As always my comments appear in italics. (sept for the Bible verses at the end)
During the course of my life, I've interacted with many Christians of various persuasions. There have been the "conservative" and the "liberal" and anywhere inbetween. I'd say that a great percentage of the Christians I know believe in the Bible as God's Word and hold to basic orthodox beliefs about God the Trinity, the atonement, the second coming, the final judgment, etc. BUT I have become increasingly aware of the great differences in other areas, small or great.
Let's take group A. They love God, they love the Bible, and they study it diligently that they may apply it to their lives. They are probably also influenced by other sources, such as denominational precedents, books, teachers, the culture, etc.
Let's take group B. They love God, they love the Bible, and they study it diligently that they may apply it to their lives. They are probably also influenced by other sources, such as denominational precedents, books, teachers, the culture, etc.
Looks like they should be in unity, right? Wrong. Between groups A and B (and even individuals within those groups) you can be sure to find differences of belief in areas such as:
-Women's attire (including pants, jewelry, and head coverings)
-Women's role in society and the church
-When the Tribulation will be
-Probably more that I can't think of at present
Some may be neutral on one subject because they really don't consider it important or it doesn't affect them, while others will strongly argue their position one way or the other, even giving Scriptures to support it. On either side of an argument, you can find someone who is dogmatic and carnal, and you can find someone who is loving and spiritual.
I wonder what a new believer thinks when they start seeing all this division in the church. Granted, even in New Testament times there appear to have been disagreements about certain subjects (like eating meat offered to idols). But I wonder if there is more dichotomy now than ever. Of course I don't know. Is it a reflection of the end times or that the world has crept so much into the church? Has the culture affected the church more than the church has affected the culture? Can we always know the exact right or wrong on an issue? Does what I believe as right make every opposing view wrong? Unlikely.
Spot-on!!! I couldn't agree more. It would do Christians some good to read Romans 14 a bit more often then we do. I believe that the things she mentioned are really minor. I feel that we miss the major points (read: Ten Commandments) and try and hit the minor points. How do you think it looks to people who are not Christians? Nothing against standards, beliefs, and opinions (like this one) but people take things way to far (again, like this).
Just throwing out some food for thought. I guess the best way to know the truth is to keep connected with the Source of Truth, Jesus. Thank God for the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, Who is there to show us the way one step at a time! This morning I read this:
For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strenghtened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. Eph. 3:14-19
What say you?
Great questions Kristi, thank you for allowing me to share it.