By Norman S. Edwards
From SVM – Fall 2016
July 5, 2016
Hello Jim Patterson and Greetings to the staff:
I want to say that I really like Jim’s latest article False Brethren among God’s People (Spring/Summer 2016 Issue).
What else can I say? We have a problem. It is one of the biggest “church problems”. We bury ourselves in our little group and divide the people. God knows we are divided and He does not approve of it—but He allows it, for now. I do not have a solution—but would just say church “leaders” and brethren, too, really need to use God’s Spirit. We may not have been there, historically. People are not just ministers, pastors, etc.—they are politicians!
We have the same doctrines—most of us—but cannot fellowship freely together. This is the saddest irony of your time. No, we cannot blame God. Take Care,V. Singh
Dear Mr. Singh,
I think your insight is very good. The church is divided because too many do not use God’s Spirit and become politicians, seeking to promote their own doctrines, followings and offerings. Our church groups and their members are getting what they deserve. If we put our faith in a group, whether it is huge or tiny, we will end up divided against other groups. If our validation as a Christian is tied to being in the “right group”, then we must put other groups in a lower status to validate our own.
We must “play politics” to get people and money in our church— because God is not sending them. If our faith is in the Father and Jesus Christ, then we can be unified. We can be willing to work with all other believers. Sure, some might reject us—simply because we are not a part of their group or do not hold all of their doctrines. But at least we can work with every other believer who is willing to work with us!
We should not let ourselves be worried by exclusive church groups—they have always existed. God can raise up stones to do his work if necessary (see Jim’s article this issue). We need to make sure we are part of the answer, not part of the problem. We can seek out real Christian work and be ready to do it. God is able to answer our prayers and show us what to do.