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There is seemingly a constant tension between a passion to uphold truth and a desire for love to flow among Christians and from Christians to unbelievers as well. Often in conservative movements such as ours, we emphasize—sometimes overemphasize—an orthodoxy of doctrine and practice while minimizing the absolute necessity of love and unity. Neglecting or underemphasizing either one is detrimental to our personal and church lives.
In this article, Francis A. Schaeffer deals with these two issues masterfully. Schaeffer himself was involved in a split in his denomination, in which he and others left the mainline part of the denomination because it was losing the true faith. But he also became deeply troubled by the wrong emphases he saw in the “conservative” group that he was a part of. He was always concerned to have correct doctrine, and he also had a heart for love and unity in the church.
I found this article a wonderful articulation of my own thoughts on these subjects; and it is my hope that we will all take to heart this message.
—Paul W. Lamicela
In the early days of Christianity, there was one passage of the Bible which held special significance for Christ’s followers. This was Matthew chapters 5 through 7, which is commonly called the Sermon on the Mount. This sermon was used as a catechism for new believers, and it formed much of the foundation for early Christian doctrine and practice. These first Christians believed that this sermon was meant to be taken literally and obeyed explicitly, and it became a defining factor of the very essence of Christianity.
Few of you will find the following
story easy to believe:
With the ever increasing occurrence of wars, terrorist attacks, and political corruption, even the secular world is beginning to ask the question—what’s going on? Not that war and corruption are anything new, but more and more, many are beginning to notice an exponential increase.
Compounding this anxiety is the fact that modern society is finding fewer areas to place the blame. In the past, the church took the blame; but as America moves farther and farther away from Biblical-based principles of right and wrong, and deeper into a neo-Christian, humanist-based secular society, the only ones they have left to blame are themselves.
When we began to seriously consider worshipping with a Christian fellowship, my wife and I acquired a copy of the Charity Christian Fellowship Statement of Faith. We wanted to see if we were “like-minded” in key areas of worship. Item 17, “Christian Ordinances”, states—
Clear black-and-white distinctions are not appreciated in much of the Church like they once were. In fact, much of what we believe and live appears to be one big GRAY, and most folks seem content to keep it that way.
No need to dig out any personal convictions, no need to think about how to live carefully according to the Bible. If some believe one thing and some another and it looks as if God is blessing the whole muddle, who are we to step in and suggest that the Word gives us clear guidelines (or even principles!) about what Christians ought and ought not do.
However, is it possible that we have become so compromised with the world that we find it quite soothing to continue mixing black and white into one big pot of gray. It may look like the soup of tolerance, but I guarantee you it has proven to be the poison of impotence.
Harry was a godly Fundamentalist author and teacher for many years and
served as pastor of Chicago’s Moody Memorial Church from 1930-1948
Objection is often raised even by some sound in the faith—regarding the exposure of error as being entirely negative and of no real edification. Of late, the hue and cry has been against any and all negative teaching.
Thousands of preborn babies are killed daily yet in my subconscious mind I held onto the hope that there was a chance for this nation to turn before God poured His judgment upon it. Not any more.
Our nations’ children are brainwashed into believing the damnable, godless, garbage we call “public education”. Even the body of Christ is found giving its children to the wicked for training. Don’t ask me why. It’s beyond my understanding.