Friday, May 5, 2017

A Voice from the Past - Francis Bacon

For the former, it is certain heresies and schisms [divisions] are of all others the greatest scandals; yea, more than corruption of manners [hypocrisy]. For as in the natural body a wound or solution [dissolution] of continuity is worse than a corrupt humor [infection], so in the spiritual. So that nothing does so much keep men out of the church, and drive me out of the church, as breach of unity. [brackets mine]

Francis Bacon, 1561-1626, The Essays, 3. Of Unity in Religion (Penguin Books, 1985, p. 67)

Is there any truth in the idea that divisions in the Christian church drive people away? What, if anything, can be done about it?


  1. Replies
    1. I am afraid I have no idea where you are coming from. Could you explain?

  2. Divisions indicate a lack of love. That being the case, divisions drive people away. Who wants to a part of someplace where love is not important enough to bridge divisions.

    1. People who are more interested in exalting themselves than exalting God. Which is sad.

    2. It is sad Mike. Sadly, some think that doctrinal purity about non-essential issues often display a lack of love.

    3. My problem is, while I try to do my best I can, I cannot believe I am right on every non-essential issue. It is one thing to feel confident you have the basics right and another to believe you have every detail absolutely figured out. Especially given there is so much disagreement in these areas.

    4. Well said Mike. Do you feel that the Calvinism v. Arminianism debate is an example? Books are written an sermons preached that seem to divide people on the issues that accompany these views. It is sometimes hard to see the debate as one done with great love.

      It does seem that history is rife with denominations and sects that have arisen because of disagreements over things nonessential.