How to Treat a Divisive Person

I once had a pastor who was having trouble with one of his deacons. He came to my house one day and wanted me to come to a meeting and take sides against the deacon. I told the pastor I could not do that because I didn’t have any problem with the deacon. The pastor became v … More


A person who is a heretic is one who makes a choice to be divisive. He goes from person to person in the church forcing people to make a choice. Bottom line it is usually, “Are you for me or are you for the pastor?” Paul tells Titus that such a person is to be admonished at least twice and then rejected.

Often when a church member goes around trying to get a following he will eventually get angry and leave the church. Eventually if he comes back and shows a repentant attitude, receive him back. If  he repeats this behavior (and they often do), receive him back the second time. But, Paul says, if  he does it a third time, do not receive him back into the fellowship of the church (vv. 10-11). Such a person because of the hardness of his heart has revealed his unbelief and stands self-condemned.

Paul’s instruction here is similar to the Lord’s instructions in  Matthew 18:15-17, when He taught that often giving an offender three chances to repent, he is then to be cut off. If more churches today would follow this principle, we would have fewer who cause problems in various churches.


Whenever someone tries to get me to take sides against someone else on a certain issue I need to encourage them to follow the principal found in Matthew 18?

Titus 3:10-11 (English Standard Version)

As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »