If we believe the same creed why can't we get along?
The Nicene Creed (ca AD 325-381) written during the 4th century A.D. was an attempt to unify the Christian church.
Probably most if not all Christians who I know, regardless of their denomination, would agree that we all believe what this creed declares.
1 Cor. 8:6 For us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
Love is a commandment not a suggestion. In John 13:34 Jesus said: A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; even as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. John repeats the words of Jesus in 1 John 4:11 when he says: Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
We can argue all day and even be right all day but if we don't have love we are still wrong. The apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 had this to say about the matter: If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And if I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profiteth me nothing.
So come on people now, smile on your brother. Everybody get together. Try to love one another right now!
Romans 14:1 says Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters and James 4:11 says Speak not one against another, brethren.
Since Christians are brethren, they should not defile nor defame one another. It is required of us that we be tender of the good name of our brethren; where we cannot speak well, we had better say nothing than speak evil. What is this but to raise the hatred and encourage the persecutions of the world, against those who are engaged in the same interests with ourselves, and therefore with whom we ourselves must stand or fall? (Matthew Henry)
To speak evil of one another is what the men of the world do, and from them it is expected; but for the saints to speak evil one of another, to sit and speak against a brother, and slander an own Fathers's son, is barbarous and unnatural. (John Gill)
We set up our own standards, or our own interpretations, and then we judge others for not complying with them, when in fact they may be acting only as the law of Christianity, properly understood, would allow them to do. (Albert Barnes)
Rom 14:3 Let not him that eateth set at nought him that eateth not; and let not him that eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.
Other denominations, though they may differ from us on some subjects, may give evidence that they are recognised by God as His, and where there is this evidence, we should neither despise nor judge them. (Albert Barnes)
Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a feast day or a new moon or a sabbath day
The kingdom of God does not lie in the observance of outward things, but in internal ones, in righteousness and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
1Co 12:4-6 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.
1Co 12:12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
1Co 12:15 If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body.
1Co 12:26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
If you think your particular brand of church is the only one and everyone else is going to hell you make yourself out to be a false accuser of the brethren and a cultist. The conversion by concussion method of evangelism, with one sledgehammer blow of the bible after another, betrays the basic respect for the dignity of the individual and is utterly alien to the gospel imperative to speak the truth in love.
Whenever religion shows contempt or disregards the rights of persons, even under the noblest pretexts, it draws us away from reality and God. The way we are with each other is the truest test of our faith. How I treat a brother from day to day, how I react to the sin scarred wino on the street, how I respond to interuptions from people I dislike may be a better indication of my reverence for life than the antiabortion sticker on my car.
His love is perfected by our loving each other. It is incomplete unless His love for us is supplemented by brotherly love. This love in us is the proof that God is in us.
Rom 8:16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirits that we are children of God.
Hereby we know that God dwells in us by the Spirit given us. We know we have the Spirit by His fruits. The first and greatest of these is love. It is God's will to produce the fruit of the Spirit in us. If anyone has these, we have evidence of the witnessing of the Spirit with his spirit. If not, there no such evidence.
The way to ascertain whether we have this witnessing of the Spirit, is by an honest and prayerful inquiry whether these fruits of the Spirit actually exist in our lives. If they do, the evidence is clear. If not, all vain confidence of good estate; all visions, and raptures, and fancied revelations, will be mere delusions.
Troy A Lasseigne