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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Is It Unity or Heresy?

True Christians should never accept heresy for the sake of unity.
This was something that I posted on Twitter, as my mind often catapults from something I hear or read earlier in the day.
Sometimes I don't know if it's a critical spirit, or if it's wise discernment.
Still, I do know we need to be Bereans, and my red flags of caution go up when I feel someone may cross the line.

There is more than one kind of unity found in the Scripture.
One is the unity that is bound up in the Trinity, and then there is the unity of believers in the Church.
The unity of believers is very important, but the unity of believers should never be at the expense of salvific and Biblical truth.
There are some important doctrines that we may disagree on (eg. baptism & eschatology) and still be within the true church of God, but some doctrines should necessarily separate.

The Reformers clearly saw the need for holding Biblical truth as more important than unity at all costs....even to being willing to die for Scriptural truth.
Nathan Busenitz of the Master's Seminary said something like this:
What started the Reformation is the question of who is the head of the church and the Scriptures themselves.
Also, he spoke of the Reformation in its being the recovery of the true Gospel.

So, yes, we do need to remember that when unity itself is everything, denominations and churches become corrupt when the leadership strays from the truth.
On the other side there is also a great danger when you say the Bible is the standard, and then don't expositionally teach it.

So, how do we know what we should be unified over or avoid?
Here are a couple of articles that explain some of these:

What are Gospel essentials?

What are fundamental doctrines?

Now, as Christians, we do realize that people are at many levels in the sanctification process, and that some people have not had the advantage of solid Biblical food being taught.
Even good teaching isn't a guarantee of good behavior.
God has to continue to chasten and prune us, until we long for Him more desperately and hate our sin more.
Then, when we see the flippant way people treat God and His Word, we cringe.
When we see our own sinfulness, we cringe.

We do need to have love for the weak, and to desire growth for the immature - realizing we have a long ways yet to go ourselves.
It is easy to look down our noses at those who have less knowledge, but we know this is wrong.
God could be wanting us to be instruments of grace, and to help encourage growth.
Sometimes it seems the more we want to grow, the further away we see the mark of the goal.
Yet, we must keep on pressing towards it in the power of the Spirit.

We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.  
1 Thessalonians 5:14 NASB

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