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MaryJane
Member



Joined: 2006/7/31
Posts: 3057


 Re:

greetings

Thank you everyone for taking the time to answer my question. I really appreciate your insights that you shared and found them to be really helpful. I am going to share these things with my husband this evening. I think God is showing me that its really important to understand the difference between opinions and convictions.

God bless
maryjane

 2009/11/10 18:54Profile
PassingThru
Member



Joined: 2005/5/7
Posts: 175


 Re:

Quote:
...I do understand this desire for unity. That said: I am not sure that this “unity of doctrine” was quite the same thing that some believers might suppose. I just can’t see the early Church picking apart some ideas and turning them into complicated prerequisites for doctrinal “unity.”


I agree. I think unity between people occurs when they are of the same Spirit and not necessarily of same opinions on every possible topic.

If the Lord is really Lord of a group of lives they will be in harmony like members of an orchestra that are observing the Conductor's lead, even if they have very different instruments and have different parts to play.

An interesting point in Acts 2 is that harmony was established before the visible signs of the Holy Spirit's outpouring:-

[color=0000CC]Acts 2:1-2 - And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, [b]they were all with one accord[/b] in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven...[/color]

It looks to me that this harmony was a result of the group earnestly seeking God for the previous 40 days. As each person sought God, they came into harmony with God, and were naturally in harmony with each other.

This is the real key to revival. As Jesus promised:-

[color=0000CC]Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together [b]in my name[/b], there am I in the midst of them.[/color]

I think "In his Name" means in union with his heart and purpose, as opposed to a purely mental consent to a list of theological principles. When this happens God turns up.

PassingThru

 2009/11/10 19:33Profile









 Re:


Well I simply disagree!! :-P

 2009/11/10 20:11
Leo_Grace
Member



Joined: 2009/6/14
Posts: 703


 Re:

Quote:

DeepThinker wrote:

Well I simply disagree!! :-P


No! You're wrong! You agree and you don't even know it! ;-)

 2009/11/10 20:22Profile
elected
Member



Joined: 2004/11/21
Posts: 362
Tulsa OK

 Re:

I've been goin to a very small home church and they are related with Christian & Missionary Alliance. There is emphases in this small group in higher christian living and that what i long for.

C&AM was formed as a missionary society joined by evangelical christians from different denominations who had a heart to reach the lost and preach the gosple to the all world.

They used to have a rich heritage of 'unity in essentials, freedom in not essentials, and charity in all things."

Alas! this denomination is not what used to be but my point is that true unity of genuine christians with different convictions is possible if we are humble and in a right relationship with God.

We focus too much in hair splitting thats an indication to me of narrowness of our hearts.The path of holiness is narrow but our hearts should be large and filled with holy affections for our brothers & sisters.

I am reminded of the speck that we want so often to pluck out our brother's eye and often "forget" the beam in our eye.


_________________
Redi

 2009/11/10 20:27Profile
KingJimmy
Member



Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

Some very good thoughts offered up. The issue regarding the unity of the faith is something very near and dear to my heart. Indeed, understanding what Biblical unity is and how it can exist is something that I've come to learn through a lot of pain.

As some of you may recall, just around the turn of the New Year, I suffered a horrible heartbreak when a woman I was in a relationship with for 4 years, and engaged to for 3, called off our engagement. There were a number of reasons for this, but one of the underlying reasons is that she ultimately could not find it in her heart to marry somebody who wasn't committed to the denomination our church is in, and doesn't agree to all of it's official doctrinal positions.

She just failed to see how we could have unity in our marriage and in our respective ministries if we did not agree in all these things. She was worried how this would impact our future children and what they believed. The primary issue we disagreed over? Whether or not speaking in tongues was the initial physical evidence of having received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

My ex-fiance bought into the deception that unity is achieved and maintained through outward doctrinal conformity. Many Christians have bought into this deception as well. What is to be the true source of our unity?

John 17: 22 The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; 23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity...

The true source of our unity is supposed to be in the reality of the glory we share in Christ. The Father had glorified the Son says Jesus, and Jesus says that glory He has given to us "that they may be one."

I realized this early on in my Christian development, after I had gone through a period of time where I thought I could have no unity with anyone unless they agreed with me on about 100% of every issue. Then I went to Bible college where I frequently had contact with other believers who had some very different views than I did. It was a small college, and my interaction with the other brothers and sisters there was frequent, and our debates were frequent. With many I had put up a wall of separation. Yet, the more I interacted with many of these saints, I truly began to see them for what they were: saints.

I could not deny it, these men and women who I had some pretty rough discussions with in class had a glow about them. The more I was around them, the more I realized that Jesus Christ was truly alive in them. I saw the Spirit of God in them. I saw God's glory rest upon their lives. By the time I finished Bible college, one of the people who I simply could not stand from the moment I met him became one of my closest companions by the time I was done. Why? Because the Holy Spirit within me bore witness with this brother, that the Holy Spirit was also alive in him!

