Posted by: reformbama | May 22, 2011

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

We are one body…one body. Not at the expense of truth and not at the expense of iniquity, we do not unite around confusion, we unite around the truth. It is a unity built on truth. It is the unity of the faith…the unity of the faith, as well as the unity of the Spirit. It is that unity which belongs to us because we possess the same life of God…the same living Christ…the same Spirit of Christ, as Paul identifies Him in Romans 8. It is the unity of a common understanding of Scripture and the Word of God.

There is a drive today in evangelicalism…and what a bland term that has become. But there is a drive in evangelicalism for an ecumenism that ignores sound doctrine, that overlooks error and accepts even what we would deem as heresy. There is a kind of evangelical ecumenism that says we’re all one and we need to enjoy one another without regard for any of our doctrinal differences. That is a false and unbiblical and displeasing unity, if indeed it is unity at all in the sense that it dishonors and displeases the Lord.

There is another kind of striving for unity that wants to disregard iniquity and embrace everybody no matter whether they are walking in obedience to the Word of God or not, overlooking their sin and their iniquity.

But quite the contrary. The Scripture says if there is someone in your midst, according to Titus chapter 3, teaching error, if there is a heretic there, admonish him once, admonish him twice and then put him out. He’s forfeited a right to lay any claim to acceptance within that unity. And if there is a brother or sister in iniquity, you go to him or her and you go through a process calling them to repentance. And if they do not repent, you put them out. And the Apostle Paul reminds the Thessalonians of what that’s like. He says this in 2 Thessalonians 3:6, “We command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that you stay apart, or keep aloof, from every brother who leads an unruly life, not according to the tradition which you’ve received from us.” That tradition not being some rabbinic tradition, but that tradition established by the revelation from God.

If you have someone in your church who is teaching error, you cannot have unity with that individual. If you have someone who is leading an unruly or sinful life, you cannot have fellowship with that individual. So what we’re talking about here is the pursuit of the true unity of the Spirit that belongs to those who surround the truth and affirm it and who live godly lives.

– John MacArthur


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