Wednesday, June 1, 2011

When Should One Break Fellowship?

Yesterday's post was on the rarity of friendly, diverse conversations within the church. The church has not been a very safe place for many to express their beliefs and thoughts, especially if they differ from those in the authoritative positions.

Thankfully I have found many friends that I can open up to, disagree with, and have very diverse conversations with, and remain friends. These relationships and gatherings are very important and crucial for me.

But I am wondering, and it has already been asked of me in light of yesterdays post, if there is ever a time where a line should be drawn, so to speak, when it comes to differences in theology?

I think there could be several layers to this question, for instance...

Are we talking about personal friendships or working in some type of ministry together?

I heard a pastor say once that his church would not associate with a church if they didn't hold to particular doctrines. This means that his church wouldn't do ministry, have joint services of any kind, or even fellowship with another church because of these differences. For example, their youth groups couldn't have a joint cookout.

In his opinion, there are certain beliefs that must be agreed upon in order to associate with another church.

So I am wondering... Are there any beliefs or doctrines like this for you? Do you think there comes a time when one should break fellowship with another over doctrines or beliefs, whether it be between friends or between ministries, and what are those doctrines?

What are the particular doctrinal beliefs that would cause you to break fellowship with someone?

Would love to hear your thoughts whatever they may be...


paul tilly said...

Jesus hung out with hookers and thieves. He was in the company of demon possession. He kept company with lepers....and served wine at a wedding....YET Baptists and Methodists can't seem to get on the same page....kinda silly.


I am still curious if you are familiar with George Patterson's three levels of authority?

Jkub said...

Matt, I intended to comment last post. I remember you posting it before, but other than that I am not familiar with them.


George Patterson's 3 Levels of Authority

1st Level-NT Commands (of our Master and the Twelve, such as to love, pray, repent, etc.). We obey these commands without argument or voting on them. We do not include OT commands; we are no longer under its law or we'd stone you to death if you gathered firewood on Saturday, etc.

2nd Level-NT Practices (things believers did but that were not commanded, such as using one cup for Communion, baptizing at once, worshipping on Sunday, etc.). We may practice them but never prohibit them, because the apostles practiced or approved them. Neither can we command them as general church laws, since only our Master has the authority to lay down laws for His universal body.

3rd Level-Human customs (traditions or practices not mentioned in the NT). We cannot demand obedience to them as law. We can-and must-prohibit them if they hinder obedience. Most such traditions are good. They become evil when they hinder obedience.