Author Topic: Denominations Will Never Unite - G.C. Brewer  (Read 19828 times)

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Offline Barabbas

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Re: Denominations Will Never Unite - G.C. Brewer
« Reply #35 on: Sun Aug 03, 2008 - 16:40:32 »
I guess I'm just not as enamoured with Campbell's vision as some are.  I think it sounds good on the surface... but its ideas rest on false presuppostions.

I think required reading for anyone that is or has been associated with the Restoration movement is the "Christian System".  The preface is particularly helpful.  In it Campbell writes in a manner almost reminescent of the founding fathers of this country, laying down his own assumptions as being "self evident". 

One of his quotes:

Quote
The Bible alone is the Bible only, in word and deed, in profession ,and practice; and this alone can reform the world and save the church. Judging others as we once judged ourselves, there are not a few who are advocating the Bible alone, and preaching their own opinions.

He then proceeds to write a whole book on his own opinion.  Why write a book if everything in the Bible is self evident?

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Re: Denominations Will Never Unite - G.C. Brewer
« Reply #35 on: Sun Aug 03, 2008 - 16:40:32 »

marc

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Re: Denominations Will Never Unite - G.C. Brewer
« Reply #36 on: Sun Aug 03, 2008 - 19:21:23 »
A bit interesting that Brewer and Wallace are the people quoted in the two seemingly related threads.   Tell me, mistergus, how did they get along in real life?  Did they know each other?  Did they support each other's preaching?

Offline DCR

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Re: Denominations Will Never Unite - G.C. Brewer
« Reply #37 on: Sun Aug 03, 2008 - 21:34:22 »
A bit interesting that Brewer and Wallace are the people quoted in the two seemingly related threads.   Tell me, mistergus, how did they get along in real life?  Did they know each other?  Did they support each other's preaching?


Hmm... there must be Wikipedia threads on almost everything:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G._C._Brewer

Quote
Brewer wrote that "Our salvation does not depend upon our perfect adherence to the requirements of law. . . . By making our salvation dependent upon our own perfection, we make void the grace of God" (qtd. in Allen 164). Especially in the 1930s, Foy E. Wallace and Brewer engaged in a longstanding feud over this and other controversial issues, "contending for the faith" at the Abilene Christian College Bible Lectures and in the pages of the Gospel Advocate and other periodicals. Wallace took Moser's book for "denominational error on the gospel plan of salvation" (qtd. in Hicks) whereas Brewer sought to de-emphasize legalism and human works and to promote a theory of God-given "unmerited favor" (Hughes 186).

Offline mistergus

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Re: Denominations Will Never Unite - G.C. Brewer
« Reply #38 on: Sun Aug 03, 2008 - 21:36:34 »
Like G. C., Brewer, the founders of the Stone-Campbell Reformation were grace-centered and Christocentric. They understood the huge difference between the gospel and doctrine, unity and uniformity.

Lee,

Since you accept the unimmersed as Christians , you really have nothing fundamental in common with either G.C. Brewer or Foy E. Wallace.

You really have no dog in this fight.

Robert G

da525382

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Re: Denominations Will Never Unite - G.C. Brewer
« Reply #39 on: Sun Aug 03, 2008 - 21:44:28 »
Like G. C., Brewer, the founders of the Stone-Campbell Reformation were grace-centered and Christocentric. They understood the huge difference between the gospel and doctrine, unity and uniformity.

Lee,

Since you accept the unimmersed as Christians , you really have nothing fundamental in common with either G.C. Brewer or Foy E. Wallace.

You really have no dog in this fight.

Robert G

Yeah, get with it, Lee, start using the word "immersocentric" rather than "Christocentric".  Otherwise, it really becomes bothersome to read your otherwise tremendous posts.

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Re: Denominations Will Never Unite - G.C. Brewer
« Reply #39 on: Sun Aug 03, 2008 - 21:44:28 »



Offline Lee Freeman

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Re: Denominations Will Never Unite - G.C. Brewer
« Reply #40 on: Tue Aug 05, 2008 - 15:07:51 »
I guess I'm just not as enamoured with Campbell's vision as some are.  I think it sounds good on the surface... but its ideas rest on false presuppostions.

I think required reading for anyone that is or has been associated with the Restoration movement is the "Christian System".  The preface is particularly helpful.  In it Campbell writes in a manner almost reminescent of the founding fathers of this country, laying down his own assumptions as being "self evident". 

