Fellowshipping with Other Believers and Churches

It is recognized that not all believers are at the same level of spiritual maturity. Therefore, we should not allow differences of understanding concerning titles of address, positions, functions, doctrines, etc. keep us from fellowshipping with other believers, denominations, etc. Instead, we should be fully persuaded in our own minds and secure in our callings and beliefs yet be open to receiving a deeper understanding ourselves. Let the spirit of speaking the truth in love prevail (Ephesians 4:15).

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Jesus and the biblical apostles went to the temple and synagogue even though there were clearly some doctrinal disagreement between them and the temple/synagogue leaders. Even after Jesus death and resurrection, the apostles continued to go to the synagogue even though some if not all synagogue leaders had rejected Jesus and the true Word, Will, and Way of God.
Therefore, the Christian apostles worshipped God with non-Christians in a non-Christian officiated assembly though they worshipped the same God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Yes, Jews and Christians worship the same God but they differ on the answer to the question of Jesus Messiahship. The apostles of course were there to turn the non-Christians into practicing Christians through the preaching of the Gospel and Doctrine of Jesus Christ.

Let us consider the fact that Jesus went to the syngagogue and participated in the synagogue functions. For example Jesus taught the equivalent to the modern day Sunday School and/or Bible Study there as well as preached there. So then it follows that one can participate in an assembly or ministry initiative that is not organized according to biblical principles. For example, let’s say a person, minister or non-minister, does not believe in women pastors. That person can yet partner or otherwise occasionally fellowship with a church that has a female as “pastor”. In such a case the person need not say or do anything that violates his/her integrity regarding women pastors. This same principle applies to any doctrinal matter. However, there is no intent here to suggest that this principle applies to formal membership in such a church or ministry as Jesus and the apostles were not under the authority of the synagogue officials.

The principle does demonstrate that one can work for a government office or a company that does wrong in some area when there is no nexus between what one actually does and the wrong itself. That is the person’s job may require him/her to do the wrong but if the person challenges the requirement and is able to avoid doing the wrong then it is proper for the person to continue with
the organization if that is what the person chooses to do. The case of Kim Davis and same sex marriage in Kentucky illustrates this point. She challenged the requirement to partake in sin and eventually won by getting the rules changed so that she personally could keep her job yet not personally partake in authorizing same sex marriage.

We should interact in a loving respectful manner while maintaining spiritual integrity. For example, as indicated above, if a person is a known minister, male or female (e.g., a prophetess), the position and/or title designator Minister is universally applicable and may be used to maintain spiritual integrity when one has concern with a particular designator; in such cases the referenced party should be humble and secure enough not to be irritated at use of such a generic designator. Also, in keeping
with Jesus example and commandment to teach others what he taught/teaches directly or through his faithful biblical apostles, we should appropriately leverage opportunities to exhort, rebuke, and reprove (e.g., 2 Timothy 4:2). We invite others to exercise love and do the same that we all may humbly grow unto greater spiritual maturity.

To God Be the Glory!

 



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