Day: July 14, 2019

3 Causes of Disunity in the Church

The split of the church is not new. The first major split occurred in the 16th century when proponents of church reforms resisted corruption in the Catholic Church. At that point, the church split into Catholics and the Protestants. The formation of the Orthodox Church, while it’s not talked about much also resulted from resisting the Popes leadership way back in AD 1000.

Today, the Catholic Church is still famous and has over 1.2 billion members worldwide. On the other hand, protestant churches continue to split, with new denominations sprouting daily in the world. So, what causes the church to break?

Lack of Proper Foundation

The church is made up of people, and people need control. Governments, public institutions or businesses thrive and last because of proper structures of leadership. Many churches are now formed randomly without appropriate guidelines of leadership and power, leading to abuse of power. For example, I once witnessed a pastor resisting to dialogue with church members after he was found guilty of adultery cases. 

The bible has a lot of teachings about the behavior of leaders, (Ephesians 2:10) many fail to follow them and neglect their actual purpose of serving their members, but if the new churches had some stable structures, they would not fail to handle arising challenges.  

Wrong Leadership

In Mathew 7:15, the bible is categorical about prophets. The verse does not apply to prophets alone but all kind of church leaders. 

Not all leaders have good intentions, and many churches have split as a result of the leadership turning a deaf ear to complaints about the administration of branches or subunits. We have heard of church problems such as misuse of resources, fake miracles, and Child abuse. But many of the issues are never resolved.

Wrong church leaders do not serve the purpose Christ envisioned, but mislead and neglect their members, which is against Christ teachings. (Mathew 18:13) 

Freedom to Worship or Form Churches

The freedom to worship or form churches is excellent. But the freedom has led to the quick splitting and formation of churches. With enough control, rather than running to open new churches, the leaders would resort to dialogue for the growth of Churches.

In one of his last messages, Jesus urged his disciples to spread the gospel widely. In that period, there were no churches in many nations, so there was more sense of opening churches. 

Why China is Raiding Churches

On a Thursday morning in June 2019, some Chinese authorities invaded the MorningStar Church in Guangxi province, detaining many Christians and church leaders.

The attack is only one of the many onslaughts the Chinese Authorities has conducted on Churches not registered under the Chinese Church regulation system.

The Dao En Presbyterian Church has also been banned, with three of its branches closed. The authorities went further to bar local landlords from renting out any property to the church.

While some churches have been invaded or banned, others have been demolished, bibles razed, crosses removed and minors barred from attending the churches.

According to Asia News, Liangwang Catholic Church in Jinan China was attacked in 2018 by over 40 policemen. The women caretakers of the church ejected and their phones confiscated. Later in the day, men with bulldozers pulled down the church.

In February this year, 3000 members registered church in Jiangsu-Chengdong, was attacked and its cross removed, which means while authorities cite churches failure to register with the authorities, the crackdowns target all the churches.

In one of the most popular church shutdowns, members of the Famous Early Rain Covenant Church were arrested in a crackdown on “house churches.” The pastor of the Church and four other members are still under custody since their arrest in December 2018. 

In the attack, police took bibles away and destroyed a school and a seminary run by the church. According to the Guardian, many members of the church continue to hide, and the church’s pastor is facing charges that carry a jail term of 15 years.

Many political analysts say, the Chinese Communist party does not intend to abolish Christianity but to have absolute control over it, and prevent infiltration of Western influences in communities.

Since early 2012, the Chinese Christians have faced harassment from both local and the national authorities, with many churches defying orders of registration citing too much interference of the government into Church issues.

The authorities and the ruling party, which is more atheist, fear the rising number of Christians and Islam s even though more than five religions exist in China. Despite the freedom of worship enshrinement in the Constitution from the 1980s, it is now that the authorities are finding churches a threat.

President Xi, who came into power in 2012, finds Christianity and Islam as a threat to his authoritarian regime. And while the US has condemned faith-based oppression, Chinese authorities feel immune due to the enormous control they have in the world.