In the world of Christianity, it’s common to encounter disagreements and divisions. While the Bible emphasizes the importance of unity among believers, it’s also true that people sometimes interpret things differently and have varying approaches to their faith.
How Christians handle these moments of division within the church says a lot about their commitment to the core values of love and unity.
In a world where conflicts often make headlines, it’s essential for Christians to remember a simple but powerful message from Scripture: If it’s possible, do your best to live in peace with everyone (see Rom. 12:18).
Recently, we’ve seen a division emerge between two large Christian ministries, but this age-old wisdom reminds us of the crucial role unity plays when differences arise. It’s a reminder that we should prioritize peace and harmony, even when disagreements arise.
Pastor Greg Locke of Global Vision Bible Church and Evangelist Daniel Adams, whose organizations were closely linked and in ministry with one another, have reached an impasse.
Locke believes these men are not under the power of the Holy Spirit, and has publicly accused Java of being a witch doctor under the power of the Kundalini spirit. He has implored Adams to repent from the platform of his Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, church, but instead a wedge appears to have been driven between the two ministry leaders.
“I am for unity,” Locke declares during his Sunday service. “I am against mixture [with demonic spirits], and mixture is not unity. There’s a difference in biblical unity and anti-biblical mixture.
“Look, I want to be a bridge to bring unity to the body of Christ, but I will not be a syringe that injects poison by way of mixture into this church!” he adds.
*Pastor Locke’s message begins at 1:10.
Meanwhile, Adams has made the decision to not separate himself from Elias and Newton, leading Locke to withdraw from speaking at the upcoming TSNL Forerunners Conference.
In a post addressing the ongoing controversy, Adams says of Elias and Newton:
“Two men of God that’s very dear friends and brothers in Christ of mine that I can talk to anytime, plus are there for me if I need advice are Prophet Lovy L. Elias and Jay Newton. … No ‘familiar spirit’ is helping me only the Holy Spirit! I also can tell you no familiar spirit is helping the two men of God because I have set and talked with them both often and seen their love for the Lord Jesus and souls.”
For now, the two ministries have been unhitched from one another and continue forward on their respective paths.
While striving for unity within the body of Christ is crucial, the Bible also offers guidance on how to handle situations where individuals within the faith may choose to reject the ways of God. The delicate balance between unity and separation is a topic that requires a deep understanding of biblical principles.
The Scriptures acknowledge that, at times, believers may need to separate from those who persistently reject God’s ways. In 2 Corinthians 6:14, the apostle Paul urges believers not to be “yoked together with unbelievers.” Paul exhorts the importance of maintaining a clear distinction between the values and lifestyles of those who follow Christ and those who do not. While the Bible doesn’t encourage judgment or condemnation, it underscores the need to safeguard one’s faith and principles when faced with unyielding opposition to God’s truths.
In such situations, separation is not an act of judgment but a step taken in love, with the hope of fostering an environment where both parties can realign with God’s will. The Bible encourages believers, “And do not have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness; instead, expose them” (Eph. 5:11). It’s a call to distance oneself from ungodly practices while maintaining a posture of love and prayer, with the ultimate goal of leading those who have strayed back to the path of faith.
Finding this delicate balance between unity and separation is a challenge that requires wisdom, discernment and love, but it is grounded in the desire to see all individuals come to know and embrace the truth of the gospel.
James Lasher is staff writer for Charisma Media.