God.
I. Proverbs 6:16 & 19 say, “These six things doth the Lord hate; yea, seven are an abomination to him:” “A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”
J. The spiritual Christian will forgive and restore the one who has offended.
K. The carnal Christian thrives on the offenses of others; using them to cause divisions between brothers and sisters; and in so doing, becomes an abomination to God and an enemy of what He is trying to accomplish in His church.
L. Divisions, then, are clear indicators that carnal Christians are at work in the church.

 
Contributed By:
Michael McCartney
 
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A news story from Wales told of a feud in a church looking for a new pastor. It read:

"Yesterday the two opposition groups both sent ministers to the pulpit. Both spoke simultaneously, each trying to shout above the others. Both called for hymns, and the congregation sang two--each trying to drown out the other. Then the groups started shouting at each other. Bibles were raised in anger. The Sunday morning service turned into a bedlam. Through it all, the two preachers continued trying to out shout each other with their sermons.

Eventually a deacon called a policeman. Two came in and began shouting for the congregation to be quiet. They advised the forty persons in the church to return home. The rivals filed out, still arguing.

Last night one of the groups called a let's-be-friends meeting. It broke up in argument."

The story could have been headlined, "Two Factions in One Fellowship." This story may be amusing, but it is also tragic. God hates this kind of discord among Christians.

 
Contributed By:
Terry Laughlin
 
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The Power of a
Christ Centered Ministry

In Galatians chapter five the apostle Paul writes about the fruit that comes out of mankind. First there are those who produce fruit that comes by living according to the sinful nature and second, there is fruit that is produced as one lives under the influence and power of the Holy Spirit.

Those who live without Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord will produce acts of the sinful nature. The Bible says they are obvious. These are "...sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies and the like." The apostle Paul warns, "...that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God."

The apostle Paul also writes, "...live by the Spirit, [the Spirit of Christ] and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature." (Galatians 5:16) "...The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." (Galatians 5:22, 23)

Jesus taught, "He who is not with Me is against Me..." (Luke 11:23) He also taught that the only way to bear Christian fruit is to remain in Him, for He said "...apart from Me, you can do nothing." (John 15:5) Any program that does not cause people to look to Christ and intrigue them to depend upon the Holy Spirit's power and strength is against Christ and is displeasing to God.

The Lord led pastor David Wilkerson to start a Christ centered ministry that God has used to deliver many from the bondage of drug addiction, alcoholism and other life debilitating aff...

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