Disclaimer: I believe that all baptized Christians (both Catholic and non-Catholic) who die in a state of grace are destined for heaven.
John 17:20 - 23
"I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and thou in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them even as thou hast loved me.
Matthew 12:24 - 26
But when the Pharisees heard it they said, “It is only by Be-el’zebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.” Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand; and if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand?
The tempter, the accuser, the liar, an angel of light, the imitator, the evil one, prince of demons, the adversary, the slanderer, the wicked one, the murderer, the adversary, the father of lies, the oppressor of the saints, the sower of discord, the enemy of all good, the spirit that works in the children of disobedience.
My premise is that satan has tried to divide Christ’s Church by being the tempter, and the accuser.
When I look upon the divisions among the Christian church today, I can’t help but think of the passage in Matthew where Jesus says that a house divided against itself can not stand, and I wonder to my self if Satan is behind all this division.
We see Satan from the very beginning trying to thwart God’s will. He put doubt in Eve’s mind about God’s words prohibiting the eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He then lead Cain to kill his brother, and so on through out the Bible, Satan is using his evil ways to tempt and trick people to sin and rebel against God.
I can see his handy work in trying to split the Church Jesus established. Even in the New Testament, we see teachers trying to teach false doctrines, twisting scripture to confuse Christians of God’s truth. Satan first confused Eve using God’s own words, and then we even see satan trying to confuse Jesus, when satan is quoting scripture to our Lord. Satan has brought in many heretics through out the ages, trying to confuse Christian, but because the Church was one, the Church was able to put down these heresies by teaching with the authority it was given by Christ.
Satan saw that this wasn’t working as well as hoped.
Satan has always tempted Christians to sin, and he noticed that when the crusaders were tempted to sack Constantinople, it led the Church to split, and with this he remembered Jesus’ words about a house divided can’t stand.
So satan set his evil plan into place.
He tempted the hierarchy of the Church over the next few hundred years to the point that they were evil and depraved in their life styles. They sinned, they blasphemed, they bought and sold positions in the Church and much more.
Then when everything was ripe, he introduced heresy again with Martin Luther.
When the Church tried to stop this heresy, the people looked at this evil filled Church and said that it had no authority to teach.
They accused it of being evil.
So they left communion, and went their own way, and with this satan was able to split the church once again, by being the tempter and the accuser.
This time one of his heresies was able to survive, his plan worked even better that he had planned.
Once the Protestant church split off and it left the teaching authority of the Roman Church, satan was able to introduce many more heresies, and split the church even more until today, we see hundred and thousands of denominations, each claiming to teach what God say’s and each teaching something a little different. This causes confusion among people who are looking for the truth, and they can be led astray easier that if the Church had been speaking with one voice.
I am not saying that Protestants are following satan by following heresies, and I am not saying the Catholic Church is evil or was teaching error, because it was protected by Christ from teaching error. What I am saying is that Satan used men to do his will to split the Church that Jesus established. He will not conquer it, but he has been able to disfigure it so people don’t recognize it as being one, just as Jesus and his Father are one.