Monday, November 14, 2011

Christian Unity

So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
II Timothy 2:22-26

Tonight something happened that reminded me of this passage.  We've been studying this portion of scripture at my church for the past few weeks.  We actually just finished up with it this last Sunday.

Anyways...growing up in fundamental baptist churches as a kid I was always taugt that we should stay away from those who preach false doctrines, which of course I whole heartedly agreed with, and still believe to this day.  But I also believe that we kept ourselves divided from other churches over too many petty things.  We spend far too much time arguing over things that we feel are so important, that we neglect so many more important things.  Like a right relationship with God, and cultivating a deep knowledge of Him.

I don't want to go into detail about what I believe are petty reasons to argue, because I don't want to offend my readers.  Why don't we as Christians, ignore these petty differences we have, and share our common beliefs, and unify?  I'm not saying this means we should all join one church, and just tolerate one another's difference in music choice, or the like, but I certainly think we should be more open to fellowshipping together.  I understand why we won't want to worship together because of music differences, I'm definitely on board with that.  I myself am more conservative in my church music choices, and I know I wouldn't want to be forced to be in a church that has a drum set, and similar things.

But, why can't we come together at times and work together for the cause of Christ?  I think more unbelievers are turned away from our quarreling than we ever reach with our evangelistic messages.

I think, as a younger person, when I was the one judging other churches, I didn't see this as much of a problem, because no one was judging me, because I was right.  But the older I get, the more I realize how wrong I am about most things.  Also, I've been on the receiving end of judgements as of late, so I see how much it hurts to be so ostracized from other Christians.

Can I just encourage my Christian friends...don't just assume your elders are right about what's right and wrong.  I am by no means encouraging my readers to disobey, or to go against your parents...but study the scriptures, find out what it says is important, and what it says is true.  Don't just take their word for it.  They're faulted humans...they can get it wrong.  Study God's word like the Bereans (Acts 17:10-11) did.  Don't let petty unimportant things that aren't found in the Bible keep you from fellowshipping with other Christians!

2 comments:

Caleb said...

Very true. This is something that I have been thinking about lately too. I think it actually hurts the cause of Christ when Christians are quarreling over small things that really don't matter. When I was younger, I would constantly judge and criticize others just because they didn't line up with my "mold of Christianity."

I hope this makes sense, I'm still trying to wake up!

I'm praying for you Brother! - Caleb

Nosiku said...

I wholeheartedly agree also, and it is something the Lord has been teaching me as I have grown older,we spend too much time on petty issues, when we are all saved and worship the same God.

Also the importance of self study of the scriptures rather than relying on elders/pastors