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Bible Dictionaries

The American Church Dictionary and Cycopedia

Schism

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Derived from a Greek word, meaning fissure, or rent, and may be defined as a rending of the Body of Christ, His Church on earth, and making divisions in the one Body. The divisions between the East and West, and between Rome and the Anglican Communion may be described in St. Paul's words as "schism in the Body," rather than schism from it, inasmuch as none of these three bodies has lost any of the essentials of Church Unity—the Apostolic Ministry, the Sacraments, the Creeds and the Holy Scriptures. But the word also means separation from the Church and is applied to those religious bodies which have abandoned the Historic Church. Such wilful separation, whether within the Church or without, St. Paul, in 1 Corinthians, calls a sin (1 Cor. 1:10; 3:3; 11:18), and in Romans 16:18, we are directed to avoid those who cause divisions. The Church regards her unity as of such vital importance to her own life and to the life of each individual soul, she bids us pray in the Litany, "From all false doctrine, heresy, and Schism, Good Lord, deliver us." (See UNITY, CHURCH; and also UNDIVIDED CHURCH.)


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Bibliography Information
Miller, William James. Entry for 'Schism'. The American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/acd/s/schism.html. 1901.

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