A rent or fissure; generally used in the New Testament to denote a division within the Christian church, by contentions and alienated affections, without an outward separation into distinct bodies, 1Co 1:10-12; 12:25-26. The sin may lie on the side of the majority, or of the minority, or both. It is a sin against Christian love, and strikes at the heart of Christianity, Joh 17:21; Ro 12:4-21.
a separation, an alienation causing divisions among Christians, who ought to be united (1Co 12:25).
??????. The word is rendered 'divisions' in 1Co 1:10, etc., and refers to divisions caused by parties in the church. In view of the unity of the Spirit, schism cannot be regarded in any other light than as sin. The unity contemplated in the church was not merely that of being gathered together in assembly. The Corinthians were exhorted: "That ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions schisms among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgement." 1Co 1:10; 11:18; 12:25. The modern ideas of 'agreeing to differ,' or of 'unity only in essentials,' are not found in scripture, but the contrary. At Philippi the saints were exhorted to walk by the same rule, to mind the same thing; and then is added "If in anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you." Php 3:15. The 'unity of the Spirit' cannot be lightly disregarded. Christians are exhorted to use diligence to keep it in the uniting bond of peace. Eph 4:3. There are different lines of ministry, as is manifest in the apostles Paul and John, but all true ministry tends to one end
SCHISM, from ??????, a rent or fissure. In its general meaning it signifies division or separation; and in particular, on account of religion. Schism, is properly a division among those who stand in one connection or fellowship; but when the difference is carried so far that the parties concerned entirely break off all communion and intercourse one with another, and form distinct connections for obtaining the general ends of that religious fellowship which they once cultivated; it is undeniable there is something different from the schism spoken of in the New Testament. This is a separation from the body. Dr. Campbell shows that the word schism in Scripture does not usually signify an open separation, but that men may be guilty of schism by such an alienation of affection from their brethren as violates the internal union in the hearts of Christians, though there be no error in doctrine, nor separation from communion.