The Love of God Constrains Us Try #2

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Darron Steele, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. Darron Steele

    Darron Steele
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    That thread got de-railed rather quickly, and got locked for reasons I do not fully understand. I hope this thread goes better.

    I thought, however, that it brought up a worthwhile subject.

    Multimom: there are Baptists who are incapable of fellowshipping any Christian, Baptist included, who will not agree with them on nearly everything.

    There are other Baptists I have encountered that are very, very non-factious. They even involve Christians outside the Baptist church groups in their ministries, or even join in ministry with Christians outside the Baptist church groups.

    If factiousness is your concern with the Baptists, try looking around. I bet that there are plenty of Baptist congregations that you would be happy with.

    As far as what you observe, yes,
    a) there are people who love arguments,
    b) there are people for whom being agreed with is more important than Jesus Christ.

    1 Timothy 6:3-4a says
    “If anyone advocates a different doctrine and |does not adhere to| sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to |a godly life|, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in |disputes” (NASB|NBV|NASB|NLT 1996|NASB|NKJV).​
    Greek translated “does not adhere to” is the negation of a Greek word meaning strictly “draw near.”* The problem was not necessarily that the "different doctrine" was inaccurate, but that it was just that -- "different doctrine" off-topic from
    a) "sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ" and
    b) "doctrine conforming to a godly life."
    The "different doctrine" of this passage "does not adhere to" the subjects of words that Jesus Christ spoke, or godly living. Back then, people who focused on things unrelated to these subjects had "a morbid interest in disputes."

    You are absolutely right that for some Christians and church people, being agreed with is more important than Jesus Christ. How can we tell? It is simple. If a person is utterly devoted to Jesus Christ, but will not agree with them on a certain religious precept, s/he refuses to accept the Christian. Therefore, how a Christian values Jesus Christ is of less importance than how a Christian values a religious precept.

    In Scripture, "doctrine" refers to proper esteem of Jesus Christ and His work, and overall living. A lot of what we call "doctrine" is nothing more than religious precepts that are not what Scripture means by "doctrine."

    Further, there is absolutely nothing in Scripture that teaches that disagreement provides just ground for division in the Lord's church. Disagree is one action, and divide is another action. Disagreement is not division; disagreement gets used as an excuse for division.

    The idea that unity depends upon agreement over a host of religious precepts is a tradition foreign to Scripture. Passages such as Romans 14:1-13 indicate that Christians were not expected to agree over everything, but were not to take these disagreements too far.

    Further, as you noted, many people in the church approach religious disagreement in ways that are carnal. Sometimes, they are willingly indulging in their carnal natures, and would not care what Jesus Christ would want. For the most part, however, it is a Christian education issue: they think that there is a `rightness exemption' to Jesus Christ's standards for us.

    Those of us who have realized that we could and should have unity on the basis of our common task to serve Jesus Christ are sort of like the Reformers. Their teachings had long unnoticed teachings of Scripture, and they were fiercely resisted. The real teachings of Scripture about unity in the church are largely unknown, and calling attention to them is often reacted to with hostility. It is too bad, but those teachings will not go away.

    There is nothing wrong with discussing disputed areas, but we have to do so biblically. In such disputes, we must conduct ourselves according to the standards Scripture calls us to.

    We must always remember that other Christians are part of the body of Christ. Whatever we might think, we are not doing Jesus Christ any favors when we get hostile with His servants. Our love for Jesus Christ ought to constrain us from getting nasty with them over disagreements.

    _____
    *in Mounce, Complete Expository Dictionary, page 1257.
     
    #1 Darron Steele, Jul 27, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2009
  2. billwald

    billwald
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    Dutch Calvinism teaches that sin infects every human activity including the Church. We also teach that God's "Common Grace" permits God to bless human activity despite our sin and rebellion.
     

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