On Facebook there’s a group called “church brothers and sisters”, which is composed of members of several churches – Calvary Chapel, United Methodist, Southern Baptist, Presbyterians.
This is Ecumenism. Ecumenism is expressedly forbidden in Scripture in the doctrine of what we call Separation. The doctrine of separation was put in place by the Lord in what amounts to a protectiion order – heresy is catching. What we overlook today in another denomination, tomorrow we condone, and the day after we practice ourselves. this is taught in 2 Timothy 2:16
But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. 2 Tim 2:16 (KJV)
likewise, we are commanded to teach no other doctrine.
Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord. 3 As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thois taught inu mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, 4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. 1 Tim 1:2-4 (KJV)
We are to continue in the doctrine as passed down from the Apostles.
Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. 1 Tim 4:16 (KJV)
But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. 13 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 6:11-14 (KJV)
The Bible says, “without spot.” As David Cloud often says, a spot is a tiny thing! Look at your shirt after lunch – that small spot of food… we are not to allow even that much deviation from the doctrine passed down from the Apostles, which they learned from the Lord!
Is this a major issue? Yes. Separation can be found in almost every book of the New Testament, and is present in much of the Old Testament as well. Separation is the other side of the coin of Church discipline, the temporary removal of errant Church Members.
Calvary Chapel is very good about doctrine. They believe in believer’s baptism, and salvation through faith alone. They also believe in being born again, so it’s probable that the majority of the members of its churches are born again.
However, they also believe in the sign gifts, something the Bible clearly states would pass when “that which is perfect is come”, namely, the finishing of the New Testament canon and the completion of the Bible, the book which is the perfect revealed will of God.
Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 1 Cor 13:8-12 (KJV)
The Bible commands us to separate from them, as they have allowed error into their teaching by advocating the sign gifts after the Bible tells us that prophecies would fail, tongues would cease and that words of knowledge would vanish away after the Bible was completed. To follow the sign gifts is to place your own experiences and feelings above God’s. Otherwise, the teaching will creep into the church. And Southern Baptists will eventually be rolling on the floor barking and chanting in tongues. Those that aren’t already.
United Methodists are somewhat worse. Being Armenians, they at least believe you must be born again. But they advocate Baptism and the Lord’s Supper as a “means of added grace.” Thats works based salvation. We are commanded to separate from that.
Presbyterians are worse in their doctrine, advocating Calvinism – a Roman Catholic doctrine. They believe that they are automatically saved if they are called to attend a Calvinist Church, because they are predestined to salvation, and the fruit of that is the attending a church that believes that. If that sounds like circular reasoning, it is. “We’re saved because our church teaches we’re presdestined.” “How do you know if you’re one of the elect?” “You attend a church that believes in predestination.” There are so many verses that says “whosoever will…” and “whosever believeth…” that I could be here all day quoting them! John 3:16 alone refutes Calvinism. Calvinism is a MUCH bigger error, as the odds are against any of those Presbyterians being saved – since they think that they’re predestined, why bother?
So, if almost every form of Protestantism involves grace plus works, or paedo-baptism, or even an absence of being born again in many cases – why are we calling them “brothers and sisters?” It’s very probable that some, if not many, of these are following a different Jesus, not the Lord Jesus Christ who went to the Cross, rose again from the dead and ascended into heaven!
All the verses about loving one another and unity of the bretheren refer to those following the Lord Jesus Christ. And John tells us that we know we are His if we keep His commandments, and they are not grevious.
But for those who walk disorderly, teaching other doctrines…
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. 19 For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. 20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. Romans 16:17-20 (KJV)
Paul refers to those that teach other doctrines – like Paedo-baptism and salvation by grace plus works, as “serve not our Lord Jesus Christ”, and even refers to them as “Satan” in verse 20. We are to mark them – and avoid them. Not join Facebook pages with them.
we may not like it – but that’s what the Bible commands.