2. Confront Sin That Is Divisive Behavior.
“Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him.” Titus 3:10 NIV
Nothing welcomes the work of the Holy Spirit into a church more than unity. That’s why it is so important to protect it. Divisiveness occurs when people are more concerned about winning an argument than building a friendship. Divisive people do not want an honest debate or to possibly be enlightened by new information; they want to win at all costs. Divisive people are the most difficult to confront because they normally enjoy angry debates, but we still must go to them for their sake and the health of the fellowship.
3. Confront Sin That Is Heresy or False Teaching.
“As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God’s work—which is by faith.” I Timothy 1:3-4
I remember when I was on staff at Gateway Church, in the early days when only a few hundred were attending, a young couple asked to meet with me. We were sitting at an I-Hop restaurant, and they told me they did not believe in the virgin birth, but they still wanted to lead one of our small groups. I told them as nicely as possible that they were certainly welcome to attend, but they could not lead or influence others while believing such doctrine. I never saw them again, and that is a bummer, but I am also thankful that the flock I was assigned to protect was able to hear sound teaching from group leaders.
As a pastor, I get to participate in a lot of great events like weddings, baby dedications, sermons on Sunday, leading worship at the Lord’s Table and singing together as a worshipping family. However, shepherds are not only supposed to lead sheep beside still waters but also protect them from wolves when needed. It is not warm, fuzzy or fun, but it is a clear mandate from the Chief Shepherd, without a doubt.