A Voice in the
A recent letter unsubscribing to VW included "concerns" which represent a current mind-set. Excerpts here provide an introduction to this month's topic. Quote:
"You are slandering the attempts of born-again, committed believers attempting to do the very thing you are called to do. Because they may not have the same approach as you, you call them heretics, false-prophets, etc.
"What makes it worse is the salt you are pouring into the wounds of the church. Critical spirits and fault finding have no place in the last days. Unity does not mean uniformity. While I do not agree with uniting with Moonies, Mormons, and the like I do believe the barriers between the christian church must be torn down so the bride can be readied for the bridegroom's arrival. These barriers are often racial, denominational, traditional, generational, socio-economical, and region- al. I say we should unite with those who agree in the basic doctrines: [ed. Inspiration, Trinity, Deity of Christ], etc. And let the other issues such as eternal security, [baptism], etc. be non-issues. Let's agree to disagree on those negotiables, but not back-off on the non- negotiables. It is inflammatory words like yours that promote divi- sion, strife, discord, and distrust amongst true believers. Enough of the mudslinging!!!!"
WHILE it is not the intention, nor mission of this article to respond to all points raised, let us consider some key elements.
One of the purposes of this ministry is to expose false prophets and "pretend christians." Paul writes, "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them." (Eph 5:11) The word "expose" in KJV is "reprove;" and in the original means "convict, refute, find fault with, correct, shame." ..in strong terms.
The whole point is that "they" are NOT "committed believers" in Jesus Christ. They are NOT "born again." Suggested reading: Matthew 7:13-23. Notice that Jesus says to those who were doing things "in Jesus' name"..."I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness." Paul also exemplifies Israel in 1Cor 10:1-12. While ALL of Israel experienced deliverance from Egypt and partook of the manna, etc...they APPEARED to be REAL. "..but with MOST OF THEM God was not well pleased." (vs5)
How do we know this to be so? From Scripture. From Biblical teach- ing. By definition: "DOCTRINE." "Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the DOCTRINE of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the DOCTRINE of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this DOCTRINE, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds."(2Jn9-11)
THE PRIME GOAL of this ministry is to point readers to God's Word. To be "Bereans." "These were more fair-minded...in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so." (Acts 17:11)
By definition, Biblical teaching IS "doctrine." "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for Doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."(2Tim3:16-17)
You notice Paul writes, "ALL Scripture." I would challenge anybody to indicate any passage teaching that some doctrines are more or less important than others. That doctrine is open for "negotiation." In fact, Paul is rather strong in his assessment of such a desire, "if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed."(Gal1:9)
The "divisions" that exist are being caused by those who "claim" to be for "unity" BECAUSE...they are REJECTING Doctrine. "Now I urge you brethren, note those who cause DIVISIONS ... CONTRARY TO THE DOCTRINE which you learned, and avoid them." (Rom16:17)
You see...all these groups that are attempting to "unite" everybody are doing it TOTALLY BACKWARDS from God's method. They are trying to do it by ignoring doctrinal differences. But God's method for unity is VIA DOCTRINE. To the "carnal" Corinthian church Paul wrote, "I plead with you...that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment." (1Cor1:10) He didn't say, "hide and ignore" the differences...but rather, "don't have any differences... don't believe different things...believe the same things." Because, all necessary doctrine has been given, and has been received. (Gal1:9)
When the One Lord is worshiped, through the One Holy Spirit, Who teaches One Faith/Truth (Doctrine)...there is Unity.(Eph4:3-6)
When a person is In Christ there is a spiritual understanding of God's Word. "These things we also speak...which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual." (1Cor2:13)
So, the points this person listed as "questionable" are really not. Scripture is very clear on those issues, to those who are willing to read God's Word as it is.
As for the ethnic, political, racial, regional, etc. barriers (the PK battle-cry)...those matters are ALREADY SOLVED to those who are In Christ. The fact that these matters aren't resolved by those attempting to do so is proof positive that these same people are NOT In Christ. "..where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, scythian, slave nor free, but Christ [IS] all and in all."(Col3:11) Not, "Christ [will be] ..if you work at being more 'tolerant and loving'." He [IS] all and in all ...present tense. So, if such a state doesn't exist amongst any group...then, they are not In Christ. If barriers exist, it is not Christ's Church. By definition.
It is a compliment to be recognized as "salt." Jesus said, "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?"(Mt5:13) Salt flavors food. Salt also stings greatly when it enters a wound. But when it does so, it cures.
But spiritually, what is the salt's flavor? God's Word. Doctrine. Most today don't want doctrine. They reject it! In so doing, they are rejecting God's Word, as well as God Himself Who inspired it. By defini- tion: they are NOT "Christians."
The True Church IS [now] "ready" for the Bridegroom. He will not come to earth to be with His Bride, but rather, will come in the clouds (1Ths4:17) and "receive" the Bride to Himself (Jn14:3) where she will receive "incorruption" and "immortality."(1Cor15:53~)
Dear Reader: are YOU ready? If you are In Christ, "look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near."(Luke 21:28)
If not, God's gracious mercy extends to you. "Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent"(Acts17:30)