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My wife and I disagree all the time. :) Well, you know what I mean. But, we are one flesh nonetheless, and in Christ we are part of one Body nonetheless.
My pastor and I would not have the same views on some things. We are brothers in Christ, in one Body.
Paul disagreed sharply with Peter. One body.
Paul disagreed sharply with John Mark and with Barnabas the son of encouragement! One body.
Paul addressed the churches in Philippi and in Corinth with admonishments to be of one mind, and he addressed them as being "in Christ", and Christ is not divided.
We should agree and follow peace after all men, and that is so much more so true for believers with one another. But, perfect agreement on every thing is not to be had in this side of eternity because -- as someone else kindly put it --- WKIP.
| 2014/10/10 12:22||Profile|
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
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Therefore, I do believe "fellowship" with those with who we have "areas" of disagreement is possible and profitable.
I appreciate sister who started this thread and feel that SermonIndex itself has a gathering of saints from all different backgrounds that would differ on alot of things but overall in the forums saints are trying to seek peace, learn from each other and appreciate the breadth and depth that brethren bring to the forum from their personal bible reading, experiences of the Lord and different traditions.
I personally have and continue to benefit greatly from all the brethren here.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2014/10/10 14:22||Profile|
Campbell River, B.C.
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| 2014/10/10 16:37||Profile|
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KingJimmy....Our fellowship is "in" Christ, not "in" our opinions, likes, and dislikes.
Amen! I have always 'as an example" use this, I picture myself driving down the freeway, with cars on both sides and behind me, yes I focus on those cars "or here the case would be focus on opinions" but I don't roll down the window down and holler at the drivers around me, if I disagree with the way they drive, I stay focused on God, which would be the road ahead. Man doesn't deserve any glory for anything they know, heck, Satan knows the word as well as any of us. Remember how he tried to persuade Jesus to throw himself down from the temple roof? He argued from Scripture! “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, this is why I choose to focused on the one that knows everything, and will never leave me nor forsake me.
| 2014/10/10 17:08||Profile|
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If I felt it was sin to drink wine but my brother felt in was fine to drink wine... one of us is going to have to lay down that belief so that fellowship can really happen daily right??
I have had (almost)daily fellowship with brothers and sisters who held an opposite view of what you've mentioned above. I don't think that one needs to lay down his beliefs but must respect the other for what they believe. In this case it makes sense when the brother who is ok with drinking wine abstains from it while being together with the one who holds that it is wrong. In my experience the subject becomes one that is no longer discussed once everybody has had a chance to explain why they belief as they do and true fellowship is possible. Any mature believer should be able to understand that what does not pertain to essentials of the faith ought not to divide us. The question is, do we WANT to have daily fellowship with those who hold different views?
| 2014/10/10 17:43||Profile|
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And, taking wine as a case in point, it is precisely those differing levels of maturity and understanding that Paul is aiming his instructions in 1 Cor. 8. Although he spoke specifically about foods offered to idols, wine presents a similar stumbling block for many and also the maturer believer is going to understand more fully as a spiritual issue why abstention is better. So, when the less mature believer offers justifications and proof texts for no condemnation for merely consuming wine, the more seasoned saint should be equipped as a matter of insight, experience in God, a greater appetite for His glory as opposed to personal preference in food and drink, and a deeper appreciation for the spiritual and mental operations at work in choosing what to consume, the discussion between them does not come down to agree or disagree but rather maturation or stunted spiritual transformation to Jesus' image.
| 2014/10/10 17:55||Profile|
Whittier CA USA
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I believe makrothumia hit the nail on the head here in bringing Romans 14 to our attention. We see clearly there that we are to bear with one another's differences in non-essential matters of conscience or conviction. The apostle Paul admonishes us to work toward unity despite any "minor" differences we may have.
So I'll say again that this is why we must be able to distinguish between essential and non-essential doctrine. That's why I felt led to post an article about a week ago by Hank Hanegraaff dealing with what are the essentials.