It is the reality of the living Christ within us that is to be the source of our unity. This is something that I sadly could not get my ex-fiance to see. She saw unity through doctrinal and organizational conformity, not through the reality of our mutual experience in the Lord. My logic is, "If Jesus Christ indeed dwells in you, and ministers through you, then we can have unity." After all, if Jesus Christ is happy living in you, though you are Reformed in dogma, then even though I am much more Arminian in dogma, I can also be happy. After all, Jesus Christ is living in both of us, what more do we need to have unity? Only when I take my eyes off of "Christ in you," does disunity occur.

Some of you may roll your eyes at me as I say these things, as you can recall some recent hard posts I made concerning a certain individual who was lurking around on this forum. But my manner of speaking wasn't due to an insecurity in me, pride, or an agenda to bulldoze one theological school of thought that I just happened to disagree with in order that I might establish my own. You are welcome to think such a thing if you want. But nothing could be further from the truth of my heart. I am one who desires unity at all costs, and indeed, I have paid a great price by suffering a broken engagement with the woman I loved, who failed to see what the true source of our unity in Christ is supposed to be.

Perhaps I was wrong in my assessment of this individual who frequented the forums, heavily pushing his theological bent. But I am still utterly convinced such a person, in spite of their outward show, didn't have Jesus Christ living inside of them at all. As far as I'm concerned, they were utterly devoid of the Spirit and glory of God, and was a false brother who is sent by Satan to disrupt the unity of this forum and cause chaos.

Indeed, if you were to look at the sum of their posts, they never did anything but rain down misery. Who did they build up in the faith while they were here? Who did they comfort? Did they strengthen those who were weak in faith? Did they have an encouraging word? Did they regularly bring you closer to the Lord? Did they regularly pray for you?

I'm sorry, I cannot, and I absolutely refuse to have fellowship with such a "brother." I cannot have any unity with such a person. God forgive me if my discernment was wrong in regard to him. God forgive me indeed. I am more than willing to have a unified relationship with somebody, even if their theology is a bit off.

Now, have I said all this about this "brother" to somehow vindicate me and make me look good? Is this just a last ditch effort on my part to have the final say, or to tweak the knife in his back? God forbid I would ever do such a thing. I hope you don't believe such. God knows it's not in me to do any such thing anymore. Rather, I have only spoken this way and brought up this recent issue so as to highlight this precious truth of Scripture. That is my only aim.

The source of our unity is to be the mutual reality we experience as Jesus Christ lives and works within us.


_________________
Jimmy H

 2009/11/10 22:55Profile
Leo_Grace
Member



Joined: 2009/6/14
Posts: 703


 Re:

Quote:
The source of our unity is to be the mutual reality we experience as Jesus Christ lives and works within us.



Amen. As the threads show, many shared your view regarding that now-anonymous forum member, Jimmy. No need to explain. Let us just be thankful that he is gone.

 2009/11/10 23:16Profile
JoanM
Member



Joined: 2008/4/7
Posts: 797


 Re: On fellowship

Random thoughts this evening:

If God cannot work IN us, how can He work THROUGH us? It is good to consider the things being considered here.

[b]“To be a disciple means that we deliberately identify ourselves with God's interests in other people. 'That ye love one another; as I have loved you . . .'" Oswald Chambers[/b] It is very good to remember that God has an interest in the person you are responding to in a post. God, Himself! This can encourage us to have [u]that[/u] interest, to discern and identify with [u]that[/u] interest.

Galatians 6: 1 is also a wonderful test of whether or not a person is spiritual. Is there restoration?

Sometimes posting on Sermonindex can teach us what it is useful to say and [b]what is not[/b]. This can educate (grow up) a poster and spare someone else in a local fellowship.

Rehearsing long theological arguments should help the one who posts it to remember it.

First I had many lessons in how to respond when I was justly accused and suffered for it. Then I began to learn how to respond when I am unjustly accused and suffer for it. When we are treated wrongly, it is how we respond to that, that matters, that grows us up in Christ (a “shout out” to Paul West). May God make us usable.

It is so easy to love the lovable and humble. Oh how to truly love the truly “unlovable”, the proud, the boastful, the ones certain in their own way, the drive-by shooters or posters, the enemies of Christ ... as I have been.

 2009/11/11 2:13Profile
Koheleth
Member



Joined: 2005/11/10
Posts: 530
NC

 Re:

I have to admit I greatly appreciate all of the lofty thoughts of unity expressed in the replies posted here. My soul is blessed in the bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood that have come forth in this thread and many other places as well. I am so encouraged when I see saints striving together for the faith and proclaiming their common identity in Christ. I only have one request of all who posted here. Tomorrow, when you are typing out your denunciation of another poster in these forums and condemning him to sure hell because of his rank heresy, and declaring that they cannot be saved because you know they are accursed from Christ, please re-read what you posted in this thread before you submit your latest post. Thank you.

 2009/11/13 0:54Profile
Leo_Grace
Member



Joined: 2009/6/14
Posts: 703


 Re:

Quote:

Koheleth wrote:
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.
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I only have one request of all who posted here. Tomorrow, when you are typing out your denunciation of another poster in these forums and condemning him to sure hell because of his rank heresy, and declaring that they cannot be saved because you know they are accursed from Christ, please re-read what you posted in this thread before you submit your latest post. Thank you.



LOL! This would have been a nice post except that now, you're the one pointing fingers with a passion. ;-)

 2009/11/13 1:13Profile





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