As I mentioned in the first post in this series, I want to highlight some of the comments that have been left on my blog posts during the past week. Hopefully, this will give more visibility to some of the reasons that I love blogging – dialog and interaction.
What is a “false teaching”? There was a time when I would have inclulded “Arminianism”, dispensationalism and infant baptism in that category. I still diasgree with all three of those but do they rise to the level of false teaching? I certainly wouldn’t let someone baptize my unregenerate child for the sake of unity but I wouldn’t see them baptizing their infant children as reason to break fellowship, even if I think they were wrong to do so. I spent the last couple of years in Michigan in a group that held more or less to a dispensational hermeneutic, which I likewise disagree with but we still had wonderful fellowship with them.
So what then? Certainly any teaching that denies the Gospel by either subtracting from it or adding to it rises to the level of false teaching. What about presuming to speak for God where He has not spoken (false prophecy?) This is a tough one.
I came across this passage earlier today and have been thinking of it in light of this post. It’s from 1 Timothy:
“If any believing woman has relatives who are widows, let her care for them. Let the church not be burdened, so that it may care for those who are truly widows.” (1Ti 5:16 ESV)
It seems to go along with some of what you have been saying – that resources were pooled mainly to help those who were in need. But it seems also that this might have a further nuance: don’t make the church (as a collective) meet the needs of your own relatives if you have the means to do so yourself. That seems to be a theme of 1 Tim 5 in general.
I really appreciated this comment by Dave that he left on my post “Four Views: Christians Participating in Horror Genres – Will you help?”
[E]ven though this was my first exposure to your site, this post has actually prompted me to try and get some fellow Christian film geeks together and record a discussion about being a film geek and how that interacts with our faith across multiple genres. I don’t even have any idea where I’ll post it yet, but thanks for the inspiration sir!
Finally, Art left this comment on my post “Which is important for the church: edification or mission?”
I’m not sure it is possible to do a biblical job of either if we aren’t seeing both as inter-related.
Much of our mission is dependent on lives that bespeak of the glory and grace of God. In a sense, we ARE the message, and that message is muddie when we are living in the flesh and for selfish purposes. When we are yielding ourselves more and more to serve God as living sacrifices and withdraw from the course of this world with its self-centered values and goals, His light is shed forth (see I Thess 1).
Our mutual edification prepares us to BE the evident work of God in our neighborhoods and workplaces and in the everydayness of living. And, as Alan aluded, harnessed together in serving one another and in serving those outside the faith is one of the key ways we continue to edify one another in ways that meetings alone cannot.
It is the inworking and outworking of our faith in action, together. I love the phrase, faith which worketh by love -Gal 5:6
I can’t wait to read the great comments next week!