Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Closed Christian 4: Denominations

I have mentioned several kinds of closed Christians. Some of them are hard to recognize because they have been around so long we think they are normal. This kind is in denominations. Even if we accept differences we can still be closed. The differences may be

in church government
in systematic theology
in holiness
in eschatology
in baptism
in form of worship
in ethnicity
in language
in communion
and any combination of the above.

Even if the differences are okay, the way we hold to our distinctives is not ok! The way we hold on to them makes us closed Christians. Read and meditate on all of Romans 14 and I Corinthians 1:10-12, I Corinthians 3:1-4, and I Corinthians 11:18-19. The last three are posted below.

“I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, 'I follow Paul'; another, 'I follow Apollos'; another, 'I follow Cephas'; still another, 'I follow Christ.'” (I Corinthians 1:10-12)

“Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? For when one says, 'I follow Paul,' and another, 'I follow Apollos,' are you not mere human beings?” (I Corinthians 3:1-4)

“In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval.” (I Corinthians 11:18-19)

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