One of his quotes:

Quote
The Bible alone is the Bible only, in word and deed, in profession ,and practice; and this alone can reform the world and save the church. Judging others as we once judged ourselves, there are not a few who are advocating the Bible alone, and preaching their own opinions.

He then proceeds to write a whole book on his own opinion.  Why write a book if everything in the Bible is self evident?

Campbell says this in the preface to the second, 1839 edition of The Christian System:

We speak for ourselves only; and while we are always willing to give a declaration of our faith and knowledge of the Christian system, we firmly protest against dogmatically propounding our own views, or those of any fallible mortal, as a condition or foundation of church union and co-operation.

Campbell made a distinction between self-evident "essential" truths in scripture, and less-clear, non-essential doctrines. He honestly believed his "system" was the best, most scriptural one, but as the quote above illustrates, was unwilling to be dogmatic that he, and only he, was right. For example, he united with Barton Stone's churches in 1832 despite some huge differences  they had. Stone disagreed with some of the points in Campbell's "ancient order." Yet Campbell owned him as a brother.

In 1824, in an article entitled "The Foundation of Hope and of Christian Union" Campbell wrote:

"The one fact is, that Jesus the Nazarene is the Messiah. The evidence upon which it is to be believed is the testimony of twelve men, confirmed by prophecy, miracles, and spiritual gifts. The one institution is baptism into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Every such person is a christian [sic] in the fullest sense of the word, the moment he has believed this one fact, upon the above evidence, and has submitted to the above mentioned institution; and whether he believes the five points condemned or the five points approved by the synod of Dort, is not so much as to be asked of him; whether he holds any of the views of the Calvinists or Arminians, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Methodists, Baptists, or Quakers, is never once to be asked of such a person, in order to admission into the christian [sic] community, called the church." (A. Campbell, "The Foundation of Hope and of Christian Union," Christian Baptist, April 5, 1824)

And to a German Baptist, Bro. Jake Hostetter (whose churches eventually united with Campbell's in 1828), writing to him in 1826 Campbell wrote:

"DEAR BROTHER--FOR such I recognize you, notwithstanding the varieties of opinion which you express on some topics, on which we might never agree. But if we should not, as not unity of opinion, but unity of faith, is the only true bond of christian [sic] union, I will esteem and love you, as I do every man, of whatever name, who believes sincerely that Jesus is the Messiah, and hopes in his salvation. And as to the evidence of this belief and hope, I know of none more decisive than an unfeigned obedience, and willingness to submit to the authority of the Great King." (A. Campbell, "A Reply to the Above" [Campbell's response to German Baptist Jake Hostetter, whose association of Dunkard churches united with Campbell's churches in 1828], CB, March 6, 1826; Hostetter had asked Campbell about foot-washing, the holy kiss and frequency of communion, expressing slightly different views than Campbell)

In 1826 he wrote this:

"This plan of making our own nest, and fluttering over our own brood; of building our own tent, and of confining all goodness and grace to our noble selves and the "elect few" who are like us, is the quintessence of sublimated pharisaism. . . . To lock ourselves up in the bandbox of our own little circle; to associate with a few units, tens, or hundreds, as the pure church, as the elect, is real Protestant monkery, it is evangelical nunnery." (A. Campbell, "To an independent Baptist," CB May 1, 1826)

What Campbell was opposed to more than anything was sectarianism. He was willing to make allowances for sincere differences of opinion on non-essentials, and even for mistaken views of what he considered essentials, as long as he could see that people were dedicated to obeying Christ to the best of their ability and level of knowledge of his word.

Pax.

Offline Lee Freeman

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Re: Denominations Will Never Unite - G.C. Brewer
« Reply #41 on: Tue Aug 05, 2008 - 15:27:02 »
A bit interesting that Brewer and Wallace are the people quoted in the two seemingly related threads.   Tell me, mistergus, how did they get along in real life?  Did they know each other?  Did they support each other's preaching?

Both Brewer and KC Moser taught salvation by grace through faith in Christ, whereas Wallace taught a gospel of five steps culminating in baptism. These men were practically the only two ministers among mainline CoCs who were preaching grace from the 1930s-1950s.

Both men removed baptism as the "chief cornerstone" of CoC preaching and replaced it with Christ who scripture says is the chief cornerstone. They restored the cross to preeminence and put baptism back in its place.

Both men were at odds with RL Whiteside, Foy E. Wallace, Jr. and other conservative preachers; in fact Moser was persecuted so badly for his views that he was forced to go into semi-retirement from preaching for several years on his doctor's orders.

