I once believed there were the “central” things which we must agree on. Those things which we held with a “closed fist” in one hand, those that are “essential” to the faith. And then there were the things which we held with an “open-hand”, and it was okay if we disagreed on these things, to keep the peace. Since that time, I have discovered that if we don’t hold all of it “tight-fisted” and teach all of it as “tight-fisted” (from the Word of God) then those things which we disagree on will become, eventually, a wedge between us.
For instance, we thought we could hold politics open-handed. We thought we could hold marital roles open-handed. We thought we could hold roles within the gathered church open-handed. We thought we could focus on certain attributes of Jesus and disregard others. We thought we could just preach on certain passages of scripture and just skim over others, or disregard them all together as just cultural, or “old-fashioned and outdated”. However, all these things which we held open-handed began to drive a wedge and cause division within the Body-of-Christ! Why? Because we sought to “keep the peace” and to not upset anyone. But in doing this we put (our definition of) “love” before God’s definition of “truth and love”.
Unless we return to the “whole counsel of God” and teach the whole Bible as the “Word of God” not just as a title but as literally the “WORDS OF GOD”, taking these words in the same way as they were meant to be taken by the authors who wrote under the direction of the Holy Spirit, especially in the New Covenant (Testament), then Satan will continue to divide and conquer those church’s which have compromised on the, what some call, “secondary issues”. It is true, as Jesus said, “the gates of hell will not prevail against His Church”. But remember, the Church is global and international, not just local, or just in America. Many churches will fall, many will continue to divide farther and farther. So, unless we repent and are willing to return to the whole counsel of God, taught according to how it was written, in the first century (for the New Testament), then things will crumble. We must “humble ourselves under the Word of God”. We must submit our own opinions, feelings, and biases, under the authority of the “true” Christ, and not to a Christ we created with our own imaginations or through “dividing” the holy scriptures.
THIS IS SO CRUCIAL TO OUR SURVIVAL AND TO OUR UNITY AS BELIEVERS. Jesus prayed in John chapter seventeen that His Church would be “ONE” And that we would love on another. But if we are not all grounded on the same truth and agreeing on what is “true” then we cannot be “one” and we cannot love one another. Because without truth there is no love. Love must be grounded on the truth to be true love. Jesus Christ is the definition of both “truth and love” perfectly. He refused to compromise, and He spoke strong and harshly to those who needed it. But He also was gentle, and healing, and patient with those who needed it. It is like how he dealt with the rich, self-righteous, pious, comfortable, and complacent, and those who looked down on the weak, etc. But with the homeless, orphan, widow, least, broken-hearted, rejected, etc. He was gentle and patient for the sake of their souls.
One major “red flag” which I’ll point out here. If I were to say right now, that “a woman should cover her body, should submit to her husband, should not teach men or have authority over a man” what would you say to me? Can you even respond without rage or anger? Are you full of opinion and anger toward me and now reject everything positive which I have ever said, or not? This is NOT my opinion; this is what the Word of God says. But we say Jesus set woman free. He did. Our definition of “freedom” is different than His. Our definition is rebellion, not freedom. All we must do is look at and examine what exactly happened in the Garden of Eden. And if we realize what happened there, then we will understand so much more about what Paul, and Peter wrote regarding man and woman, marriage, the Church, gender roles, vulnerabilities, areas of weakness, and strengths, and just how God designed us. But as soon as we began to rebel against these God given ordinances it began to tear the family apart, society, and the Church. It all began with this step. Feminism was and is “anti-Christ” because it opposes Christ. And every church which has compromised in this area is and will continue to stand divided and in rebellion of God. He never gave us permission to change His Word!
So, let us repent where we have compromised and submit to God and His eternal truth. But without our willingness and humility, our willingness to submit to His ways and His ordinances regarding humanity how can we be healed…while we live in rebellion??
If you are unfamiliar with what I am talking about then read First Corinthians, Ephesians, First Timothy, and First Peter. Along with some other passages, but these books are truly clear, and Paul speaks of what these ordinances are grounded on. In other words, they are not grounded on “a culture, or specific time period” they are eternal truths. Based on God’s Word. Beginning in the Garden of Eden, where the man stepped aside, and the woman led as the Serpent deceived her.