I don't believe we can say that Paul expected believers to only agree to disagree from a distance; he exhorted them to be intimately involved with each other despite those minor differences. However, I will also say that there are certain boundaries of respect and/or sensitivity that must be implemented in order for there to be peace.
| 2014/10/10 17:58||Profile|
Los Angeles, CA
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Thanks for this post, just wanted to say that I am thoroughly blessed and encouraged by the topic and the responses that have been given. I have been struggling with this topic as well and have no words to give but look forward to reading the responses. May the Lord bless this discussion and our hearts before Him :)
| 2014/10/10 18:37||Profile|
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"Can two members of the Body of CHRIST really fellowship with one another daily, if they do in fact disagree?"
A few behaviors mentioned in Scripture seem utterly impossible for us to attain:
Can we truly do what Christ did and more?
Can we live consistently godly lives?
Will our Father give more than we can think or imagine?
This is one of those issues. Can we enter a true unity with each other? Can we enter a true unity with our Father? The example of our closest human relationship, marriage, we are told we become one with another person via sexual relationship, and that, we understand, should be reserved for our spouse. If, somehow, we become one physically, shouldn't we expect to be able to become one on more important levels - spiritually, soulishly?
Consider how we are expected to relate to our Father. Jesus said He was One with the Father. In His prayer, He prayed as He was One with His Father, we would also be One with them.
He also said if two or three are gathered TOGETHER in His name, He is in their midst. We might think that refers to any gathering of Christians, and not necessarily of something of great spiritual depth, but consider the great scope of the associated promise:
18Truly I say to you, Whatever you shall bind on earth shall occur, having been bound in Heaven; and whatever you shall loose on earth shall occur, having been loosed in Heaven. 19Again I say that if two of you shall agree on earth as regarding anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them by My Father in Heaven. Mt 18:18-19
Rarely any group gathers in Christ and we see a powerful interchange between Heaven and Earth or having anything we ask come to pass by our agreement. We should feel safe in assuming that this agreement must be extraordinary, transcending a normal human gathering.
1 John 1:9 says to be forgiven AND cleansed (cleansing is demonstrable by the way we live) we must confess - homologeo - say the same about any sin we wish to remedy. To say the same means we are in harmony, unity, with our Father. Again, this is evidently a deeper state than merely saying some words, and that deeper homologeo is expected of us, as we join together in spiritual depth with our Father.
We often pray for something with others or we plead with our Father in Scriptural confession, and nothing happens. But in both instances definite results are promised, whether material or behavioral, receiving or changing anything we ask. Again we must conclude this is a deeper than normal human state.
As mere humans, no, we can not do this. As born from above new creations in Christ, restored to the image and likeness of our Creator, we should fully expect to experience perfect unity, whether in immediate communion with each other and our Father, or for an extended time. As spiritual beings, rather than human beings, we should expect harmony, unity, and Oneness to be the norm, and division the exception.
Of course to enter this unity, we must pridelessly lay aside our doctrines, our traditions, our prejudices, our feelings to allow our Anointing to supply all these in our empty vessel of Self. As mere humans, no, we can not do that. Being in communion with our Father, we should expect it -- releasing ourselves to enter a divine communion involving unity.
Unity is a constant theme and requirement of Scripture. Eternal Blessings.
| 2014/10/10 21:29||Profile|
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I dont think the fellowship is possible. There certain posters in this forum whom I cannot even call brother in Christ. I address very few as brothers. I do not agree with Sermon Index's attitude that we can disagree with certain aspects of a preacher and can still listen to his sermons. I do not listen to sermons of those who do not hold the whole counsel of God. I may agree with their teachings on God's love but if you do not teach the judgment side of God then I have nothing to do with your teaching. Not that I am Judgmental but I do not believe that I am strong enough to hear such preachers without getting deceived.
Regarding all the historical account of people of different background meeting together, I do not expect Wesley will allow Whitfield to speak in his Church. I may be wrong, but I do not consider it wise.
In my local Church, there was a brother who was part of our Church for sometime but then got deceived with someother teaching. He started believing that we should only preach God's love and should not speak on overcoming sin or pressing on to perfection. During every meeting if the word was on overcoming sin by pressing on to perfection, then he will speak after the main speaker and then speak opposite to what was shared. Once this kept repeating, our elders asked him to keep quite or leave Church. The picture given to him was, our Church is moving in this direction like a bus. if you want to reach the same destination then you can travel with us. If you also trying to drive in another direction by sitting in the bus then it is not good. Better get down of this bus. He got offended and left the Church.
| 2014/10/11 1:22||Profile|