Saturday, July 07, 2007

A note on dichostasia or "standing apart"

In the previous post I explained that the Greek word translated "divisions" in Romans 16:17 is dichostasia which literally means "standing apart". I noted that it is seen in a party-spirit where people who hold the same opinion cluster together and vote or act as a group.

The terrible irony is that the very people who insist on a uniform understanding of "fundamental doctrine" as the way of achieving unity in the Body of Christ are very often the same people who are creating division by "standing apart" from those who hold differing views.

I recently came across an incredibly brazen example of this. On May 10 this year a group of 38 delegates from 10 ecclesias in the Brisbane area met to discuss, among other things, how to handle ecclesias in their area who weren't conforming.

The official minutes of the meeting noted that one of these ecclesias under investigation was feeling "intimidated" and "isolated" as a result of previous discussions. It was suggested that this ecclesia (Kedron Brook) should be invited to join the "Combined Arranging Brothers Meeting". Incredibly, the minutes record that it was decided not to invite Kedron Brook (KB) to attend their meeting because "Bro XX raised the point that by KB attending this meeting would not allow discussion of them to take place"!

Here is a very clear example of dichostasia - the party-spirit where brethren who hold the same opinion cluster together and vote or act as a group, and exclude dissenters or non-conformists.

Not only is it unbrotherly and divisive for a group of ecclesias to decide that they want to "stand apart" and talk about another ecclesia without them being present, but it seems to me that it's just plain stupid to circulate this in their official minutes. But then, I will probably never understand the thinking of such brethren.