Rev. William Cwirla offers some provocative and oddly encouraging thoughts about why divisions within a congregation or church body are, in the words of the Apostle Paul, “necessary.” See Blogosphere Underground: Devilish Distractions. A sample:
Dissensions and divisions have their root in our old Adamic flesh (Gal 5:20; 1 Tim 6:4; Titus 3:9). The old Adam loves to stir up trouble wherever he can find it. Dissensions and divisions in the church arise from false teachings and false teachers who subvert the Gospel (Rom 16:17; Jude 19). Paul’s desire for the Corinthian congregation is that it be united, of the same mind and judgment (1 Cor. 1:10). Yet Paul goes on to make this remarkable statement: “It is necessary that there be divisions (Gk: heresies) among you so that those who are proven might be manifest among you” (1 Cor 11:19). In other words, the soundness of a teacher is tested in the face of controversy, and divisions serve the purpose of showing who is proven.
Rev. Cwirla goes on to apply what this means and why. He does not praise church divisions, mind you, seeing them as sinful; and yet God uses them nonetheless.