HOW TO IDENTIFY AND DEAL WITH DIVISIVE PEOPLE
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.19 For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. 20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.” – Romans 16:17-20
Divisive People Create Doctrinal Obstacles
Honest questions about established doctrines are good. But people who constantly question such doctrines without ever moving beyond them may be divisive. When Paul says, “Watch out for those who — create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught,” he is referring to those who regularly derail the Christians beside them with doctrinal traps and puzzles. These are the people that teachers hate to see walk into the classroom. These people love to show their knowledge and creativity with Scripture, but not to encourage others to move forward as Christians. They seem to have more insight into scripture than fruitfulness in their lives.
There are some ministers and leaders who believe that they are the only one that can lead a flock. They sometimes suppress the very members that they lead. These same members sit in the same seat and dress the same every service hour. Look out for them who constantly begin to check up on you because there might be a particular motive.
The fact is, these people “do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites.” They’re involved enough in church life to cause division and mentally engaged enough to trip everyone else up because they don’t really care about Jesus – they care about satisfying their own desires. They’re hungry, but not for righteousness.