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.
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.