Hope you enjoy this teaching that came in today form Marc White along
the same lines, at the bottom, if interested. Blessings +Ken<><
Mark Carroll wrote:
> CS Lewis is remembered today. His popular books defending Christianity,
> and his novels have influenced many to turn to Jesus and the Church. See
> his story here
> I appreciate this quotation from his preface to the book Mere Christianity.
> I offer no help to anyone who is hesitating between two Christian
> 'denominations'. You will not learn from me whether you ought to become
> an Anglican, a Methodist, a Presbyterian, or a Roman Catholic. This
> omission is intentional... …. I am not trying to convert anyone to my
> own position. Ever since I became a Christian I have thought that the
> best, perhaps the only, service I could do for my unbelieving neighbours
> was to explain and defend the belief that has been common to nearly all
> Christians at all times. [Preface to Mere Christianity]
> The thought and belief that is common to nearly all Christians at all
> times, is that which has come to us from the canon of scriptures of the
> New Testament era and universal teachings of the early Church
An excellent teaching so I pass it along to you, Love in Jesus, Ken
Our brother the apostle Paul stated in his letter to the Philippians
that we corporately should be striving together with ONE MIND and SPIRIT
for the faith of the gospel. Moreover, he went on to say that his joy
would be complete when we're all intent on ONE PURPOSE, being united in
Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so
that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you
that you are standing firm in ONE SPIRIT, with ONE MIND striving
together for the faith of the gospel;
make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same
love, united in spirit, intent on ONE PURPOSE.
So, my friends, once again let me refer to the words of our Savior about
the perfection in unity:
"The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may
BE ONE, just as We are ONE; I in them and You in Me, that they may be
PERFECTED IN UNITY, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and
loved them, even as You have loved Me."
We also saw in Acts that they came to one mind:
it seemed good to us, HAVING BECOME of ONE MIND, to select men to send
to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, Our good friend in the faith,
Jon Zens of Searching Together, writes these words as preface to his
article on "Communication in Community:"
"Many of us do not have pleasant memories surrounding the church
"business" meetings of our past. Just about all of us have gone through
the pains of a church split. Some of us have agonized through a
plurality of church divisions.
Has it ever occurred to us that most breakdowns in Christian
relationships are rooted, not in the outward "problem" (doctrinal or
policy differences, etc.), but in a lack of the spiritual qualities
found in Eph.4:2-3? Gentleness and humility are necessary in times of
We may know the answers to catechism questions, but we do not know how
to listen to a person with a different viewpoint. We may claim the gift
of tongues, but know little of how to keep our tongues from speaking
evil. We may be able to ramble on about the doctrine of election, but we
lack the grace of God's elect in our speech (Eph.4 :29; Col.3:12).
Paul knew that Christians, by not acting in love, were capable of biting
and devouring one another (Gal.5:13,15, 26). In our day, we know that
church splits occur at an alarming rate. Why is it that Christians have
such a struggle getting along with one another? Much of the problems
lies in the fact that believers have not been equipped in how to work
matters through with others. As Elliot Johnson observes:
In order to reach unity we need some way to talk about our different
interpretations and to evaluate these differences. "Author's Intention &
Biblical Interpretation," I.C.B.I., 1982, p.1).
"We need some way. . ." Is it possible that we have been deceived by a
vicious scheme of the evil one? The New Testament assumes that
everything will not be smooth among Christians. It assumes that there
will be complaints and differences of perspective among believers. But
it is with reference to the means given in the N.T. to deal with such
problems that Christians are the most ill-equipped. In so many cases we
fail to practice the new covenant methods of conflict resolution.
I would like to offer a few points that will highlight the importance of
believers knowing how to deal with the inevitable differences that will
come up among brethren.
1. Communication in the family of God is a crucial means to certain
ends, not an end in itself. Our overarching goal is to grow in Christ
and the application of His truth to our lives. Interpersonal
communication is necessary in the attainment of this goal. But the
situation should never degenerate to the point where communication
becomes a substitute for "speaking the truth in love." Some emphasize
"open dialogue" so much that ascertaining and applying truth become
irrelevant. Others so "earnestly contend" for every theological jot and
tittle that serious interchange is short-circuited. There is a balance
here that must be prayerfully sought, a balance captured beautifully in
words by Vernard Ever:
The preservation of fellowship is of supreme value; however, uniformity,
or unanimity, in the truth is also of high value. The pressure toward
unanimity dare not be allowed to destroy fellowship, but neither dare
the joys of fellowship be allowed to stifle the search for the point of
concord that marks the truth . . . . if this dialectical balance be
patiently maintained, the Spirit can and will eventually bring about
unanimity - while in the process enhancing rather than destroying
fellowship (ST, 12:1, 13).
2. The N.T. puts a premium on the maintenance of Christian relationships
(Matt.5:23; Col.3:13; Luke 17:3-4). The breakdown of "oneness" in
Corinth was a central concern for Paul (1 Cor.1:10-13; 3:1-4; 11:18).
Jesus taught that ruptured relationships among His people warranted the
immediate interruption of devotional activities (Matt.5:23). Our love to
the invisible God is measured primarily by our ability to love the
tangible brethren who surround us (1 John 4:20).
We are just playing religious games if we think we can be devoted to God
while not dealing with unreconciled relationships with other Christians.
As much as lies within us, we are to seek and to labor for peace in
3. As Paul contemplated the implications of the gospel for our daily
living, he began with how we are to function with other believers (Eph.
4:1-3; Rom.12:1-8; CoI.3:12-15). This is in harmony with Christ's new
commandment, "love one another as I have loved you" The gospel brings us
into a body where we must learn to grow with others (1 Cor.12:13).
The atmosphere of an assembly is crucial. The spiritual characteristics
of Eph.4:2-3, 31-32, provide a context in which the truth can be spoken
and obeyed. If "truth" is presented in a setting where such attributes
are lacking, then the biting and devouring of one another is just around
the corner. If "love" is emphasized in a context of indifference to
truth, then empty sentimentalism results. As l have said before, "to
fully accept people in the bonds of truth and to confront them in an
atmosphere of acceptance is a tension we must face and work out" (ST.
12:1, 1). Lawrence Crabb has some good thoughts on this:
Change takes place when truth is presented in relationship. Perhaps a
relationship of deep regard and empathetic concern is the context for
change, creating an atmosphere in which the truth of God can be heard
nondefensively and thus penetrate more deeply . . . . to be healthy, a
church must present truth in the context of encouraging relationships
(Encouragement: The Key to Caring)
Assemblies will never be perfect. However, I have no hesitation in
asserting that to the degree the principles set forth in "Communication
in Community" are practiced, the healthier assemblies will be. It is
very likely, as (Thomas) Dubay suggests, "that discussing some of these
items may itself provide a helpful breakthrough." I pray that it will."
Thank you, Jon. Feel free to contact him (firstname.lastname@example.org)
for a copy of Dubay's exceleent piece on this.
Can we be of "one mind" and the "same judgment?" Be it done to us
according to our faith!
Saints, we're one day closer to Home, and Him! Love Him wholeheartedly!