Wednesday, December 11, 2013
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Romans 16:17 KJV).
Are we Pauline dispensationalists against going to a local church?
We who understand the message of God’s grace to us in Jesus Christ are often accused of being “church-splitters.” Every denominational minister who is aware of dispensational Bible study fears it, for it is a threat to the church program and handbook!
Constant personal communication with professing Christians (verbal dialog and email, even with “clergy”), frequent analyses of current best-selling “Christian” literature, and recent viewing of “quality” “Christian” television programming, still lead me to hold to the conclusion I reached years ago: much of Christendom literally has just as much of an understanding of what Jesus Christ is doing today as the people who have never even read the Holy Bible!
When we Pauline dispensationalists object the “norm”—widespread doctrinal error—and avoid it, we are labeled “church-splitters.” If we are to be rejected as “church-splitters” because we refuse to participate in Satan’s deception, then the Apostle Paul was certainly a “church-splitter” himself, and we are privileged to follow God’s spokesman to us in that regard!
Religious tradition was creeping into the early assemblies of the Church the Body of Christ. In fact, false teachers were even forcing the Scriptural Mosaic Law on Paul’s Gentile converts saved by God’s grace (see his epistles to Galatia and Timothy).
Paul’s advice in today’s Scripture was clear. Identify and avoid these people who “caused divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned.” If what anyone teaches today does not agree with what the Holy Spirit taught through the Apostle Paul, the Bible says we should avoid that person, for he or she is not speaking on God’s behalf: “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 14:37).
Remember, we are certainly not against going to a local church for fellowship; however, we are mindful of the challenge of finding one pure enough to attend!