Denominations versus Divisions

I don?t like the word ?denominations? nor do I really like
the term ?Plymouth-Brethren? for my so-called denomination. According to
Scriptures the only thing I see Christians being called is Christians or brethren.
When I look out at that vast landscape of Christendom and a person calls
themselves a Christian and exhibits the fruit of their profession, I call them
brother or sister?so do most of the so-called Plymouth Brethren. A Christian
should be able to embrace all believers as being part of the Body of Christ although
acknowledging that others may not be convicted of the same things.

Mind you, our individual gatherings are responsible to
themselves and answer to no higher authority than God above?and we feel that it
is the same with each and every Christian denomination or individual. You
believe in God? Amen, so do I. You believe in His Son? Praise the Lord,
salvation is by no other. You?re fully convinced of your doctrinal stance?
Amen, we are each to be fully convinced for we will give personal account to
the Lord one day.

This being the case, when I give account before the Lord
will my excuses consist of a denominational report card? ?Well Lord, you know,
I read the Word you gave and this is how I took it and in my mind I was
convinced and in my conscience I could see that I was being disobedient but I
thought I would be okay because, after all, [X denomination] has [Insert Great
Leader names] and [X denomination or movement or position] has been around
since the [insert century here].

Indeed, in our own gathering there are folks of different
persuasions and stances. Some folks have a stance that it is important to pray
on our knees. Others have a distinctly Calvinist persuasion and yet others are
more Arminian in their leaning if not in their doctrine. We do not divide over
it.

The word of God is explicit that the reason for our calling
is to give God the glory, so that we may grow in Him and glorify Him for all
eternity. Therefore each Christian is to take great care with what we do before
the Almighty Living God and in this world around us.

So we wind up gathering with like-minded folk. Folk who see
the need to worship the Lord by the breaking of bread and taking of the
cup?often and until the Lord returns. Folk who see the plurality of elders, the
multiplicity of gifts, and the financial support by only those who are in
fellowship with one another. Folk who are given over to the studying and
preaching of the Word and making disciples of men, with the goal being that God
is glorified.

Therefore, we don?t gather under [X-Denomination] doctrine because
they?re not likeminded in our take of worship, or authority, or leadership. Not
that we?re condemning them as sinners but rather, our conscience bears witness,
knowing we have to personally answer to the Lord. Will I point out to a person
of [X-Denomination] where I think he?s wrong? Only if he asks or if he starts condemning
Christians of hell-fire if they don?t stand in line behind his persuasion.  Have we broken bread with [X, Y or Z
Denomination]? Of course! Have we stood firm on our convictions in those
meetings as well? Oh surely.

So there you have it Brother Pseudo-Polymath, I do not
encourage division?I encourage like-minded community because in the end, we
each have to give an account to the Lord.

 -r-
Ref: Rom 14; 2 Cor 10; 1 Cor 10, 11; Eph 4;
HT: Jeremy
Update: Other Responses can be found on Mark’s site, but take a look at these: David, Adrian, Mike, Jeremy’s defense of unity

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