Summary: We may not be able to get rid of all the weeds, but it does not help if we are planting them.
Mat 13:24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
There is far too much confusion and dissension in the Church. With so many different voices saying so many divergent things, I have no problem understanding why unbelievers have problems coming to Christ. How in the world can they know which sect of Christianity is the true sect, or if unlike the Highlander series there can be more than one?
Indeed, even among people using the same sect name, there can be various opinions. One need only to look at the Baptists and Pentecostals and you can find several variations of both. Having been a Baptist for forty years I know at times you can get six Baptists in a discussion and have thirteen opinions. Baptist range from ultra-Conservative to ultra-Liberal with many points between the two extremes. Southern Baptists are divided into at least two camps with Independent Baptists having many variations or camps. Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans and Episcopalians are divided between Liberal and Conservative/Orthodox. Even those groups that appear to be united have differing voices within them such as Catholics and Church of Christ. They may just not be as loud as some but they are there.
Dr. R. G. Lee was an old Southern Baptist preacher that once reported to the Convention, “Gentlemen. I have been through the churches in our Convention and I am convinced that only 10% of our members are saved!” There was a great commotion which he interrupted with, “Forgive me! I mean 5%” I wonder what percentage he would give now? The SBC had gotten more Liberal than what he knew in his lifetime so he might come up with 1%. I fear that the Independent Fundamental Baptists may average 1% between the camps. Some may be higher and some lower.
The Baptists are not the only group in such a predicament. We are, after all, in an age of apostasy clearly shown by how wicked our society is in a nation where most of the 300+ million people claim to be Christians. Indeed, the founders of most denominations would not be welcome in those groups who bear their names or claim them as their spiritual ancestor.
Part of the division has come from truth causing separation from lies. John said those who departed from them were not of them. People starting new groups out of old do so because they do not walk in agreement. In John’s scenario, those leaving were the heretics. In many cases, it is the wheat separating from the chaff because the old groups have apostatized. Many other divisions just come from fleshly pride or other anger issues because someone’s feeling got hurt or the vote did not go their way so they went down the street and started another church. Baptists are notorious for this. In some cases, there are churches that were started when three or four miles was all you wanted to walk on Sunday, but with the advent of automobiles their purpose for being is erased but power, building worship, and tradition prohibits good stewardship and mergers.
What causes most problems in many good churches is that there are tares among the wheat. Many folks are not saved. There are many carnal Carnal and immature Christians, but like Dr. Lee said, many are just lost. Religious, but not converted. They were born into a particular sect growing up knowing creeds and rituals. Accepting these as signs of true conversion they never make it truly personal in coming to Christ for salvation. Ask them if they are Christian and they respond with their sect name, that they were baptized as an infant and made it through some form of catechism/confirmation class. Their daddy or granddaddy was a preacher. Momma sang in the choir. They are a deacon or Sunday school teacher. All sorts of things, but not a clear affirmation that they came to Christ as a sinner and asked to be saved because He died and rose again for them.