Friday, November 22, 2002
I have received an accusation by a reader who says that my stand on Biblical purity and holiness is really an excuse to be divisive and sectarian. She accused me of being a sower of disunity and discord. She then went on to say that true Christians should be united in the cause of Christ and the gospel rather than so eager to divide over petty doctrinal differences.
I do not question this woman’s sincerity but she is so completely deluded by the ecumenical thinking of our day that she believes that compromise and tolerance are virtues rather than Taking a Stand for the Truth. This is proof that good Pharisees like myself need to constantly preach against the corrupting influences of the world.
Let me state first of all that I am not against unity. I believe the Bible teaches unity and that we should practice it. But I do not believe in unity at any cost. I am certainly unwilling to sacrifice the Truth on the altar of popularity in the name of a false unity.
The chief obstacle to unity is not Pharisees as some claim. The chief obstacle is the stubbornness of others. I find it interesting that they always want us to compromise what we believe in order to join their cause but they are never willing to compromise what they believe in order to join our cause. So who is really against unity – them or us?
Unity would easily be obtained if everyone would join the Pharisee cause and be like us. Even Paul opposed Peter in Galatians 3 because Peter was unwilling to adopt Paul’s attitudes. Was Paul against unity? Certainly not. He is the author of I Corinthians 12, after all. But he was not willing to sacrifice principle for the cause of unity, even to the point of righteously accusing brethren in error, just like I do.
So what is Biblical unity? Clearly it is the conformity of all people to a single set of beliefs. What set of beliefs, you ask? Why, the Pharisee doctrinal statement of course. If everyone would come over to our way of thinking, we would then see true Christian unity. If all denominations were just like the Pharisee church, then we would see a worldwide revival.
Others say that the Pharisee denomination itself is so fractured by various divisions within its ranks that we are not truly united. This is proof once again that we need to be constantly vigilant to eradicate error. There are churches who wear the name Pharisee and claim to be true Pharisee churches but they are not. “They went out from us because they were not of us. If they had been of us, they would have continued with us.” So it is not our fault if other people who are less committed to unity leave our church and start rival congregations.
Our critics say, “If I were to unite with the Pharisee denomination, then which branch should I be associated with?” Once again, the answer is quite clear – you should be a part of the same branch that I am a part of. It is only by joining my cause that you can truly consider yourself part of a fellowship of unity.
I urge you, brothers, 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. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites
Romans 16:17-18 (NIV)
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