Schism (σχίσμα)

1 Corinthians 1:10; 1 Corinthians 11:18; 1 Corinthians 12:25; Philippians 3:15; Ephesians 4:3  •  1 min. read  •  grade level: 8
The word is rendered “divisions” in 1 Corinthians 1:1010Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. (1 Corinthians 1:10), etc., and refers to divisions caused by parties in the church. In view of the unity of the Spirit, schism cannot be regarded in any other light than as sin. The unity contemplated in the church was not merely that of being gathered together in assembly. The Corinthians were exhorted: “That ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions [schisms] among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Cor. 1:1010Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. (1 Corinthians 1:10); 1 Cor. 11:1818For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. (1 Corinthians 11:18); 1 Cor. 12:2525That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. (1 Corinthians 12:25)). The modern ideas of agreeing “to differ,” or of “unity only in essentials,” are not found in scripture, but the contrary. At Philippi the saints were exhorted to walk by the same rule, to mind the same thing; and then is added “If in anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you” (Phil. 3:1515Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. (Philippians 3:15)). The “unity of the Spirit” cannot be lightly disregarded. Christians are exhorted to use diligence to keep it in the uniting bond of peace (Eph. 4:33Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:3)). There are different lines of ministry, as is manifest in the apostles Paul and John, but all true ministry tends to one end—Christ; and hence such differences in no way clash with the unity of the Spirit. See HERESY.