main aim of the research is to determine if the difference in belief is the major cause of church division,
the study made use of primary data from the information obtained from the
distribution of research questionnaire. The study made use of a total
population of 100. The sample of 40 was considered for the study, the data
hypothesis was analyzed using the chi-square method. The study concluded that
the difference in belief is the major cause
of church division. Proper recommendations were made to assist the Pentecostal
churches, the catholic churches and its member on the factors responsible for
the divisions in the churches.
Definition of Terms
Growth and Development of Churches
teachings of Churches on Church unity
2.1.3 Factors that Cause
Divisions in Churches
2.1.4 Effects of
divisions on Churches
2.2 Conceptual framework
3.1 research design
3.2 population of study
3.3 sample size/sample technique
3.4 research instrument:
3.5 validity and reliability of instrument
3.6 sources of data collection
3.7 method/techniques of data analysis
3.8 limitations of the methodology
Data Presentation and
Test of Hypothesis
1.1 Background of the study
will of God for us is that we are united, that is why Jesus prayed in John 17
that his disciples would have unity. He prayed in verses 20-23, “I do not ask
on behalf of these alone, but for those alsowho believe in Me through their
word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father,are in Me and I in You,
that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believethat You sent Me. The
glory which You have given Me I have given to them, thatthey may be one, just
as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may beperfected in unity, so
that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them,even as You have loved
prayer he madedid not just focus on the eleven remaining disciples but alsoto
those who would reach discipleship through their ministry(Britney; 1994). The
Bible lets us know that Christ Jesus is crediting his disciples with the
numbers that will beproduced. Theprimary concern Jesus expresses at this time
of his impending death is the issue ofunity among the disciples as their unity
will most definitely be a vital prerequisite fortheir subsequent mission
(Jessica; 2004:497).Disunity and division are threatsfound among the members of
the Body especially as the Church increases and grows in numbers. As Christ is
definitely supplicating theFather with references to God and himself, it is
clear the unity herein described ismore transcendent than that of “simply human
fellowship or the harmonious interaction of Christians” (Ebere; 1970). The
external expression of this unity is to be the evangel of the Church to the
world, which attests to the sending of Christ by the Father.
1 Corinthians 1:10 he exhorts, “Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our
Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you,
but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment”, here
Paul states this directive and takes a hard stand against division and factions
in the Church Body, in light of both personal division and in light of
doctrine. Unfortunately, Paul himself falls victim to one of these chasms of
opinion in his relationship with Barnabas. Paul’s terminology to address
doctrinal differences (1 Corinthians 11:19 and Galatians 5:20) is haireseis,
denoting a difference of sound doctrine, even to the point of being an
unjustified group (Accordance 2010). Just prior to the prayer in John 17 Jesus
had established the institution of the Lord’s Supper in light of the Passover
celebration, an institution given in great part to exhibit and foster unity
with the Godhead, and unity as members of the Body of Christ. Paul affirms in 1
Corinthians 10:16, that the pinnacle of this desired oneness of communion, or
church is displayed materially in the act of the Lord’s Supper, as it is a
“sharing” in the blood and the Body of Christ. Mounce holds that the term
church conveys the idea of fellowship, communion, participation and sharing
(Mounce 2006:127, 247). Paul subsequently uses the term only in a religious
sense rather than a secular one to denote something greater than a society, to
denote a fellowship of a higher level; he as well uses this term to express a
“religious fellowship (participation) of the believer in Christ and Christian
blessings for the mutual fellowship of believers” (Hauck 1983:804). 1 John 1:3
and 2 Corinthians 13:14 affirm that church is also held with the Father, Son
and Holy Spirit in addition to the communion of the saints, it is the Holy
Spirit alone however, who brings believers into this fellowship (Prime
2008:105). This evidence of church is an external, physical expression of the
spiritual fellowship that is enjoyed by the Body being knit together with the
Godhead (Hunsinger 2009:347). Thus, church is the internal religious fellowship
or participation of sharing in the benefits of a relationship with Christ, yet
manifesting itself at times in a physical expression through the Body of
Christ. Schmitz cites homothumadon as being infused with ”togetherness”, such
as is evidenced in the visible, inner unity of a group faced by a common duty
or danger; it is a unity, or unanimity, not embracing a personal agenda, “but
on a cause greater than the individual” (Schmitz 1986:908-909). Hence,
descriptive of the early Church, it is used in Acts all but one other time in
the New Testament, in an effort to accentuate the internal unity of the group.
of the problem
The Church of Jesus is increasing in division
instead of unity. This disunity mostly comes in form of cell division. Churches
are splitting, division in church seminars are increasing as reconciliation
consultants are succeeding, while division abounds (Raymond; 1996), and
denominations continue to growin number due to social division as the causal
mechanism.Theoretically, orthodoxy would confess that unity is possiblethrough
the giving of Christ’s glory. The Church as a whole is rightly able to proclaim
theologicaltruths, but is also expected to evidence them to the world through
its witness, asdeclared unity is not merely positional (Carson 1980:201).Christianity
todaysuggests a proactive separation may be in order
as only a sentimental unity remainsamong major denominations (Christianity
Today 2004:23). Bloomberg asserts that indeed this unity is difficult to
acknowledge in light of the many splintering factions (Bloomberg 2008:224). As
a result, the observed lack of unity in the Body of Christ isa devastating
witness to the world.
of the study
The chief objective of this study is to
the factors responsible for divisions in the churches.
To know the biblical and theological justification which
support divisions of fellowship within the Body of Christ.
what tolerances of division are biblically justifiable, or permitted in the
scope of Scripture and
whether the Church is actually in alignment with Scripture, and how that should
affect the behavior of Christians today in their role of glorifying God.
1.4 Research questions
ofbiblical and theological justification exists to support divisions of
fellowship within theBody of Christ?
tolerancesof division are biblically justifiable, or permitted in the scope of
needs to be defined is whether the Church is actually inalignment with
Scripture, and how that should affect the behavior of Christians today in their
role of glorifying God.
1.5 Research hypotheses
Ho: difference in belief is not the major
cause of church division
Hi: difference in belief is the major
cause of church division
Ho: the inability of churches to align
with scripture does not impact negatively on the behavior of Christian
Hi: the inability of churches to align
with scripture impact negatively on the behavior of Christian
1.6 Significance of the study
This study will contribute to the body of
knowledge of Christian’s obedience in lightof Scripture in that it seeks to
identify and then justify that paradigm of acceptableschisms or, permissible
divisions. It then seeks to answer the question, “To whatdegree are Christians
in accordance with Scripture in tolerating separations in theBody of Christ?”
The researcher aimed at identifying the
implicationsof clearer understanding so that believers who are participating in
any acts ofdivision may understand the error or validity of their actions.
Division in churchesmust be clearly defined if it is permitted in the scripture. This research has components that
benefit on many levels: personal,professional, academic and practical.
1.7 Scope/Limitations of the study
study centers onthe biblical examination of factors responsible for divisions
in the churcheswith a view of finding a lasting solution to the problem.
Limitations of study
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the
efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature
or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously
engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down
on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 Definition of terms
between two or more groups, typically producing tension or hostility
building used for public Christian worship.
person who has received Christian baptism or is a believer in Jesus Christ and
state of being united or joined as a whole.
and division within a group.
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