Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Biblical Church Part 7

We were discussing Doctrines last time.  So, how does Doctrine affect the church?

How does this affect the Church?
The list i shared last time is meant as a guide and not all inclusive.  I have seen churches get hung up on their favorite version of the Bible, others on a dress code, and others on music, and one in particular was hung up on Church governments that can vote a pastor out of a church. (Oh, I have deep psychological scars from that one!!)

In the Christian church, there arises a problem that is well seen from the outside.  That is division.  Sometimes there may be slight differences in belief, but as time between the generations and  traditions progress, a divide grows between how a church movement started and where it is today.   From my observation,, it appears that the church founders prayed and trusted God that future generations (If they were trained correctly) would seek God and make the best decisions.  One reason why we have so many different branches in the protestant faith was the Protestant reformation starting in Europe in 1517. Geographical and cultural barriers segregated the European Protestants for the most part.   In the last 200 years we see that the closer to the break with the Catholic church, the more traditional and ritualistic some denominations tend to be.  Other differences today are caused by disagreements, wars and just plain old sin.  A more important reason for divisions is the fact that people forget about Jesus.  With Jesus Christ at the center, we have love, control, and sound judgment; or we should have. St Paul spent most of the first Epistle to the Corinthians dealing with divisions and calling their attention to real love!

A view of where some of the branches of Protestantism came from

I once heard a story about how two Baptist ministers were discussing the beginnings of the Baptist church.  One said ti started with John the Baptist.  The other minister stated “No do you remember when Abram and Lot argued about the land before them and they parted ways? . .  . that was the beginning of the Baptist church”  Yes, that is a joke that is better understood by Baptists but it makes a point. Divisions over trivial things and the natural human propensity to drift away have made the church, to outsiders, a place of hypocrisy and division.   I have seen a lot of division over small doctrines that were constantly brought up, then covered over with statements like “… well The Bible says”  or “…I'm’ just saying that . . “  or “Well, those that are perfect in Love nothing shall offend them”  A lot of scriptures can be thrown out in a conversation that are true but out of context.  Even when the intent is well meaning, the wisdom seems to be gone!  Some of the arguments seemed to create a moral higher ground for one party and a way of making another group conform.  Some doctrines are highly damaging to the church, such as the belief that we may live in a life of habitual sin, even to the point of no return and still be Biblically right.  I cannot support this doctrine due to the overwhelming amount of evidence in the Bible that says to do!  The extreme of this would be that we must live a life of such sanctification that we behave and look so different that we drive people away.  I have seen both extremes.  It makes us look silly, spiritually bi-polar and disorganized before the world. We will probably never overcome our bias towards traditions, but the very least the church can do, as a whole, is get along, play nice and not bad mouth another church.

Your Brother in Christ
And  Senpai in Karate 

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