Lord willing, I’ll be teaching on James 3:13-18 tomorrow evening. Part of my preparation was to read J. A. Motyer’s commentary on James from The Bible Speaks Today series. He made an observation about division and truth that is worth repeating:
Church history would have a very different tale to tell — as would, indeed, the bit of church history that is being written in our own day — if Christian people had paid attention to the fact that James contrasts division and truth. Over and over again the formation of a party, the growth of a clique, the promotion of a split have been justified as standing for the truth. It is said that, unless we divide, the truth cannot be safeguarded; the body from which we are dividing has rejected all truth, or this truth or that. But when Paul withstood Peter to the face over the really cardinal issue of the truth of the gospel (Gal. 2:14), he did not separate, form a party, send word to the churches he had founded that they were now a new denomination. The sad thing is that we who are born into a divided, wretchedly denominational situation are inured from birth to separation, and we have lost James’ realization that in Christian division, as in time of war, truth is the first casualty.
Which reminds me of something Francis Schaeffer once said. . . . “Truth doesn’t depend on agreeing with me.”