When we think about Christianity we often think about love. Maybe you believe the church hasn’t loved someone, but the very thought of that itself shows that you believe Christians should love. The question is, are there times when the church may correctly do something that doesn’t seem loving, but is loving? The answer is yes.
This brings up the catapult verse. I did not come up with the idea of calling it the catapult verse, but heard it at a conference once.Titus 3:10 says, “As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him.”
This seems contrary to church, doesn’t it? Shouldn’t everyone be welcome? You may even be thinking, “Tim, you wrote that churches should be a hospital, not a clubhouse. You understand that the church is not a place for perfect people because they don’t exist. Telling someone to leave the church seems like an opposing view to what you have already taught.”
The reality is, telling someone they may not be allowed at your church may be a loving act. How can that be?. Think about a small group a friends you have that you get together with regularly. Maybe you get together for cards, bowling, shopping, watching football, etc. There is one person there who after awhile causes problems between the group. Maybe they are sharing stories with others outside of the group that are shared in confidence in the group. Perhaps they are speaking poorly behind others back about other people in the group. Potentially they are trying to start another group, for whatever reason, to do that same activity, but leave out half of those in the group, hence dividing the group.
How would you feel about that person? If you had a great group of friends who enjoyed the whole group and that activity, you probably wouldn’t be to happy. To continue to let that person divide the group without confronting them, and having it stopped, would not be loving to the rest of the people in that group. This is one of those awkward situations where maybe someone loses, depending on the response of the person who is divisive.
If there is an individual, or a few individuals who are attempting to cause division within the church, it could be detrimental to the church. In fact, it could cause such a division that it could end up closing that church and stopping their mission.
As we look at the verse, we realize that the divisive person does have a second chance. It’s not a one-and-done scenario. But if this continues, while we may forgive them, we don’t have to allow them to continue to try to split the church or cause problems between members. In fact, we should get the catapult and get them out, before they poison others.
Often divisive people are divisive by nature. Others may do this accidentally once. If they have to be confronted more than once, they are most likely someone who lives for these kind of problems and drama. Get the catapult out and send them packing before they divide the church. Some churches have closed or failed because they have refused to get rid of a divisive person, which ends up ruining a church. Don’t let this happen to your church.
One thought on the subject to leave you with: if we believe that it is God Who unites the church, who leads someone to divide the church?
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, Pa 18421 on Sundays at 10:45 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.