the weblog of Alan Knox

Child of God or not a child of God. Is there a middle place?

Posted by on Feb 19, 2010 in discipline, members, unity | 6 comments

As far as I can tell, there are only two options: 1) I accept that someone is a child of God and I treat that person as a brother or sister in Christ, or 2) I do not accept that someone is a child of God and I treat that person as if they are not a brother or sister in Christ.

Unfortunately, denominationalism tends to teach a “middle ground” where we accept that someone is a child of God, but we don’t have to treat that person as a brother or sister in Christ.


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  1. 2-19-2010

    Posted about this Alan, by the way, we need to quit playing games. The reason I am seperating is because I don’t want to love you in spite of our differences, case in point, how many people leave a fellowship for doctrinal differences and still interact with those same people like the do the new people they meet with?

  2. 2-19-2010


    I published this here because of your comment. 🙂


  3. 2-19-2010

    Great Observation.

  4. 2-20-2010

    That middle group are those people who are followers of Christ, but whom I disagree with on some important issues. Unfortunately, I’m discovering the more I study and observe others, I pretty much disagree with everyone on some important issues.

    But if there is only two groups, it is often too difficult for me to sort out who is in, and who is out.

    So I conclude that it must not be for me to judge. I may want to judge, but I must recognize I don’t have access to all the evidence. Maybe God doesn’t want me to be the judge.

  5. 2-22-2010

    There are some (like me) that allow for denominations, and respect the differences between them and the reasons why people decide to separate into bodies, but also love those others as brothers/sisters in Christ and are willing to fellowship with them any time. I honestly don’t see what the stink is about.

    Paul and Barnabas had a disagreement, divided, and founded two lines of churches as a result. Some might say that God took what was meant for evil and used it for good – I prefer to see it as two brothers arguing, agreeing to disagree, parting ways, and continuing to do what God commanded them to do. They later reconvened in Christ and all was well. Was their original disagreement sin? I don’t think so – they were both doing what they believed was correct, and stood by their convictions.

    God even uses denominations to draw people to Himself.

  6. 2-22-2010


    You said, “So I conclude that it must not be for me to judge.” That’s true… we are not judge whether or not one is a child of God in essence. Instead, we are to help one another live in a way that honors God. There are some things that should cause us to treat others as if they are not brothers and sisters, even if they claim to be brothers and sisters. But, I don’t think this is a middle place. Instead, we’re shifting the way we treat someone from group #1 to group #2.


    Yes, God has certainly used denominations and even people who hold to strict denominationalism (which is not the position that you described). I do not have a problem with denominations. However, we have to be careful that we don’t have two different definitions and demonstrations of love: 1) for those believers we meet with often, and 2) for those we see often but are part of different churches or denominations.

    I’ll give you an example of what I’m talking about. Someone once told me that if a neighbor who I knew well who was a child of God but belonged to a different church or denomination told me that he was in need, I did not have to help him even if I had the resources.