That’s why I don’t believe that dividing the church is a good idea.
Here are some biblical passages that underscore the importance of unity in the church:
‘I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
1 Cor 1:10
10 Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you should be in agreement and that there should be no divisions among you, but that you should be united in the same mind and the same purpose.
1 Cor 12:12
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
2 Cor 13:11
Put things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.
So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another. Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil. Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labor and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy. Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption. Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.
So… you who would divide the church, tell me: if biblical obedience is so important, why have you resolved to be disobedient to these passages of scripture?
The question we have to answer denominationally is not simply who is being obedient to the Bible and who is not. The Bible is a broad and varied body of work that can support a variety of positions, ideologies, and theologies. The question is this: why do we believe it is important to privilege this particular set of scriptural passages over another?
12 thoughts on “Yes, I Am a Bible-Believing Christian.”
For what sort of unity do you believe that Jesus prayed? For 23 years I have served churches where people couldn't agree on the color of the carpet, but they could agree that the poor needed fed. They often could not agree on biblical matters, such as whether Jonah was historical account, or a parable meant to point at the hypocrisy of the Israelites against their neighbors, or both. But they could agree that loving their neighbor was not optional. I'm not sure that the call to unity is also a call to blindly agreeing with the loudest person, because as we all know there are many “faithful” interpretations of scripture. I believe that the call to unity is to come from these many directions and all travel the path towards Christ together.
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