Exposing The Community/Evangelical Church Movement (Part 2)
By: Brian A. Yeager
While this article is meant to apply to the errors of the Community Church Movement, most denominational/non-denominational churches hold to the error we will discuss in this article. In fact, many groups that identify themselves as the “church of Christ” also teach the error we will discuss in this article. You see, false teachers focus on “getting more people” (II Peter 2:1-3). Throughout the ages, false teachers have realized that the “agree to disagree/unity in diversity” error pleases most people. So, as we approach this subject, make careful mental notes on the Scriptures we’ll use to expose the Community Church Movement’s doctrine of unity in diversity. For, in doing so, you will find yourself armed to answer most false religions of our day!
Plain And Clear – They “Agree to Disagree”
The Liberty Community Church says: “In the 101 we talk about essentials and non-essentials. Doctrine that must be believed to have unity and doctrine that it is alright to agree to disagree on while still maintaining unity/fellowship. My essentials deal with the Gospel, what a person must believe to be saved. Recently the issue of election came up and caused some conflict in the minds of some. But how a person is saved, (elected by God or God accepted by us), is not something we must believe to be saved. God does not say, believe in the doctrine of election and you will be saved! Congregations are more divided over doctrine then they know. For example the doctrine of baptism, many believe their infant baptism is valid, giving, many don't give, unevenly yoked, some will date or marry non Christians, spiritual gifts, miracles, prophecy and tongues are for today, divorce and remarriage and so on. I heard or read somewhere, ‘doctrine divides, but not all doctrine should divide us.’ Sounds good to me. I maintain fellowship with a lot of people who believe things I don't believe. I just wish I was given the same courtesy” (http://www.libertycommunity.com/tp40/page.asp?ID=191966).
The Midland Evangelical Free Church [undercover Community Church] says: “Evangelical Free Churches agree to disagree over non-essential beliefs and practices (i.e., non-essential to salvation). This includes issues such as baptism, eternal security of the believer, the degree of separation from the world, and the version of scripture used. In such matters, we uphold the believer's right to draw his or her own convictions from the Bible” (http://www.mefchurch.org/about-us/our-story.html).
Unity In Diversity Is False
Jesus Christ desires that all who proclaim to be His disciples be united as He and the Father are united (John 17:20-23). It is good and pleasant for brethren to dwell together in unity (Psalms 133:1). Christians are expected to be of one mind (Romans 15:5-6, II Corinthians 13:11, Philippians 1:27, Philippians 2:2, and I Peter 3:8). Notice this command: “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (I Corinthians 1:10). Unity must be worked at (Ephesians 4:1-3). We are called to be one body (Romans 12:4-5). For this to occur, brethren must agree to walk according to the same standard (Philippians 3:16 and II Timothy 1:13).
When agreement to use the Scriptures as our guide is reached (Luke 4:4), we have to understand the core problem behind divisiveness. Division occurs when there are carnally minded “brethren” in a congregation (I Corinthians 3:1-3). The decision has to be made, by all brethren, to walk away from carnality before we can ever walk according to the the standard of God’s word (I Peter 2:1-2; 4:1-2). The carnal and spiritual mind do not dwell together (Galatians 5:16-17; 24). Those who maintain a carnal mind will do one of two things. Some will force “their issues” and press forward divisively (Romans 16:17-18). Others will try, as we see in this article, to promote unity in diversity by discounting certain issues calling them “non-salvation issues”.
The Whole Farce Of “Salvation Issues”
Like many in so-called“churches of Christ” (in name only), Community Churches have lists of things that are not “salvation issues”. The second quote on the first page of this article listed some of those things. When someone says baptism is not a “salvation issue” [stupid language], they’re erring according to the Scriptures (Mark 16:15-16, Acts 2:38, I Peter 3:20-21, etc. ). The same is true with eternal security (Luke 8:13, I Corinthians 10:12, Galatians 5:4, and II Peter 3:16-17), separation from the world (I Corinthians 15:33, James 4:4, and I John 2:15-17), and erring Bible versions (Proverbs 30:5-6, Galatians 1:6-12, and Revelation 22:18-19). When you live your life completely for the Lord, everything is a salvation issue (Matthew 16:24, I Corinthians 4:6, Colossians 3:1-4, and II John 9).
I know, someone would respond to that saying I have never read Romans 14. Well, they fail to realize that there are even laws governing our freedoms. For example, marriage is a liberty (I Corinthians 7:1-9). In that liberty, are we not told who we can and cannot marry (Matthew 19:3-9)? If someone forbids a lawful marriage, they are erring (I Timothy 4:1-3). Therefore, even with liberties, there are laws regarding our conduct in all things that are good (II Timothy 3:15-17 and II Peter 1:3; cf. Matthew 4:4 and Colossians 3:17). The “Salvation Issue” argument is merely human reasoning seeking to promote unity in diversity! Any honest student of God’s word knows and understands that matters of liberty are things we MUST be unified in (Romans 14:1-3; 15:7). Even when I may choose not to exercise a liberty, I have to be unified with those who do. Paul chose not to be married (I Corinthians 7:7-8), but he understood and taught that marriage is a lawful liberty (I Corinthians 7:28). Paul practiced something different than others practiced, but was unified in understanding the Lord’s will on this freedom. Had he done otherwise, he would have been lost.
The spirit of compromise will never exist among God’s real people (Psalms 26:5; 97:10; 101:3; 119:104, 119:128, Proverbs 28:4, Proverbs 29:27, Jeremiah 15:16-17, Ezekiel 3:17-18, Amos 5:15, John 3:19-21, Ephesians 5:10-11, Titus 1:10-14, Titus 2:1, Titus 2:15, and Jude 3-4). Faithful Christians know that it is God who determines whom we can be in fellowship with (I John 1:3-7). When there are those practicing or teaching error, they are enemies of the Lord (Matthew 12:30). Sadly, they must be our enemies too (Philippians 3:18 and II John 9-11). Our next article will continue exposing these enemies of our Lord. We’ll focus that article on the entertainment based worship of Community Churches.
Volume 10 – Issue 41 - July 4th, 2010