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Blissfully Ignorant in My Church: Welcoming Differences, Avoiding Division – Part 3

By Rob Morley
Pastor, Real Life Church

morleyEditor’s Note: Pastor Rob Morley has written a thought-provoking series of posts on his Real Church Life blog. His series challenges all of us to look at our participation and roles in our own churches. He also challenges us to seek unity in the body of Christ. He also speaks to pastors in the church as well. This is a wonderful series all of us can benefit from reading. Enjoy.

BlissfulExploring the possibility of real unity under one roof despite differences of opinion.

Different camps of thinking easily form into what become exclusive groups (exclusive to certain thinking and practices) especially where leadership is top down and where the leaders impart and control the belief system. Denominations are examples of these clusters of believers who are like minded on certain issues of faith. And, many local churches operate in the same way. This sameness is also brought about because members simply assume or are duped into thinking that all must be right in their denomination, house church or fellowship.

This sameness especially flourishes where folk are guru followers rather than Jesus followers. And, I don’t only mean the Super-Gurus, like the international speakers and book writers, but also how folk relate to the leaders and pastors in their fellowship. You see, it seems many people blindly take all that is said by anointed teachers to be true simply because they were touched at one time or another through that person’s ministry.

Satisfied with the claim that their denomination or church is Bible-based, most folk seem to be content in the environments that they are being discipled in. With everything explained to them from their trusted source, they seem oblivious, or act oblivious, or are kept oblivious to fair representation of other points of view on the big issues.

Clearly, this claim by churches and teachers to Biblical authority for their points of view is flawed when we have a multitude of denominations, churches and Super-Guru’s who claim this and yet differ in so many significant areas. It’s a bit of hit-and-miss when it comes to certain issues and they’re often discipling others with their own view of Scripture, which at times departs from the truth.

Keeping people ignorant of fully represented views by anybody in the Body of Christ is not protective of unity but ultimately entrenches division. Unity with diversity under one roof must be possible, or we are not living out our DNA of being known by our love, not our doctrine.

In my next post I’ll share on the problem of being different.

3 thoughts on “Blissfully Ignorant in My Church: Welcoming Differences, Avoiding Division – Part 3

  1. I love the thought of living out our DNA = being known by our love, rather than our doctrine. That’s radically simple (to say anyway), but so Christlike. Really good series, Steven.

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  2. The very concept of unity means oneness or sameness and agreement. This is implied in Psalm 133:1 and Amos 3:3. The great spiritual and theological concern, of course, is whether that oness/sameness is one and the same as God’s pronounced intent (compare Ephesians 4:1-6 & 11-13; Romans 12:16; & 1 Corinthians 1:10). The Apostle Paul even wrote to the Church in Rome, “Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple” (Romans 16:17-18 NKJV). Discerning what is sound doctrine is as simple and easy as comparing one’s beliefs and teachings to the revealed truth in God’s Holy Word, the Bible (see also Philippians 3:17). If the Church had followed this admonition from the beginning, I seriously doubt we would be as divided among so many denominations as we are today, disputing over such matters as how much water to use in baptism or whether to baptize with water at all, what we should call our church leaders, how we should organize our local church bodies, etc. I discuss this topic in chapter six of my book Seven Keys to Effective Prayer (published by Parson Place Press in March 2012). You can read more about it at http://books.parsonplace.com, if you’re interested.

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    1. Thank you again for your wonderful comments. You are very encouraging and your scripture references were pertinent.

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