John MacArthur Says ‘Identity Groups’ Have Led to Division and Loss of Joy in Churches

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Bemoaning divisions within the body of Christ, pastor John MacArthur this weekend said the church has been harmed by “identity” groups that have led to anger and discord – and a loss of joy.

“I don’t hear a lot about pastoral joy. I don’t hear a lot about congregational joy,” MacArthur said at the Shepherds’ Conference.

Preaching from Philippians 1, MacArthur read from verse 27, where the Apostle Paul wrote: “[L]et your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel.”

“The whole message of Paul here is unity for the sake of joy,” MacArthur said, later adding that Paul excludes heresy from biblical unity.

“The church should be the most joyful assembly of human beings on the planet,” MacArthur said.

MacArthur then lamented divisions within the church.

“Do I need to say … churches and the church, in general, is dysfunctional?” he asked. “That it is morbidly internally hostile to itself in so many cases? Do I need to say the churches are marked by anger, disappointment, discord, resentment?

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Source: Christian Headlines