Paul calls the false teachers dangerous dogs and lays out several characteristics that are designed to help Titus identify them and deal with them in the appropriate way. You’ll know them because they are defiant of legitimate authority, they are distracters from true truth, they are deceivers and often use lies to promote their cause and finally, he tells us that they are divisive. Everywhere you find “false teachers” you’ll find discord, strife, and conflict.

Divisive behavior is often attributed to the evangelical community because for the most part they do not compromise their convictions. In many major denominations today we are reading about division because official leadership has chosen to ordain homosexuals into their ministry, or reject the authority of scripture, or promote and support the cause of abortion over against defending the lives of those who cannot speak for themselves. Each of these issues has been a solid doctrine in the historic Christian faith. Yet, those who stand for the rights of the unborn, or who reject homosexual marriage or ordination, or who stand firm on the promises of God recorded in the scripture are those who are seen as the divisive element. Martin Luther is the cause for the major split in a one world church (despite the fact that the east and west Catholic Church split over issues hundreds of years earlier). Yet, Luther was the one who held to the apostolic authority of the Scriptures and argued “sola scriptura” as the basis of all authority.

Discord and conflict as well as strife and confusion arise when false teachers attempt to usurp the authority of Christ and the Scriptures and twist them to their own ends. This is exactly what Jude meant when he wrote, “But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, ‘In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.’ It is these who cause divisions,..” (Emphasis added) (Jude 17-19). Paul also warned the Romans with a powerful verse. He says, “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. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ..”

“Now the works of the flesh are evident: …enmity, strife…rivalries, dissensions, divisions… those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21