He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord.Malachi 3:3
Unless you’ve been unconscious for the past week, you’re aware of the debacle surrounding John MacArthur and Beth Moore. John MacArthur denounced Beth Moore last week publicly at the Truth Matters Conference during a Q&A session. MacArthur was asked about her to which he simply responded, “go home.” This prompted several Evangelical bigwigs such as SBC president, J.D. Greear to mock John MacArthur saying that Beth Moore is “welcome in [his] home anytime.”
As a body of professing believers, we tend to think of schism as a bad thing. But it’s not. In fact, Jesus himself said he came to bring a sword of division.
Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.Matthew 10:34
And Jesus said he would set people apart from each other.
For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.Matthew 10:35
And that our enemies would be those in our own households (Matthew 10:36). Jesus also said that the judgment begins in the household of God (1 Peter 4:17). In short, God is separating the sheep from the goats.
A few things to remember about unity and division; The Scriptures call believers to both.
I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.1 Corinthians 1:10
The Scriptures clearly teach us that we should remain united — but we must remain united around the truth of God’s word. The Word of God accomplishes both — it accomplishes unity among those who believe and love the truth and it accomplishes division among those who hate the truth.
There is not one place in Scripture that places the blame of schism on those who speak the truth. Scripture does, however, place the blame of division on those who teach false doctrines.
I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.Romans 16:17
It is clear that those who teach false doctrines are the ones who create divisions — but it is the speaking of the truth that exposes the false teachers.
John MacArthur’s words were good, right, and much needed. The division that is happening in the wake of MacArthur’s words against Beth Moore is a result of those who have been harboring and hiding the lies and false teachings of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The false unity built around the concealing and withholding of the truth for so many years is now being undone at the proclamation of truth. And it is becoming ever more clear just who it is that loves the truth and hates the truth in our churches.
We praise God for that.