Heresy in a church….is it a good thing?
1 Corinthians 11:18-19 is placed between the discussion around hats in church and the Lord’s Supper. Here we see Paul mention that he knows that there are disagreements among the members of the church. In part he expects the arguments. Not only does he expect them but he believes that they are a necessary part of the church.
The word that would distinguish a separation of view points in this text is translated factions (esv), divisions (nlt), and differences (niv). Interestingly enough the word that Paul uses in the greek is αἵρεσις. What is interesting about this word is that it is also where we get the word HERESY.
So is Paul saying that there is Heresy dividing the church. Well not necessarily, over time the word heresy expanded in Christianity as people grew further and further from the truth. Today Heresy would point to an idea or statement that is not biblical nor GOSPEL FOCUSED.
What I want to learn from this, is that Paul was suggesting that some division is good and stretches the church to think outside the box. Caution needs to be had when viewpoints draw people away from the Gospel. In general….the differences that some people have within the a congregation when it comes to style of worship, structure of doing church and mission help to expand our reach as we come to consensus as a church.
So when someone suggests something that you are not in agreement…don’t jump to viewing it as heresy…think of it as a possibility to expand the Kingdom….as long at the intention is to point people toward the GOSPEL OF JESUS. In the end, the people that are bringing the idea just may be the “most genuine among you.”