When you’ve spent as much time in church as I have, you learn that there are just as much politics in there as there is any other place where large groups of people get together and ostensibly work towards the same goal. It may take on a more spiritual tone (and then again, it might know), but the maneuvering and the special interest groups are the same.
Of course, a lot of political struggles center around doctrine – what a group is going to profess as the right course of action – and it is no different in the church. The most prominent struggle is centuries old – the emphasis on law versus grace. Even the Early Church fought this battle as evident in Acts 15. Some groups wanted to emphasize the importance of obeying the Hebraic Law while others wanted to focus on the new covenant. The same holds true today. Some churches focus on teaching adherents to follow the commandments of Christ, while others focus on demonstrating His limitless grace. Perhaps the strangest thing about this fight, is that both sides are right. Both God’s law and His good news are needed. As Charles Spurgeon once wrote, “the law is for the self-righteous, to humble their pride: the gospel is for the lost, to remove their despair.” Neither the gospel nor the law can accomplish the goal of the others. With only the Law, we would despair which is why the Gospel is needed. With only the Gospel, we may boast of our high place; the Law is needed to show our depravity. Every believer needs both to pierce the depths of their inmost being.
Political struggles will probably always be a part of the church on Earth. But we can rejoice, their place in heaven is nonexistent.