Divisions Among You

“Those who think that unsound ministers ought never to be exposed and held up to notice, and men ought never to be warned against them, would do well to study this passage. No class of character throughout our Lord’s ministry seems to call forth such severe denunciation as that of false pastors. The reason is obvious. Other men ruin themselves alone: false pastors ruin their flocks as well as themselves. To flatter all ordained men, and say they never should be called unsound and dangerous guides, is the surest way to injure the Church and offend Christ.”

–J.C. Ryle, on John Chapter 10

HT: Crosstalk Blog

This quote is a sound refutation of the idea that criticizing professing ministers only brings division and dishonor to the body of Christ.  Yes, sometimes pointing out the wolf among the sheep will create a dividing line where factions will take sides, but Scripture addresses this issue in 1 Cor 11:18-19:

For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part, for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized. Continue reading