Brewer was at odds with Whiteside and Wallace over premillennialism as well; Brewer refused to publicly denounce and withdraw from Robert H. Boll over Boll's premillennial views (classical premil., not the modern dispensationalist, Zionist premil.) Brewer, along with JN Armstrong and a handful of others, also refused to side with the legalists led by Foy Wallace, Jr., in attacking and opposing Boll's views. Brewer stated that premillennialism wasn't worth dividing the church over. Would that his view instead of Wallace's had carried the day.

When pressed by Foy Wallace, Jr. and others to "mark" Robert H (RH) Boll (1875-1956) and his premillennialist views as false teaching, Brewer, even though he was an amillennialist, said the issue was not even worth discussing. According to Bro. G. H. P. Showalter, Bro. Brewer dismissed the "Boll issue" as lacking "sufficient significance to justify the division it had occasioned." In the annual lectures at Abilene Christian University of 1934 at which Foy Wallace had been scheduled to speak, but canceled at the last minute, Brewer addressed the division wracking the brotherhood, using the occasion to criticize Wallace for his combative nature and divisiveness. His comments were sufficiently strong enough that the editors of the annual lectureship book edited some of Brewer's remarks, changing them to more generic, but still pointed, criticisms. Brewer said, in part:

The divisions in local congregations or in any particular sections of the country, whatever may be the ostensible cause, are caused by carnality. . . . Those who are involved in a division always claim that some  vital point is in question.  They strive to justify the  condition that exists by citing some doctrinal disloyalty, or some unfaithfulness to the word of God. Frequently, however, it is only our opinion or our judgment that has been disregarded and not the word of God. 

Our efforts sometimes are similar  to the solicitous servant who jealously guarded his master's slumbers. The master had  given orders to the servants not to allow him to be disturbed, but he was awakened by a bright flash and a sudden roar in the room which almost deafened him. In great excitement he inquired of the servant what this meant; the servant standing with a smoking revolver in his hand said that there was a mouse gnawing paper in the corner of the room and he feared that it would distrub the master and therefore shot it. Brethren, let us quit shooting mice and therefore stop exciting people to the extent of heart failure and death.
GC Brewer, "A Plea for Unity," Abilene Christian College Bible Lectures, 1934, pp. 179-180, 182-183



Pax.

Offline stevehut

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Re: Denominations Will Never Unite - G.C. Brewer
« Reply #42 on: Sat Aug 16, 2008 - 18:52:28 »
Very interesting.

Many Protestants criticize the Catholics for their extreme devotion to the Pope, Mary, and the canonized saints.  They say it's idolatry.

But it looks like some in here have created a whole new class of immortalized demi-gods of their own.

If something is true, then why should it matter who said it?   ::shrug::

Offline Johnb

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Re: Denominations Will Never Unite - G.C. Brewer
« Reply #43 on: Sat Aug 16, 2008 - 19:05:44 »
I would contend that the denominations are already more united than the different wings of the RM.  CoC will not attend or fellowsip with the DoC.  Non IM coc will not fellowship with IM coc and on and on.  In most cases they won't even reconize the other wings as brothers in Christ.  A Baptist will reconize a methodist or Pentecostal as a b rother in Christ.  Their preachers will meet in community pastors meetings and prayer breakfast.  They will join hands for a common cause.  Seems to me they understand unity better than the RM folks.

Offline stevehut

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Re: Denominations Will Never Unite - G.C. Brewer
« Reply #44 on: Sat Aug 16, 2008 - 19:11:17 »
A Baptist will reconize a methodist or Pentecostal as a brother in Christ.  Their preachers will meet in community pastors meetings and prayer breakfast. 

Read your post again, john.  Seems to me that if these people really were "united," then they wouldn't be in separate denominations and congregations.  Ecumenism isn't unity, it's just political correctness.

Offline Imabear

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Re: Denominations Will Never Unite - G.C. Brewer
« Reply #45 on: Sat Aug 16, 2008 - 19:34:52 »
A Baptist will reconize a methodist or Pentecostal as a brother in Christ.  Their preachers will meet in community pastors meetings and prayer breakfast. 

Read your post again, john.  Seems to me that if these people really were "united," then they wouldn't be in separate denominations and congregations.  Ecumenism isn't unity, it's just political correctness.
I agree with Johnb.   The denominations may never unite, but they do work together and in many cases recognize each other as brothers in Christ. 
There is a conference of churches in our county that has the following as it's mission statement:
Quote
Fostering unity and cooperation among the Christian churches of [city] and [ x ] County
Providing witness in the community for shared Christian values
Promoting the ministries to our community in Christ’s name
Assisting churches in fulfilling their individual and cooperative missions
Encouraging dialog among all segments of the religious community.

