One Way to Destroy A Local Church
Suppose there is a doctrinal controversy brewing in a local church. Suppose again that the doctrine in question is one of paramount importance; a doctrine so fundamental to the Christian faith, that to reject it is to reject Biblical Christianity. Now, imagine two opposing camps within that fellowship, with the remainder of the church members – a large number – refusing to take sides and being determined to play the peacemakers, or just not get involved at all.
The “peacemakers” are the doctrinal pacifists in this case. They freely acknowledge that someone must be right and someone must be wrong, and yet both of the main camps are only human, and thus, fallible. They also voice their concerns against any bitterness that may be percolating.
So we have two camps of opposing stands on a particular doctrine, and the rest are desiring peace and stressing the love that is demanded for Christian brethren.
Who is causing the most harm in this case?
Those who are wrong about the doctrine? Maybe, maybe not. At least they are passionate about the doctrine! And, by God’s grace, perhaps cooler heads will prevail, and, with proper study and instruction, many may change their position.
The point here is that too often, those who are wrong about an important doctrine are the ones many churches focus on as doing harm to the fellowship, and they are, insofar as church unity on the basis of truth is concerned. But that can be corrected.
Sometimes, the greatest harm, individually and corporately, comes from those who are playing the peacemaker. More specifically, the ones who are doctrinally indifferent. Peace and love among the brethren, unity. It’s almost a Rodney King style of thinking: “Can’t we all just get along?”
The problem here, and it is one way to quickly destroy a local church fellowship, is doctrinal indifference. It’s not loving. It’s cowardice. It’s also sinful.
It’s sinful, and destructive, because when professing Christians are zealous for unity, peace and “getting along” while being doctrinally indifferent – and being more concerned about the Wednesday night fellowship menu than Truth as found in Scripture – then they are working at break-neck speed for the destruction and disbanding of a local church.
Playing the pacifistic, love and peace role is sitting on the fence. It is straddling the yellow line of God’s highway, trying to go in both directions. It’s not possible, not healthy, sinful and destructive to a fellowship.
The only way to true peace is getting off the fence, and choosing the right side of the road to walk on – and the right doctrine to stand on, which is the one clearly taught in Scripture.There is no “middle-ground” when it comes to biblical doctrine, there is only the truth, and the lie.