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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

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 Divisions, Carnality, Denominationalism and God's Unified Church

North America has been a place of Christian liberty since its inception1. This has allowed many vibrant godly forms of Christianity to grow and prosper and in the same token it has sadly allowed some of the vilest perversions of Christianity to prosper also. One cannot begin to calculate the effects of such cults, heretical groups and false Gospels that have been allowed to prosper under the banner of religious freedom and expression.

Though apart from some of these groups which cannot be stopped in many ways is a far worse epidemic of division in the body of Christ. There are group of people meeting in homes, churches, in public meeting areas all divided from each other under the premise that a specific doctrine they hold is right and therefore the rest of believers are not "with them" in their truth. Such thinking has resulted in the splitting and splintering of denominations to the place where there is easily over 30,000 registered denominations2 in North America.

Each denomination declaring something specific they hold to that is different from the other in even the slightest shade of truth. These things are not pleasing to God but rather grieving to Him. In the book of Corinthians we find that God calls such division, carnality3. And that carnality has its root in pride which is in opposition to God and His Ways4.

If we are honest with this situation we can see that there is truly only one Church it is the body of Christ of believers who are indwell by the Holy Spirit of God and declare Jesus Christ to be the risen Son of God. And if we stripped away most of these extra doctrines, ideas and explanations of how one is to be identified as a Christian we find that either men "Have" Christ or they do not "Have" Christ5. If we were to gather all the leaders of Christianity in North America in one room and put away all of these in many cases extra-biblical doctrines we would find many to be in unity and agreement.

It makes you think how expressions of the body of Christ in some countries in China for example. The underground House Church movement has some separations into different networks namely eight larger ones. Yet this underground Church is unified, they all agree with each other and declare there are no denominations or sects in China but one faith, one baptism and one Lord6 . Of course there is the activity of some cults and even some denominations yet surprisingly there is a great unity in the body of Christ there just like we find in the book of Acts. At times we feel the prayer of Jesus for the unity of the body of Christ7 rarely see's fulfillment, but no so in China!

We do not find the early apostles preaching messages of "Are you sure you are saved?" for the Holy Spirit was doing such a work of purity that all that joined their ranks began on the journey of discipleship and holy living. And those that grieved the Lord to the point of great compromised ended up in some cases dead!8. And the result of this Holy Spirit purifying was there was even greater unity amongst the brethren: All the believers were one in heart and mind9.

Not all unity is right unity. For there are many movements with apostate believers who desire unity apart from Christ, God and the Holy Scriptures. They declare we should not judge or preach the truth to offend others. They say that we are one with all believers in Christ even from cults, sects and other religions such as Catholicism. We must stand for the truth of the Gospel and not just accept anyone who will name the name of Christ. This calls for the wisdom of the saints to seek unity with all true believers in Jesus Christ in our day.

We must each respond in our own way to begin to accept brothers that we can disagree with on some non-essential doctrinal points but have fellowship with them as part of the body of Christ. There are even believers who hold to teachings that can be wrong and we can have fellowship with the believers and still not accept their teachings. This calls for maturity of the believers who are able to in meekness and love guide believers into the true faith10. May God begin a work of revival that will take away these non-essential doctrines and ideas that men have put up as banners of pride and division.

Jesus Christ is coming back for a unified Church. A holy Church. An uncompromising Church. A Church that is full of love for each other and for the lost world. May we begin to be an expression of such world for the Lamb that was slain deserves the reward of His sufferings.



___________
Footnotes:
1 This is speaking of both Canada and America that were both founded on Christian and religious principles.
2 This is a conservative number.
3 1 Corinthians 3
4 James 4:6
5 2 Corinthians 13:5
6 Ephesians 4:5
7 John 17
8 Acts 4
9 Acts 4:32
10 2 Timothy 2:25



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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2012/7/17 18:07Profile
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 Re: Divisions, Carnality, Denominationalism and God's Unified Church


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2013/10/3 22:41Profile









 Re: Divisions, Carnality, Denominationalism and God's Unified Church

Quote:
North America has been a place of Christian liberty since its inception1. This has allowed many vibrant godly forms of Christianity to grow and prosper and in the same token it has sadly allowed some of the vilest perversions of Christianity to prosper also. One cannot begin to calculate the effects of such cults, heretical groups and false Gospels that have been allowed to prosper under the banner of religious freedom and expression.



Tell me if I am interpreting this correctly.

North America has allowed many vibrant godly forms of Christianity...

North America has sadly allowed some of the vilest perversions of Christianity...

These cults, heretical groups and false Gospels have been allowed (presumably by North America, again) to prosper under the banner of religious freedom and expression.

Is this the thought that you are trying to convey? The footnote say United States and Canada. When you say North America *sadly* allowed these terrible things, what are you implying they should have done?

When you say North America, that covers every person living in North America. Could you be more specific because this is confusing as to your meaning of WHO has SADLY ALLOWED these groups to prosper? And whoever you do mean, allowed these groups to prosper, what in your thinking should have been done?

I'm sorry, since our only mode of communication is text, I read carefully what people post and maybe I am misunderstanding who you are saying ALLOWED these things.

