“…idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies…”
The word “dissensions” means standing apart, coming from two words apart and standing. The idea is division.
“Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them” (Romans 16:17).
“For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?” (1 Corinthians 3:3).
“Dissension” tries to get people to think of each other as enemies. Those who fall into this sin want to get ahead of others by crawling over others and separating people.
It is easy to confuse prejudice with principle.
“Dissension” is a perversion of devotion to principle. When we engage in the sin of dissension, we violate living by principle. Some people will do anything as long as it “works.” Some politicians operate exclusively on polls. They have little core conviction of their own. Some Christians are this way as well. As long as they can advance, they care little about principle.
These Christians usually have great ignorance of the Word of God. Blindly, they charge ahead, causing insurrection against stated authority in their organizations. This is the cause of divisions within Christian organizations and churches.
Carnality reigns when feuds flourish. It is sad to see Christians, not meeting or speaking to one another. It is easy to confuse unreasonable stubbornness with unwavering resolution. Christians must examine themselves to determine which side is true for them. They should ask whether their opinions are separating them from others as a matter of principle or pride.
It is easy to incite discontent and rebellion in people. Some people naturally find reasons for an insurrection in the church. “I am amazed that you took that from your pastor. Where is your sense of pride? I would not stand for that.”