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4. the importance of the unity of the church

Today’s Christianity is immersed in a variety of schools of thought, which have led to different types of denominations among the people of God. The diversity of denominations has created in many cases, disputes, arguments and an environment of interdenominational tension, leading to division in the universal church.

 

It is important to clarify that we do not refer to different types of doctrines that deviated from the absolute truth represented in the Bible (Catholicism, Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses etc ....), but from Evangelical branches such as: Reformed, Baptists, Presbyterians , Charismatic etc .....

 

Current schools of thought

 

It is true that there is a very large number of denominations which differ in certain teachings or practices. There are dominations that believe that only men can preach (based on 1 Timothy 2:12 and 1 Corinthians 14: 34), others however think that these verses are based on the marriage bond, and allow women to preach in churches, or exercise any authority over men (based examples of Deborah "judges 4: 4," Mary "Micah 6:4" Phoebe "Romans 16:1" Priscilla "Acts 18:16" etc ....). Some think that the atonement is limited, while others think it is unlimited.

 

We have examples of Christians who do not allow women to praise without a veil, while others allow women to praise without it. Some schools of thought believe that salvation cannot be lost while others think it can. Some praise with musical instruments, and some without them etc…

 

All these types of opinions, among others, should not be the reason for separation in the body of Christ. These small differences can be called “healthy" differences, that do not corrupt the principles of the gospel. These are schools of thought with biblical bases, but generate diversity of opinion. We need to respect each other and not allow our opinion to create hostility among Christians.

 

We need to differentiate between a healthy school of thought (biblically based), which can be discussed biblically under mutual respect between brothers; to  a heretical  school of thought (not biblically based) that presents a personal view, which changes the pillars of the gospel that are taught in the Bible.

 

The call to unity

 

1 Corinthians 1:10

 Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all [a]agree and that there be no[b]divisions among you, but that you be [c]made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.

 

The Bible shows us that Christians must be united in the body of Christ. We should not accept divisions and offenses because of slight differences of opinion (Eph. 4:1-3 and John 17:22-23). Although we believe that our thinking is right, we have to become aware that arguments between denominations and such offenses are not pleasing to God. We should leave such arguments aside because they are unprofitable nor do they build up:

 

Titus 3:9

But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.

 

Paul wanted to deal with this kind of problem that caused division in the church. In First Corinthians 3:3-6, Paul calls us to unity in the church. The persons who have preached the gospel to us and the church we go to (today can be linked to a denomination) are not legitimate reasons to create divisions in the church. If the gospel is healthy and biblical, we must be unanimous, without pride and without ofending one another. Otherwise, we will begin by the spirit and these divisions will cause us to end in the flesh.

 

How to illustrate the current schools of thought in todays church

 

We believe that it is best to teach the church the various healthy schools of thought, whether we are in agreement with them or not. In this way the congregation is aware of them. We give our opinion on what our affinity is, but without an offensive or destructive attitude against those who think differently.

 

Regarding other schools of thought that are more profound (conditional or unconditional salvation, atonement limited or unlimited .... etc) we believe that it is better to teach them in places where there is a more mature congregation (ie Bible study). Always exhibiting the other schools of thought, without offending those who do not think like us (remember we are talking about all the current opinions with a firm biblical basis).

 

We have to show the love of God with other brothers who do not share our opinion, but who in turn have a sound doctrine as well. The hatred and division that we transmit in the church, is seen by the people of the world and because of our fault and our bad example, the name of God is blasphemed among the unbelievers (Romans 2:24).

 

The danger of the emerging liberal Christians (2 Timothy 3:1-7, Jude 1:4 .... etc)

 

There is now a number of new churches with an unsettling gospel . We should warn that their doctrine is wrong. Today’s emerging liberal churches are disrupting the gospel of salvation, simplifying it and removing the pillars of the Bible, such as:

 

• The overall uniformity and accuracy of the Bible.

• Salvation only by Jesus Christ.

• Repentance of our sins.

• The denial of ourselves.

• Sanctification.

• Being different from the world

• Born in sin.

• The actual existence of hell or paradise.

 

These current schools of thought, think that the sound and true doctrine divides believers and friends; by putting first friendships/relationships and communication, as opposed to the true doctrine of the Bible. The call to repentance is not spoken and the word “sin” it is often camouflaged so as not to offend listeners. Sanctification is thought to be legalism, and friendship with the world is something that generates contacts (1 John 2:15), necessary and good for the growth of the church (James 4:4). They confuse freedom and the grace of Christ with the licentiousness  (Jude 1:4).

 

In this type of emerging churches, there is more of an emphasis on entertainment than the Word of God. The Bible is not taken literally, and in many cases it is mocked. They attempt to change the main gospel of salvation, and transform it to be in accord to the current socio-cultural thinking.

 

Such doctrines are to be condemned. When the terms of the Bible are disrupted in this way, we must therefore resort to the Word of God and denounce such heretical doctrines and denominations.

 

How to correct brothers who have turned away:

 

We have to distinguish three types of deviant brothers. Some have started well and for some reason, their doctrine has been separated from the true Word of God (as also happened to Peter temporarily, influenced by those of the circumcision) (Galatians 2: 11-20). Others are those who have not had time to learn the Word of God, and need to be corrected, along with the Word of God being exposed to them more accurately (Acts 18:23-26 Apollos in).

 

Finally, the latter are those who never were brothers, those who came secretly (2 Peter 2:10-19) and who follow their lusts, deceiving the people of God, disturbing the Word of God and the basic pillars of the gospel (Galatians 1:8-9).

 

In all three cases, we ought to call them to repentance and correction, in love and wisdom (2 Timothy 4:2-4). The true servants of God (eg Peter and Apollos) turn from their errors, the Holy Spirit will convict them of sin, and they  will return to the sound doctrine. Others will prefer to continue in their delusions and will not accept our invitation to correction. If they  do not come out of their error, they will be like King Saul or Demas, Paul’s collaborator, who started well and ended badly. We therefore pray for them that the Lord will make them see their error.

 

The false brethren manifested in the third group, also have to respond to our call to repentance. If they do not want obey the  true gospel and decide not to be converted, we should then denounce it before the church. The Word of God is very clear about it.

 

Galatians 1:8-9

But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel [a]contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be [b]accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel[c]contrary to what you received, he is to be [d]accursed!

 

Note: We do not consider the leaders from the emerging church as bad people.

 

Schools of thought "doctrines" that CAN NOT be accepted

 

Here we will name a few points  from heretical doctrines that should not be accepted:

 

• Those who do not accept the trinity of God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit).

• Those who preach that hell does not exist.

• Doctrines which have been revealed by angels (Galatians 1:8-9)

• Doctrines that do not believe that Jesus Christ is Lord.

• Those doctrines which think they can come to the Father through other religions and gods.

• Those who do not believe in the total vadility of the Bible

• Those that oppose the current moral to  Biblical morality.

• Etc. ....

 

Conclusion 

 

Let's press on in the Lord, not creating enmities between the healthy doctrinal differences of opinion. Pray for the unity of the body of Christ, exhort with great patience and instruction to all those doctrines diverted from the true and sound doctrine revealed in the Bible.

 

Note: This is a brief explanation of the topic in matter. If you need explanation of a verse or have any other questions, please contact us and we will explain with much pleasure.

This is a brief explanation of the topic in matter. To learn more about the Bible, or if you want more details of its truth please contact us and we will gladly explain everything.