Pastor Mark Jeske
There are many Christian organizations and denominations. Mostly that’s a good thing. Monopolies breed tyranny, and some degree of competition is healthy for any business or nonprofit. It’s good for people to have choices. If they are abused or underserved in one, they can move to another.
It’s good for religious denominations to be proud of their heritage and confident of their theological convictions. What is not good is when pride leads church leaders to glorify themselves or empower themselves or look down on other Christians. “‘Master,’ said John, ‘we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.’ ‘Do not stop him,’ Jesus said, ‘for whoever is not against you is for you’” (Luke 9:49,50).
It’s good to work very hard at grounding your belief system in the Bible, to sift and probe and test every idea and make it subject to God’s inspired Word. It’s bad, though, to think of a Christian not in your organization as the enemy. People are loyal to the denomination into which they were born, or where they have a lot of relatives and friends, or to the one that gave them a chance to serve.
The line we all should want to walk is to take great care with our doctrinal statements and message but to show kindness and respect to others who confess Christ as Savior but “are not one of us.”
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