Tuesday, December 23, 2008

THE BIBLE UNITES AND OPINION DIVIDES

The Lord Jesus and His Apostles admonish the church to be unified. Paul wrote, "being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Eph. 4:3. There are certain things in Scripture that are clearly approved which the church can easily unite around. Some teachings in the religious world have so little to do with Scripture as to make unity virtually impossible.

It is Bible to say or teach 1:
The church sings to God, Eph. 4:19; Col. 3:16
Immersion of adults is the only pattern in the New Testament, Acts 8:12
Men are to be the Preachers and Elders, 1 Tim. 2:12; Titus 1:5ff.
Christians are to forgive anyone that repents, Lk. 17:4
Acceptable prayer is offered only through Jesus, 1 Tim. 2:5
Members of the church contribute cheerfully and liberally according to how they have been prospered, 2 Cor. 9:7.

It is Opinion to say or teach2:
Instruments are acceptable in worship to God.
Sprinkling is an acceptable alternative to immersion.
Women can be Elders and Preachers.
You must forgive even the unrepentant.
It’s OK to pray to God through dead “saints”.
Christians are to contribute 10%.

Anyone that teaches that it is acceptable to introduce opinions into the church, is a person that sees the Bible as only a set of general guidelines that may be bent and altered as long as it is not perceived to take away from the Gospel. For these people the idea of faithfully following the Scriptures they might define as anyone that says he believes in Jesus.

But this viewpoint ends up violating the clear Bible teaching that says you can’t add to or take from God’s Word (Dt. 4:2; Pro. 30:6; Rev. 22:18,19). According to the Bible, by “exceeding the things that are written”, division occurs (1 Cor. 4:6). So when someone argues for something on the basis that "the Bible doesn't say you can’t", they violate clear Bible teaching and bring about division. This is how, for example, the use instruments in worship, praying to Mary, or sprinkling babies is justified.

What is your aim? If you aim is to unite Christians, then speak what the Bible speaks and don't give your approval to opinions. I've had people ask me if it would be OK if we did this or did that. My answer is just do what God said. And anyone that tells you it's OK to bring opinions into the church, he is inviting trouble.
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1. The scriptures presented here are representative and many more could be offered to support these points.
2. There are no Scriptures that support doing something because "it doesn't say you can't."

2 comments:

  1. Dear Author,

    So, is it your opinion that if instruments are used in the worship of God, that those persons may risk their salvation? Even if they listen to Christian music in private that includes instruments?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear Quintin,
    What the Bible says is that we may not add to the Bible. I would say what adding to Gods' Word does risk one's salvation. Revelation 22:18 says, "if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book;" The rule does not apply only to the Revelation letter, but to all of the Scriptures. So what I said was that some things are clearly authorized by God. Immersion is authorized but sprinkling is not. Singing is authorized, the Lord's Supper is authorized, preaching God's Word is authorized. It's not really my job to be defending against the negatives that you bring up (listening to "christian music" in the car), but it is your job to find show where it is approved. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete

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