“Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong.”
Somewhere, somehow, many of us Christians have picked up a nasty habit of trying “fix” those that don’t believe or practice their faith just like we do. It comes up in casual conversation. Some people have devoted their entire ministries to critiquing other Christians. We defend ourselves by saying that we are “defending the faith.” In so many cases, though, we are just defending our own pet traditions.
John, one of Jesus’ disciples, saw a man using Jesus’ name to set people free. John said, “We told him to stop because he wasn’t in our group.” Things have not really changed that much, have they?
Instead of telling John what a great thing he had done by trying to stop the guy, Jesus said, “Don’t stop him! No one who performs a miracle in my name will soon be able to speak evil of me.” With that attitude, I wonder how Jesus is going to judge us when we stand before him? Is he going to judge us because we did not have perfect doctrine? Is he going to judge us because we did not know the Bible as well as other believers? Is he going to judge us because we were in the “wrong” denomination or church?
Don’t get me wrong. I want to have correct doctrine and theology. I am a theologian. Let’s not forget, though, that the Apostle Paul, perhaps the greatest theologian ever, was much more interested in how the Christians in Rome related to each other. Sure, Paul was not above going after those who had bad doctrine. Read his letter to the Galatians. Of course, Galatians focuses on refuting the false teaching that had arisen in the churches there in regard to how we are saved. The last two chapters of Galatians, however, focuses on how the Christians in Galatia were to treat each other.
I wonder what would happen if Christians could actually accept one another, differences and all? Maybe, just maybe, we could change the world?
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