“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
God has truly blessed me with rich experiences on my spiritual journey. During the decade of the 1980’s I joined forces with several youth ministers in the area to reach students with the Gospel. The Lord helped us provide huge events for students and many came to know Christ as their Lord and Savior. We were a strange group, besides being youth ministers; we were from 5 or 6 denominations that had some conflicting doctrines. We knew the only way this would work, was to focus on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and everyone was on board. We kept the main thing, the Main Thing!
I had to assure my leadership that doctrine beyond salvation in Christ would not enter the conversation until a person walked through the doors of a church. I was ridiculed by some who said I should not affiliate with people who did not believe 100% the way I did.
There is a God and I’m not Him. He is perfect and I am not. I have seen the Lord work through things I did not like and God didn’t even ask my permission. Most church disunity comes from peripherals that include: experience, culture, preference, personality, and power.
When do you take an unwavering stance? When another gospel is presented that does not place a personal relationship with Jesus front and center, when folks say there are many roads to Heaven, when people add to or take away from the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or when one believes they can be good enough to earn their way to Heaven. Against these things I’ve taken a stand and presented scripture as a standard. Not MY TRUTH – HIS TRUTH!
Where do you make a stand?
- What are your irreducible beliefs – those convictions that you will not compromise?
- How do you determine which principles are primary, secondary or even not that important at all?
Highlight – what words or phrases jump out at you
Explain – what does the passage mean?
Apply – how does the passage intersect with your life today?
Respond – how is God leading you to respond?