Christian Unity in an Age of Division

David Norczyk
5 min readMar 29, 2023

It was Jesus’s prayer that His church would be one as He and His Father are one (Jn 17:22–23). It is the church’s mutual indwelling with Christ that manifests this answer to our Lord’s prayer for unity. With the Spirit of Christ sent to each elect soul, redeemed by Christ, we see the wisdom of God and power of God accomplishing what could never happen apart from Christ (Jn 15:5).

Jesus Christ, the Son of God and God the Father are one (Jn 10:30). They are one in essence, and as they work the eternal purpose of God, they bring glory to the Trinity. Three Persons of the Triune Godhead display perfect unity in everything they do. This is declared in God’s revealed Word, the Bible.

The world hates God (Rom 1:30). It hates Jesus (Jn 7:7; 15:18–25); and the world hates Christians — those who follow Jesus, as born again disciples (Jn 17:14; 1 Jn 3:13). There can be no Christian unity with those non-recipients of the Holy Spirit, who have not been granted the gift of faith “in Jesus” by the gracious work of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 1:30; Eph 2:8–9). For this reason, the world has always been and will be at enmity until Judgment Day — nation against nation; tribe against tribe; family against family; and brother against brother.

Leaving the world and its evil system of endless competitions and conflicts, the Christian enters the place of sanctuary. “In Christ” is a biblical phrase of union that should manifest unity. Today, as we observe the splintering of the United Methodist Church over its position on sexual sins and unrepentant deviants…unity appears elusive. This is not a new phenomenon, however. Rather, Satan, our adversary, has championed new ways to divide Christ’s church throughout history.

God’s children have always come out from among those of the world who infiltrated and perverted the bride of Christ. Biblical separation demands that the holy ones of God sever themselves from those who advocate and even celebrate sin…in the name of Jesus.

Christians know that God has revealed the reality of two distinct categories of people in the world. Every other group, distinguishable from these two groups, is a distraction that leads to all kinds of divisions not warranted in God’s plan for Christian holiness. The two groups, as noted above, are at enmity with each other because one group has defected from identification with the world (Jn 18:36; Rom 12:2). These have been transferred into the kingdom of God and of Christ, God’s beloved Son (Col 1:13).

It is God who separates the wheat from the chaff, the sheep from the goats, the children of God from the children of the devil (Jn 8:44; 1 Jn 3:1, 10). It is the Father’s choice to set His love upon some (elect) and not others (reprobate). It is the gracious work of God the Son to reconcile this group to God. It is the Holy Spirit who applies the benefits of Christ’s redemption that grants forgiveness of sins and the cancellation of the debt of sin on behalf of all those given to Him by God the Father (Jn 6:37; Eph 1:7; Col 2:14).

Our focus turns from this God-ordained separation of the two groups (kingdom of this world vs. kingdom of God). We now consider why divisions and schemes have plagued Christ’s church.

The devil is clever. He and his legions of demons delight to destroy the work of God in the midst of His chosen people. The devil poses as an angel of light and enters the church of God. You will know him and his minions from the bad fruit they produce. Disunity in the flock of God is the work of demon spirits, who inspire and encourage reprobate unbelievers to pose as members of Christ’s church. Their task is to create drama that divides.

One may ask what the remedy is for the removal of ungodly, unholy imposters. Expelling these people is the work of the Holy Spirit, who employs the Word of truth to cut away the dross in space and time. There is a day of final separation, but today’s separations serve as a preview and precursory work.

The key person in this purification of the bride of Christ is the Spirit-filled preacher of God’s Word. He who faithfully wields the Sword of the Spirit in the congregation of Israel is the legacy of the prophets and apostles. He is the under-shepherd who chases the rebel goats away from the sheep of God’s pasture.

It is the unfaithful man, the hired hand, who permits goats and wolves to enter and feel at home in the body of Christ. He welcomes and affirms the demons and their unsound doctrines. Eventually, true believers quietly peel away for alternate safe pastures. When their numbers grow, the visible church is occupied by more unbelievers than saints. That church has become a synagogue of Satan.

Valiant efforts by members, to preserve the unity of the body, fail to secure that unity if the preacher is not with them. The dull sword in the hand of the unbelieving pastor will eventually lead to friendship with the world. Christ’s true sheep will not listen to the charlatan in clerical robes.

Someone has to leave…at all times. The goats must be chased away by the Word and the Spirit from the pulpit. Unless this pastoral work proves to be the case, the sheep will leave. Denominational divides are simply a larger, pent-up version of this Sunday-by-Sunday attrition by individuals. The spectacle of denomination events garners more publicity because of the sheer size. Some will lament they did not leave sooner.

When the heresy grows too much for the indwelling Spirit, He will once again call to His own, “Come out of her My people.” A new, purer beginning awaits the faithful who honor God and His Word.

Pray for unity in Christ’s church. Pray your preacher will do the hard work in the pulpit. Rejoice in the ensuing unity and healthy growth if he is found faithful. If he proves unfaithful, pray that God will direct your steps to a healthy church that is regularly cleansed by the washing of the water by the Word (Eph 5:26). If there is enough of you ready to leave a despoiled congregation, then pray God will help you find a true and faithful preacher to minister in your new church plant.

Pure, indivisible unity is coming at the end of this age. Today, Christians share in a taste of heaven, when for a season we have unity in our local churches. We must be vigilant in these matters, knowing that Satan is ever sending his messengers. Strive for that experience of unity but keep your hope in the unity to come with the One in whom we have inseparable union, forever.

David Norczyk

Spokane Valley, Washington

March 29, 2023

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David Norczyk

Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher