11/6 Titus 3:10-11

10 As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.

Churches are often targets of egocentric people seeking people to adore them. That is because most churches are small, and they are gentle in the way they deal with people. Wolves dressed in sheepskins come in among the flock and attempt to take it over or attract people to themselves. They are often smart enough to wait until they endear themselves to a number of influential people before they begin to sow division.

Sometimes the division they sow is obvious false doctrine. The more subtle ones simply put forth a different conviction about interpretation. Differences in interpretation of issues other than who Jesus is and what He has done for us are normal and for the most part tolerated. But when their difference in doctrine becomes their central issue and our unity in Christ takes a back seat, then destructive division raises its ugly head. People begin to take sides. The new faction demands that people choose for or against them. Untrue comments or exaggerations are made. And finally, the pastor is forced to leave in spite of the elders' stand, or else the church splits.

When the elders spot such a wolf, they need to warn him or her. Give the person another chance. Perhaps the wolf will recognize his or her carnal tendency. Perhaps the elders have misinterpreted the person's intent. But when the problem continues to escalate, the elders must act to remove the divisive person from fellowship before more damage is done. Those who leave will make horrible accusations about the elders, but the unity of the church will be saved.

Consider: This type of situation puts your elders in a difficult spot. They must explain to those who want to know why the action was made and clarify the slander spoken about them without sinking to the level of the wolf or exposing confidential conversations. Pray for your elders and remember this passage. It happens all too frequently in churches today.