For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.” 1 Cor. 11:18-19
This is an interesting statement of Paul’s. I am thinking especially of the phrase “must be heresies.” I have mentioned before how we will have problems and temptations in life. They are actually a blessing from God to help us grow close to Him and to mature in life.
As you read the Bible and the lives of men and women of God throughout the ages, you will discover they all had problems. The tragic thing is that many times the greatest trials, opposition, and criticism came from other Christians [or those calling themselves Christians]. These good people thought they were doing right, but history has proved them wrong. Even Peter was a temptation to Jesus on at least one occasion, and Jesus responded with, “Get behind Me, Satan.”
Why does God allow heresies and division to come up within the church?
“...that they which are approved may be manifest.” It is when there are troubles we find out who is really loyal to God and His men and women. Anybody can be loyal and faithful when they are in agreement with everything that is going on. The real test comes when we disagree.
Often times we think of this from our point-of-view i.e. are people loyal to us when they disagree. The bigger question is: Are we loyal and faithful to God’s leadership when we are in disagreement with their plans/actions [obviously I’m not talking about unrepentant sin]. Are we being “approved” by God by our actions or do we reveal our immaturity and self-seeking?
Sooner or later we will all have an opportunity [probably many!] of standing with God’s leadership or opposing them. [There is nothing wrong with voicing disagreements in a respective and submissive way.]
This is a very serious issue as can be seen by how God responded to those who opposed Moses. The sad part is that most people who are wrong, think they are right. They have not learned to judge their lives according to the Word of God. Instead, they act according to their own emotions and prejudices. My prayer is: God help me never to be found opposing Your men and women.