During my 69 years of being a Christian,* I
have been blessed in knowing thousands of believers in Christ. This blessing,
however great, has had a little darkness in it.
The darkness was not in the unity of the
body—that was the blessing. The darkness was the differences the Christians had
with each other. The differences were on many things, including baptism
(different forms or meanings) and theology (Reformed, Dispensational, Wesleyan,
Pentecostal, German Lutheran, Swedish Lutheran, Missouri Synod Lutheran, etc.
They would not allow communion to someone whose church was in a different synod
Is there a common basis for fellowship in the
There is a basis for breaking
fellowship. Unconfessed immorality is one reason. “But now I am writing to you
that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but
is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or
swindler. Do not even eat with such people. What business is it of mine to
judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?” (1 Cor.
Titus 3:10 is another: “Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After
that, have nothing to do with them.”
“I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch
out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are
contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them” (Rom. 16:17).
We are to stay away from those who cause
There are many unbiblical reasons for
division. I am writing this to help you recognize if you are part of the
problem. Our basis for fellowship with each other is this basic truth:
“Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind
you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have
taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word
I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I
passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins
according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the
third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then
to the Twelve” (1 Cor. 15:1-5).
*Written June 2017.