11 Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the Lord your God. 12 Else if ye do in any wise go back, and cleave unto the remnant of these nations, even these that remain among you, and shall make marriages with them, and go in unto them, and they to you: 13 Know for a certainty that the Lord your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the Lord your God hath given you. Josh 23:11-13 (KJV)
It’s another one of those amazing things that makes you wonder. The very thing most churches praise is the very thing that brings them to destruction.
“We must get beyond our denominational differences!” They cry. “There must be no divisions in the body of Christ!”
It sounds WONDERFUL! I agree wholeheartedly!
But let’s first see what the Bible has to say about this. Because I hold reservations on this issue. Not of myself, but as a person who is “not my own” and “bought with a price” I am required to believe, keep and teach to a certain standard.
As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, 1 Tim 1:3 (KJV)
Timothy was required to teach no other doctrine than what Paul had taught him. There was no lee-way, no wiggle room. He couldn’t come up with some novel interpretation. “Re-thinking God” under those guidelines means a deliberate choice to follow another god, an idol “who cannot save”.
“Re-thinking church” under those guidelines means “sitting in the seat of the scornful” (Psalm 1:1). There is one Body of Christ, given one doctrine, taught in local churches.
This changes everything, then. Calvinism teaches Electionism, which says many are predestined to Hell. Nobody is predestined to Hell, except the office of those who refuse to come to Salvation. If you persist in that refusal until death – you will go to Hell. The number of those choosing that office (Sorry, I’m having to deliberately choose words that will illuminate the meaning of all those passages Calvinists read and get confused on…) numbers at 143,000 people a day on average. In a week, about a million people on average enter into Hell. It’s a staggering thought. They were not predestined to hell… they chose it. I personally was not predestined to be saved. God knew I would accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ, repent, and accept the salvation of Jesus Christ. God pre-ordained the office of those who would believe. By believing in Jesus Christ to save me and not of my own actions whatsoever, I entered that office, the office of those predestined to salvation.
Calvinism teaches a different doctrine than what is Biblical.
I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; 14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: 1 Tim 6:13-14 (KJV)
Paul commanded Timothy to keep his doctrine “without spot”. Peter makes reference to being “without spot” in each one of his Epistles. To quote David Cloud, “A spot is a little thing.” So, we see that Calvinists teach a different doctrine.
Roman Catholics cannot be considered Christian. They believe in Jesus Christ – but they practice salvation by works, which is so far removed from Christian doctrine that they cannot truly be considered Christian. They also elevate Church Tradition far above and beyond the Bible that they must be considered a cult. Roman Catholicism should be considered the very opposite of Christianity. Anti-Christianity, if you will.
Armenianists teach that one can lose their salvation. Salvation is a gift of God. It is not ours to lose. Woe is all of us if it were possible to lose it, as Heb. 6:4 points out, because there is no further sacrifice for sins. We are sealed unto the day of redemption, which means we cannot possibly lose our salvation.
Armenianism teaches a different doctrine than what is Biblical.
Presbyterians teach baptismal regeneration. As does Lutherans, Methodists, Church of Christ, Episcopals, Anglicans and almost all other Protestants. The Bible does not show a single infant being baptised ever, only adult believers. And Jewish practice at the time was full body immersion, as commanded by God. So almost every Protestant denomination teaches a different doctrine than what is Biblical.
“What? How can you say that???” Uh… it was easy. I just showed you the minor (well, in some cases extremely major) errors of Protestantism. There’s no argument with what I showed – it was the conclusion I drew, wasn’t it?
But in the light of what the Bible teaches versus what the denominations teach – what other conclusion can you draw?
“Without spot.” “No other doctrine.” This is what the Bible COMMANDS. This is the New Testament, not some command under the law. You cannot dismiss it as Legalism if it is taught in the New Testament.
These commands are given as safeguards, as we see in Joshua 23. The people of Israel ignored this command over and over again, each time getting more mired in idolatry. By the carrying away to Babylon, even the nations around them couldn’t believe Israel & Judah’s exesses.
What does the bible command us, who hold to true Biblical doctrine, to do, concerning Christians who hold to different doctrines?
If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. 2 John 1:10-11 (KJV)
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. Eph 5:11 (KJV)
But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. 10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; 11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself. Titus 3:9-11 (KJV)
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. 1 John 2:15-17 (KJV)
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 2 Tim 3:5 (KJV)
Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them. 8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: Eph 5:6-8 (KJV)
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. James 4:4 (KJV)
If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. 19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. John 15:18-19 (KJV)
I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. John 17:14-16 (KJV)
beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:1-2 (KJV)
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. Romans 16:17-18 (KJV)
Ecumenism is friendship with the world. It encourages friendship and co-operation with Rome. The only Co-operation Rome requires is that a). we do not try to save Roman Catholics, so that they can keep their doomed flocks on the road to Hell and under their control and B). we co-operate our way back into Rome’s control, and begin surrendering control back to the Pope. Rome does not want cooperation – They want capitulation. they want you to come back to Rome. The word Ecumenism to them means “Protestants returning to Rome.” Since Baptists were never part of Rome, I have no idea what their opinion of that is. Probably back to the Inquisition, again. No doubt they will be placing Baptists back on the rack, the gallows, and drowning – and burning at the stake as they have always done. Much is made about Islam’s “convert or die” approach – nobody ever mentions Roman Catholicism’s historical approach to this.
With this in mind, should there be divisions within the body of Christ? The answer biblically is no. But those that adhere to other doctrines we practice a form ofChurch Discipline with. We do not fellowship with them until they repent and adhere to true Biblical doctrine. This is called Separation.
We are not dividing the body of Christ – we are separating from those who, by their false doctrines, are the ones who themselves cause divisions in the body of Christ.
So, with this in mind, all Christians are to separate from those who preach and teach false doctrine. That’s what the Bible teaches.
What are you practicing?