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Christ, Convictions, and Criticism

July 1, 2013

cross of christ built into a brick wall

I see it more and more these days: division among brethren.  I hear, and thanks to social media, see the contention that is taking place among the body of Christ.  And it doesn’t matter what group, denomination or “movement” you may be associated with- bickering in this generation is rampant.

Do not get me wrong, there are some things to which we must contend.  The precious doctrines of the church are worth separating over.  I cannot stand in fellowship with someone who refuses to believe in the virgin birth, the deity of Christ, the imminent return of the Lord, or the inspiration of Scripture, etc.  As a matter of fact, we are instructed to “earnestly” contend for the faith.  Some things not only warrant our division, but our death if necessary.

However, much of the squabbling that takes place today has little association with the fundamentals of the faith.  Most of the divisive issues that trouble the modern church are birthed out of preferences.

Vance Havner commented years ago about some of his hypercritical brethren, “They have ‘separated’ themselves so many times; they cannot even get along with themselves.”  Before we start pointing our finger, we must all admit to having preferences- I certainly do.

I could give you a long list of preferences that I have adopted over the years, but I will not bore you with my thoughts.  Some of those preferences are rooted in biblical conviction, in those convictions I stand my ground; but to be honest, some of the preferences are just that- preferences.  The preferences that are not rooted in biblical conviction shouldn’t be used as a platform to crucify another brother that has a slightly different approach.

For me, Christ is enough.  Camps, clicks, and crusades are all well and good if they are used to promote Christ and the Great Commission.  Many, who are adamantly fighting for whatever reason has in reality, hindered the body of Christ through their criticism and contention.  Our focus should be in the same direction as our faith– looking unto Jesus.  Christ did not die for me to argue about carpet, songbooks, or screens.  He died to redeem sinners from their sin; furthermore, He called us to be co-laborers.  Instead of striving together, many want to be in strife with one another.  For me Christ is enough, my liberty is in Him!

 

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