Last night I spoke out of Ephesians 4 on how Paul urged the church at Ephesus to be united in what they believed. When we can't agree on what we absolutely believe about God, it's a major unity buster. Of course there is much that we can humbly agree to disagree upon for the sake of unity, but there are some doctrines for which we are called to contend. Settling for disagreement around these truths would not be humility or unity from God's point of view.
"Maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, - just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to you call - one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all who is over all and through all and in all." (4:4-7)
GK Chesterton said it beautifully. "What we suffer from today is humility in the wrong place. What a man asserts is exactly the part he ought not to assert - himself. What he doubts is exactly the part he ought not to doubt - Divine Reason"
So what are the ideas which threaten our doctrinal unity? There is nothing new under the sun really. Heresy, like history tends to keep on repeating itself - it just has more hip hair cuts and trendy book covers. We can learn from church history, and keep ourselves from getting blown about by every wind and wave of teaching by being a theologically savvy people. So here are four heresies that are potential unity busters for us today.
1. Arianism (not to be confused with white supremacist Aryanism) - the denial of the deity of Christ
2. Gnosticism - the denial of the humanity of Christ
3. Pelagianism - the denial of the depravity of man
4. Antinomianism - being anti God's moral law because of God's grace.
Do we swallow everything we hear or do we test it to see if its strong enough to hold up under the hammer of Scripture?
So much relational conflict happens in church because there is a lack of doctrinal unity.
Or maybe its because we're just all on edge from drinking too much Starbucks coffee.
talk online at www.southlands.net