chook5.jpgExtraordinary! Now, according to chookwatcher doctrine, God actually divides His own Church.

Yes. That is what they claim. You don’t believe me? Read this from one of their threads in response to a question from a commenter:

Commenter: ‘God doesn’t want His church divided, so the fact that you’re trying to divide on a matter that you know nothing about is a disgrace to the name Christian…’

Chookwatcher: ‘False – God SENDS division into His Church to actually test who love him just like he sent false prophets into Israel to test the sincerity of their love.’

“If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the LORD your God is testing you, to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 13:1-3

“For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part, for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized.” 1 Cor 11.18-19′

However, he uses those who have given themselves over to the delusion.

Well no. The delusion is in fact to do with the sins of the flesh, involving those who are outside of the Church, not causing division in the Church. Chookwatcher’s doctrine is a completely erroneous interpretation of what Paul is saying to the Romans and Corinthians.

Jesus said He would bring division to the earth, but not to the Church. The division is between those who believe and those who reject God (Luke 12:49-53). But the Church is to be unified in Christ. We are to be sanctified, and made one in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Chookwatcher’s teaching also goes completely against Jesus’ own doctrine. He said that a kingdom divided against itself would fall, so why would God divide His own kingdom? Maybe Jesus is reading the chookwatchers‘ thoughts.

Matthew 12:25 Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.”

Yet chookwatcher actually claims, as you read above, that ‘God sends division into His Church’.  God, according to chookwatcher doctrine, causes the Church to be divided against itself so that it can fall.

New Testament Church

Now it is clear that under the Old Testament God worked with Israel differently to the way He works through the Church in the New Testament, but nowhere in the New Testament does He ever say that He Personally brings division to His own Church.

We are not under the Old Testament. We are not Israel. God isn’t sending false prophets or dreamers of dreams to the Church to deliberately cause division. The test was whether they understood the Law or not, and were prepared to follow the Law or not. The false prophets and dreamers of dreams were peripheral to the issue.

Note this well, though: It is not sending division. God does not send division. Division is a carnal practice by immature people. God doesn’t send it. They allow it.

God is, however, permitting false prophets and dreamers of dreams access to Israel, and, yes, it is a test – of whether they adhere to the Law or not. But it is not sending division.

Neither is it sending delusion, even under the Old Testament. And remember – that was when Israel was under the Law of Moses.

We are not under Mosaic Law. Israel was being held on to by God through the Law, as a janitor, until grace came in the form of Jesus Christ, until a time when we could live by faith and not under Law, from which we have been made free by the cross of Christ (Galatians 3). Law saves no one. We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

As a guarantee of salvation through faith, we have received the Holy Spirit. This is not divisive. It is uniting.

Ephesians 1:13-14 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

We have been washed in the blood of Christ for the forgiveness of sins. We are recipients of God’s grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

We are under a completely different dispensation, by which I mean economy – the economy of the New Covenant in Christ.

Ephesians 1:7-10 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth —in Him.

His redemption and forgiveness abound towards us in all wisdom and grace. That is not divisive. It is unifying.

Why would God ‘test’ His Church by sending divisions when He has given us the guarantee of the Spirit, and gathered us together as one in Christ? He is gathering us not dividing us.

Raised up together in Christ

In fact, Paul makes it clear that we have been raised far above all principality and power and dominion. God is enlightening us through the Word and Spirit, not deliberately dividing us.

Ephesians 1:17-23 [That] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. 

And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

That is God empowering the Church, not dividing it to teach it a lesson. The New Testament is built on the good news. It is built by Christ who is the sure foundation. We are a building constructed on Him by Him and through Him. He is not dividing us. He is putting us together. He is perfecting us. He will present us to Himself as a chaste Bride.

He is causing us to grow together in the unity of Spirit.

Ephesians 4: 11-16 He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ — from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Edifying itself in love. Under Christ it builds itself. That is speaking of unity not division. Joined and knit together, and supplying to one another, not being divided by God, but being brought together as one under God.

I could go on. There is so much more we could add to this to demonstrate that God is not deliberately dividing His Church to teach it some kind of lesson, but that He promotes unity in the Body. OK! One more then.

Ephesians 4:1-6 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Endeavouring -diligent, prompt to do, earnest – to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of love. Says it all, really.

Q. What is it that divides, according to Ephesians 4:14?

A. Being childishly immature – so immature that we are easily ‘tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting.’

Have you seen any deceitful plotting on any critical websites recently? Any cunning craftiness? Are there any bloggers whose sole aim is to cause schism and division in the Body – to separate Christians from their churches, which is tantamount to scattering the sheep?

Signs of immaturity

In fact the passage in Corinthians is warning the church that schisms and divisions are signs of immaturity amongst that congregation, and that they needed to repent and get it right.

Nowhere does God say that He is responsible for deliberately and purposefully setting up divisions to test the Church. In fact, scripture tells us that we should never accuse God of tempting anyone.

James 1:12-16 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.

But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full- grown, brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

God gives good and perfect gifts. Division is not a good or perfect gift. Temptation is not a good or perfect gift. There is no variation with God. He is consistent. He tempts no man.

It is our faith that is tested. But it is not tested by God. The tempter is satan, who is the opposer of God and the accuser of the brethren.

1 Peter 5:8-9 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

It is the devil who seeks to divide the Church, not God. Divisions and schisms come from devilish wisdom, not from the wisdom of God.

James 3:13-18 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom.

But if you have bitter envy and self- seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self- seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Bitter envy and strife cause divisions, not God. Where have you read any blogs that reveal bitter envy or strife recently? Have you ever read a chookwatcher thread that didn’t contain some kind of bitter envy or strife, or sow discord amongst the brethren?

Chookwatcher exemplifies what God is talking about when He uses Paul to rebuke the Corinthians for their divisive attitude. The chookwatcher hierarchy is immature in its use of scripture, in its attitude towards the Church, and in the way in which it goes about leveling accusations against Christians.

And here they have completely misrepresented scripture by cherrypicking two verses that speak of two different dispensations – one from the Old Testament, from which Christians are exempt, and one from the New Testament, which they misinterpret to suit their eisegisis.

Chookwatcher, who, on Facebook, uses the nom-de-plume Fergusson Macray to bypass Facebook rules, has gone so deeply into his obsession now that he is unable to read scripture correctly, and has misinformed his audience in an attempt at discrediting a commenter who has pointed out the error in his thinking.

Grace unifies the Church

We are no longer under Law but under grace. I am not dismissing the significance of the Law. The Law is important and serves as examples to us of our conduct, but we are of the New Testament, not of the Old. We are of grace, not law. We are of faith, not the flesh.

God is not testing us. He is not deliberately dividing us. He is drawing us to Himself. He is offering eternal life in Christ. He is saving us, justifying us and sanctifying us.

He is redeeming us, perfecting us, and has made a covenant of hope with us that unifies us in Christ.

John 17:17-23 “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You.

Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.

I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.

They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth. 

I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.

And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.