Christian Divisions

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Pseudo-Polymath wants Christian bloggers to address the following question:

Of the differences we hold, why are they strong enough to keep us apart, out of communion, and in (sometimes bitter) disagreement. What are these differences? I challenge you to defend them! Tell us what differences you hold more important than what you profess each week: your belief in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. Or are the differences just political and based on historical inertia? If it is just traditions of styles of worship and praxis, why does that still hold us apart? I don't have the answers to these questions, but many out there who read this undoubtedly have thoughts on this.

I'd like to say something about this at some point, but I'm not going to get to it tonight.

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I'm trying to collect responses as they come to my attention. Thank you for your essay or comment. Read More

Defending Division ?? from JOLLYBLOGGER - a weblog for jolly beggars on February 4, 2005 6:22 PM

I'm finally getting around to answering Mark Olson's challenge over at Pseudo Polymath: My question to the God Blogosphere is the following. Of the differences we hold, why are they strong enough to keep us apart, out of communion, and Read More

4 Comments

Well, having come out the Episcopal Church and having confronted my Bishop at the time over his support of homosexual marriage and the ordination of V. Gene Robinson, I can unequivocally say that my differences are easily defended and go to the heart of the Gospel.

I think that Pseudo-Polymath forgets that what you see is not the church any more than the Jews residing in Israel at the time of Elijah were the people of God. Only those who had not bowed their knees to Baal were His and even Elijah was blind to them. It is God who looks upon the heart and knows His own.

The one holy catholic and apostolic Church exists in God's accounts, known fully only to Him and not in institutions, or buildings, or formulations of our making, but in rightly confessing the faith once delivered unto the saints.

So there...

I think you've missed the point twice over. First, I don't think he was talking about divisions over that sort of thing. I think was talking about Calvinism vs. Arminianism, gender roles in ministry, the particular gifts charismatics and Pentecostals emphasize, mode and age of baptism, dispensationalism vs. covenant theology or new covenant theology, etc. Maybe he's including that too, but do you want to say that you'd treat all such issues the same? I sure wouldn't.

Second, I'll eventually get to my own thoughts and will appreciate interaction, but I think he'd like you to post it and trackback to him or just leave it as a comment on his post.

Well it is not unusual that I miss the point. I do remember that you don't have to have a point to have a point though... ;-)

So his real question is what should actually cause division or separation in the body of Christ? Where and on what depth of significance should the dividing line be between difference of opinion on secondary matters and actual heresy?

On that I would say that maybe I haven't missed the point but went to an obvious example since when push comes to shove, there isn't really a difference between arguing over free will versus God's sovereignty and arguing over human sexuality versus God's love. It is just a matter of degree and relative clarity of sources.

There is a difference if there are certain biblical requirements for church leadership in one area but not the other.

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