 2013/10/4 0:38









 Re:

Lest we paint the Early Church as something that is beyond our reach...

Quote:
We do not find the early apostles preaching messages of "Are you sure you are saved?" for the Holy Spirit was doing such a work of purity that all that joined their ranks began on the journey of discipleship and holy living.



The apostles did say something akin to "are you sure you are saved".

2Co_13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

 2013/10/4 0:43









 Re:

Quote:
Not all unity is right unity. For there are many movements with apostate believers who desire unity apart from Christ, God and the Holy Scriptures. They declare we should not judge or preach the truth to offend others. They say that we are one with all believers in Christ even from cults, sects and other religions such as Catholicism. We must stand for the truth of the Gospel and not just accept anyone who will name the name of Christ. This calls for the wisdom of the saints to seek unity with all true believers in Jesus Christ in our day.



Agreed. Our unity is in the Spirit, not in a set of beliefs or a system of theology. Conformity to a theological system is not unity. Sure everyone may be in unity around the theological system, but they have gathered into unity unto a system not the Lord. They are constrained by their legal system, not by the Spirit.

Even if we feel real good about coming up with our own version of condensing the Bible into a book of beliefs, that will still not be true unity in the Spirit. Unity in the Spirit goes beyond what we can taste or touch or handle.

Col 2:19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.
Col 2:20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,

 2013/10/4 0:49









 Re:

How about this Just-In.


1. Proposition

America has been a place of Christian liberty since its inception

2. Proposition

This [Christian Liberty] has allowed many vibrant godly forms of Christianity to grow and prosper.

3. Proposition

In the same token [Benefit of Christian Liberty] it has sadly allowed some of the vilest perversions of Christianity to prosper also.

Sub Propositional Meaning

Though apart from some of these groups which cannot be stopped in many ways is a far worse epidemic of division in the body of Christ.


There we go then. Nothing about "should have" controlled them! Religious freedom its a great thing! It is also the basis for every kind of wickedness expressed without limit and to an end of destruction.

 2013/10/4 1:53









 Re: Divisions, Carnality, Denominationalism and God's Unified Church

with a broken heart, I say "amen".

 2013/10/4 9:26









 Re:

I appreciate your attempt to explain what Greg is thinking but "Christian Liberty" does not really work because it is not an entity that gives a nation freedom or lack thereof, AT WILL.

Christian Liberty can neither allow nor disallow freedom as if "Christian Liberty" is some kind of governing entity that has control of freedom for the masses or not.

It is the laws of the nation of America and Canada that has not shut down Christian or non-christian religions. Christian Liberty has nothing to do with it. The present government is now frowning upon Christianity yet in the past, various American governments did not.

I think Greg is referring to Government, yet stopping short of saying that.

Governments allow the open, free expression of a religion or not. Take Saudi Arabia for instance. There is Christian Liberty there in the hearts of believers, yet the government does not allow churches, bibles or Christian prayer meetings in their land. If they find bibles, they will take them away and if they find Christian prayer meetings they will send you home if you are a foreigner.

With that said, I would amend your post like this:

1. Proposition

America has been a place of religious freedom since its inception. (Actually, it has not).

2. Proposition

The government has allowed many vibrant godly forms of Christianity to grow and prosper (the current government is showing animosity towards Christianity).

3. Proposition

In the same token [Benefit of religious freedom] it has sadly allowed some of the vilest perversions of Christianity to prosper also.

Sub Propositional Meaning

Though apart from some of these groups which cannot be stopped in many ways is a far worse epidemic of division in the body of Christ.

In the following sentence you stop using "Christian Liberty" and finally say what I just said. Religious Freedom!!

quoting you, amrkelly.
"Religious freedom its a great thing! It is also the basis for every kind of wickedness expressed without limit and to an end of destruction."

So, let's not blame vile, perverse and wicked religions on "Christian Liberty" which only puts condemnation on the church (a controlling tactic is to put others down). These groups are a result of the existence of religious freedom and individual sinful hearts, abiding in Satan.

 2013/10/4 12:05
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Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37099
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

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 Re:

Quote:
North America has been a place of Christian liberty since its inception1. This has allowed many vibrant godly forms of Christianity to grow and prosper and in the same token it has sadly allowed some of the vilest perversions of Christianity to prosper also. One cannot begin to calculate the effects of such cults, heretical groups and false Gospels that have been allowed to prosper under the banner of religious freedom and expression.



I stated North America is a place of Christian Liberty, which can be defined as a place for Christians to freely share the Gospel, in that the laws of the state, ie constitution have allowed for the free expression of Christian belief. But to have this 100% liberty for Christians has also meant the 100% liberty for every perversion of truth. Hence at what a cost and sacrifice this liberty has come, personally it has done as much damage perhaps as good.

The Lord never promised a safe-haven country in the world where there will be no persecution, where the true gospel will be accepted. The truth is if you start to preach the true Gospel in America, people will hate you and persecute you. The world does not accept the Gospel.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2013/10/4 12:28Profile









 Re:

Thank you.

 2013/10/4 13:35





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