Just a thought I had.
I'll lick off with this quote from John MacArthur (note: I'll say that I don't necessarily agree with everything Johnny Mac has to say about various topics):
When you don't even lay down clear doctrine at the level of the gospel, where you going to go from there? And the cry is, as one man said to me when my book on The Gospel According to Jesus came out, he said, "Your book is divisive. Your book is divisive." You want to know something? He's right. He's right. What to know something else? Doctrine divides. People say, "Oh doctrine divides...doctrine divides." I say, "Amen! Preach it, doctrine divides." You know what it does? It confronts error. It separates true from false. It makes judgments. Today's climate, however, of unity in the priority of relationships, that's not tolerable.
Thoughts, comments, opinions?
I think Macarthur is correct. The church has come to a point where genuine discernment as a spiritual gift, a skill and an instruction within the church is simply considered taboo. I was having a conversation at church today with someone about unity across the body of Christ in relation to Ephesians 4.
This person said: "Why can't we see genuine unity? It seems as though the arminians/calvinists and charismatics/cessationists are always arguing over their distinctives."
I answered by saying that the reason for division is simply because not only are these points different, but they're also antithetical, hence if there is to be an outcome, it is either
1) One side is vindicated correct while the other is debunked as error
2) Neither side is accepted; it is either both or none
3) The opposing parties simply set aside their differences and simply get along.
It seems today that the church is becoming more and more antagonistic towards option 1. Political correctness says don't discriminate on the basis of difference; find a middle ground between opposing parties and encourage people to base themselves on commonalities.
Relatavism says that objectively, there are no differences apart from one's own subjective perceptions.
Could it be that the prime reason why we see division is not because people are emphasising differences, but because we are tolerating them for the sake of diplomacy to the point that to exercise spiritual discernment where one makes it clear what is from God and what is not becomes seen as disruptive?
Whatever happened to those, who in the same heart as the reformers, were willing to confront the powers that be, make their point of contention and declare (to quote Luther at the council of Worms) "...Here I stand."