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Sunday, August 27, 2006

An Important Distinction

Does it bother you to see where you’re wrong? Is it difficult for you to accept that your understanding is dim and that, though well intentioned, you’ve missed the mark in many ways? Well as much as I hate to see it I do realize it is nothing less than a wonderful blessing from God and I confess that God has blessed me greatly this week. ;-)

The Preacher has offered an excellent series of articles on “light” and his most recent installment brought to light (yes, that is an intended pun) a fallacy in my understanding that has cleared up much controversy for me concerning the fellowship of believers. Many have tried to point me in the right direction (thanks Beth and Antonio) but I failed to make an important distinction that has altered my perception greatly.

While his article encompasses much more, Gordon points out the difference between our relationships and our fellowship as believers. This realization will likely alter only one word of my admonition to believers who fail to love others because of doctrinal differences but it will help me more clearly identify the scriptural means and necessity of developing or restoring fellowship through our relationships. I now have a loftier perception of fellowship and place even more value on developing and maintaining healthy relationships with other believers.

Thanks Preacher. ;-)

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8 Comments:

Blogger Kitty Cheng said...

Kc, I thank the Lord that I can have an online fellowship and relationship with you and Corry :) You have been such a blessing to me.

8/27/2006 07:37:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Amen sis! At those times when I know we're in prayer together I don't think we could be any closer even sitting right next to each other. ;-)

8/27/2006 07:42:00 AM  
Blogger Jonathan Moorhead said...

KC, these are great reminders.

8/27/2006 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Jonathan thanks for the visit and your kind thoughts. May God bless you and your family. ;-)

8/27/2006 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger Gordon Cloud said...

KC, I'm glad this blessed you. It wasn't so long ago that I learned this myself and it really transformed my view of other believers. Particularly those who have a different belief than my own.

Thanks for the link and God bless.

8/28/2006 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger pecheur said...

While knowing the need for peace among belivers, it is often hard to actively pursue it.

Maybe I'll take a look at the series, having had recently been involved in trying to restore fellowship with some brethren.

8/28/2006 06:00:00 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

KC,
Viewing fellowship this way does change our minds and attitudes about Christians who do not hold to the same doctrinal minutia as we do. There’s Something more important there than that. There’s Something more important there than our relationships with non-believers. We will be spending eternity with other Calvinist Christians, believing Dispensational Armenian Christians (I know Adam, it’s a shock!! J ), Roman Catholic believers, and others who heart-fully profess belief in Christ as their Savior. They have been redeemed at such as high price, Christ’s own blood and death, just as we are. It makes them just as important to Jesus as I am.

This is not so with the non-believers. We will not spend eternity with them. It makes us think about our reasons for having a relationship with non-believers. Are we continuing in order to be a witness of Christ to them, or are we spending time with them for the hell of it, after all, we’re covered by grace? What is our motive when we look into our heart of hearts? I’m not saying “don’t hang out with non-believers” by any means! We must spend time with them in order to witness. However, we need to constantly examine our hearts because it is so easy to slip into sin. It’s that whole “being in the world not of it” thing. The other thing that is different is that the Word means nothing to a non-believer. It’s not written on their hearts. But that Word, is what makes fellowship with believers so much sweeter. Christians just cannot have the same fellowship with non-believers that they can with other believers. How can they when that common relationship with Christ is lacking in the other?

This view also makes us think about how we treat other believers. In another blog with other professing Christians, it has been a practice to “take down” those with differing views. Name calling, humiliation tactics, ugly remarks. Nasty stuff. When you post, you have to be willing “to take it” and have “a thick skin,” to “be able to handle it.” The thing that bothers me, more than the theological mistakes some may be making (in my mind), is the total lack of love for the other brother or sister in Christ. With this view, you really think twice about the brother/sister. They too have been called by the Lord, and are something special as well, even though they may be “off” in their theology. I do believe one’s theology is important; doctrine essential. But why belie your beliefs by your treatment of another fellow eternal being in the Lord?

One can truly see how special the Lord's Supper is in light of this view of Christian Fellowship as well. (Not that Communion is essential for fellowship, but an important component.) Not only is it communion with Christ, but with other Christians as well. Communion points to that great Wedding Feast we will have in Heaven with all brothers and sisters in Christ from all ages and places. It is a glimpse of what is happening in Heaven now, and what will happen on the Day. When we partake of the Lord's Supper, not only are we fellowshipping in spirit and truth with our congregation present, but others around the world, and our loved ones who have gone Home. That's at least what makes it even more rich for me...well besides that whole remission of sins thing...that is even bigger...but I think you get the picture! J It is lovely to think that I can fellowship in a spiritual way with my family and dear, sweet friends so far away when we partake of the Lord’s Supper.

1. The Church’s One Foundation is Jesus Christ, her Lord;
She is his new creation by water and the Word:
From heav’n he came and sought her to be his holy bride;
With his own blood he bought her, and for her life he died.

2. Elect from every nation, yet one o’re all the earth,
her charter of salvation one Lord, one faith, one birth;
one holy name she blesses, partakes one holy food,
and to one hope she presses, with every grace endued.

6. Yet she on earth hat union with God the Three in One,
and mystic sweet communion with those whose rest in won;
Oh happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we,
Like them, the meek and lowly, on high may dwell with thee.

Samuel Stone and Samuel Wesley

Blessings,
Elisa

8/28/2006 09:14:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Gordon, I especially appreciate the horizontal and vertical perception and how fellowship is achieved when we are each so aligned. Thanks again. ;-)

Pech it’s a great devotion. ;-)

I think your gentle spirit will greatly aid you in your role as peacemaker. May God bless your effort.

Beth, your first paragraph summed it all up for me. We’re not bound by agreement or understanding but by love.

I especially like this, “...why belie your beliefs by your treatment of another fellow eternal being in the Lord?”

Thanks dear sister. ;-)

8/29/2006 05:19:00 AM  

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