Some peoples’ standard for fellowship is that if someone is in error, in any matter whether big or small, they need to be disfellowshipped. If we are supposed to disfellowship people who have any error in any doctrine, would it stand to reason that in some point in time we should no longer have fellowship with ourselves? I know there are things I don’t have nailed down. I have constantly changed my mind over some matters in scripture…so that means I have been wrong a whole bunch of times in the past and am certainly wrong about something even as I type this.
In the same church pew sit people who are amillenial, premillenial, and all kinds of other millenial…there are those who believe instruments are okay and others believe they are sinful. There are some who believe the contribution is separate and apart and others who don’t even think about whether it is separate or not. Some sing praise to the Spirit while others don’t sing those songs as there is no biblical example of worshiping the Holy Spirit. There are those who think we should have three songs and a prayer and others who have never even considered the order of worship. Some lift their hands, some clap, and some just sing. Is it wrong that people who all believe in Jesus Christ should be able to worship in the same room even though they hold differing beliefs on a variety of doctrines? I am not saying anything goes here when it comes to doctrine but I am saying we have to learn how to keep the main thing the main thing and learn which things are negotiable.
One problem Christianity has had in the past is our love for a good debate, a good fight…a knock down, drag out with other Christians to prove our brand of Christianity is superior to their brand. I am glad to see our young people are tired of that and won’t have much at all to do with it. We are going to see some major changes in the church in the next 25 years. I am glad to say that many of the lines of fellowship we have arbitrarily made are going to be erased. Sure others will probably crop up here and there but for the most part our young people don’t care how you think Jesus will return as long as you believe He is Lord. So I guess I can continue to fellowship myself even though I have failings, frailties and I am sure error on some things. I am glad you are patient with me and I am glad God is still working on me.
If we are going to follow the example of Christ we must be willing to extend a hand to those who don’t yet have it all together [which includes each and every one of us!] but who are willing to work on it.