Yet Paul, who wrote most of the New Testament epistles, saw division very differently than 21st Century evangelicals see it. Consider this quote:
Paul regards divisiveness as those who depart from sound doctrine. Doctrine is not the cause of disunity, departure is. ~Carl TruemanResponsible reading (not to mention study) of Paul's epistles bear out Trueman's point. The apostle wrote several of his epistles with the purpose of clearing up doctrinal error and preserving correct teaching. He warned church members to reject anyone who deliberately and persistently deviated from the truth.
17 I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. 18 For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. ~~Romans 16:17-18 (ESV)Notice that the divisions Paul condemns thwart the doctrine that he and the other apostles taught. He never targeted Christians who stood for God's Word in opposition to attempts to dilute or distort it to suit their own agendas. As he saw it, the Body of Christ could only experience true unity by teaching and obeying the doctrines given by the Lord Jesus Christ and His apostles. Those who watered down those doctrines caused disruption in the church. I applaud Carl Trueman for pulling us into proper perspective.