What is the difference between being a divisive/quarrelsome person and one who obeys God as he “contends for the faith?” (Jude 3) Some will not accept truth. Jesus, the “Prince of Peace,” said He came to divide, “not to bring peace but a sword (Mt 10:34).” He knew even members of the same family would be divided against each other (Luke 14:26-27). His doctrine of truth brings division.
A church can be united on false doctrine, such as Methodists (and others) who unite on infant baptism. In the past they divided over true worship when in 1828, 25,000 were rejected by church officials for worshiping with instruments. Division follows when men depart from God’s pattern of true worship.
Jesus prayed that disciples be “one” (Jn 17:17-21; Gal 1:6-9; Eph 4:4-6), united in true spiritual worship (Jn 4:24). Division results when true doctrine and pure worship become contaminated by doctrines of men (Mt 15:7-9). If faithful men “stand” and “contend” for the truth against “spiritual wickedness,” the result may be dividing faithful from unfaithful disciples. Error prevails when good men fail to take a “stand” and “fight the good fight of the faith” (Eph 6:10-17).