Recusing ourselves from those that major on minors, divide over non-essentials, or that sow discord amongst the brethren (plus a video teaching on ‘marking’ believers)
This post is written in the context of open-air evangelism.
Though I am not ecumenical nor a religious pluralist. My Christian ‘mentors at-large’ come from a balance of doctrinal persuasions, and most of them are dead.
Hence, I follow no man, but the Godman Jesus Christ.
There are extremes on all sides of each equation.
Having said that, recently I joined in a conversation with another evangelist whom I rarely see. Frankly I avoid him because I cannot converse with him without hearing his anti-reform rhetoric. He claims to be objective (as I hope I am). But he subjectively consistently wears his ‘anti reform this’ and ‘anti reform that’ on his sleeves. Yes we ought to be anti-sin and anti-false teachings. But when we divide the body of Christ over non-essential doctrinal differences, then perhaps we may become discord sowers. And that is one of the things that “God hates” (Proverbs 6:16-19).
If the aforementioned has not yet reached the level of throwing discord, then it certainly is causing ‘strife.’ There are many verses that warn about this, here is one. The Apostle Paul is one of my mentors.
“Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers” (2 Timothy 2:14).
Admittedly those whom the Lord has used the most, to disciple me in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, are the reformers. Nonetheless, whether your views are Arminianist, Calvinist, reformed or not reformed; I love you all.
“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:35
As Paul said, “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10).
1 Corinthians chapter 3 says, And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. 3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? 4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? 5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? 6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. 8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. 9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. 18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. 20 And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. 21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are your’s; 22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are your’s; 23 And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.
Brethren I don’t have it all right, and I never will. But I’m going to err on the side of interruptive restraint, rather than interruptive excess. Please let me now if I cross the line in this area. – Chaplain Bill
For my post on ‘The Apostle Paul’s attitude towards other preachers that he did not agree with (excluding false teachers),’ click here. For my post on ‘Biblical Facebook & social media etiquette regarding quarreling,’ click here.
Video teaching on when and how to ‘Mark, Avoid, Shun or excommunicate professed Christians