They sponsor prayer breakfasts for pastors, an Easter sunrise service, hymn sings in a park, along with community service and outreach events, etc. 

Offline stevehut

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Re: Denominations Will Never Unite - G.C. Brewer
« Reply #46 on: Sat Aug 16, 2008 - 19:41:30 »
I agree with Johnb.   The denominations may never unite, but they do work together and in many cases recognize each other as brothers in Christ. 

 ::noworries::

I don't doubt that at all, daybreak.  I know it happens all over the place, including in my own neighborhood.

But then Sunday morning comes, and they scamper back to their own separate congregations.  I don't see this as "unity."
« Last Edit: Sat Aug 16, 2008 - 19:47:47 by stevehut »

Offline Imabear

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Re: Denominations Will Never Unite - G.C. Brewer
« Reply #47 on: Sat Aug 16, 2008 - 20:20:22 »
They are different in worship styles, in some doctrines, cultural practices, and sometimes language.  They lack uniformity. 
Diversity is a good thing. 

They are willing to put aside their differences to work together. Unity is a good thing.

There are lots of different flavors of congregations.  We each need to find one where we can plug in and be of service. 

I personally prefer a more casual, less formal, service.  I have friends and relatives in many different churches.  Some feel uncomfortable with the ::band:: at my church, some prefer a church with a large pipe organ and a more formal, liturgical service.  We also hold some differing doctrines.  We still view each other as siblings in Christ.  :)

 

Offline stevehut

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Re: Denominations Will Never Unite - G.C. Brewer
« Reply #48 on: Sat Aug 16, 2008 - 20:39:57 »
Some feel uncomfortable with the ::band:: at my church

 ::noworries::

I've struggled with this issue for years, daybreak, and I completely understand the concerns that you mentioned.

But I still marvel at the seven, yes, SEVEN  ::eek::  coc's in my community.  From what I hear, they have no particular doctrinal differences.  None of them has a brass band, none is considering setting up a central office.  And none of them has more than 50 people on Sunday morning.

Imagine what they could do for God, if they worked together all the time.



Offline Sherman Nobles

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Re: Denominations Will Never Unite - G.C. Brewer
« Reply #49 on: Mon Aug 18, 2008 - 09:11:13 »
From the pen of the late great champion of the faith, G.C. Brewer...

But will the denominations ever be united?  Will they ever be one?  I answer unhesitatingly, No.  The denominations will never be one.  He who hopes for that has a vain hope.  He who works for it and prays for it works and prays uselessly.  I don't hope for it, work for it, or pray for it.  Now I hope and pray that the time will come when there will be no denominations, but I do not hope to see all the denominations federate or merge into one gigantic organization, one great denomination.  No, indeed, I don't want to see that and never expect anybody else to see that.

                                                        - G.C. Brewer (1949)

I disagree much about the OP.  I believe that the denominations are united; we are united in Christ.  We are one body in Christ.  All those who look to Jesus appealing to Him for salvation are born of the Spirit and part of the body of Christ.  If you claim Christ, I claim you as my brother, though you may disclaim me. 

I also rejoice in the great diversity in the body of Christ, the diversity in structures, visions, passions, styles of worship, callings, etc. etc. etc.  I believe that because of God's great love for mankind He's inspired people to reach different groups of people, different races, different cultures, diver generations, different....   

I'm even amazed at how God uses church splits to build the kingdom of God!  Multiplication!  What often happens in a church split is there ends up being two churches that are seeking to build the kingdom of God, reaching out to the community with the love of Christ.  God wants to reach people with the Gospel of His love and He'll use all means to do so.  What happens in a church split?  Two groups work hard with renewed vigor to build their group.  New positions of leadership are opened up.  People work with mixed motives, partly because of renewed vision and passion for God, and partly because they want to show they were right and the other group was wrong.  But God being a wise builder, allows such to increase His kingdom.  Even Paul rejoiced that the gospel was being preached, even though it was done with selfish motives.  In fact, I've come to accept that all my righteousness is polluted with my selfishness; and I expect no more from anyone else.  I thank the Lord for his love, forgiveness, and mercy. 

I rejoice, and believe the Lord rejoices, in the diversity in the body of Christ!

Offline stevehut

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Re: Denominations Will Never Unite - G.C. Brewer
« Reply #50 on: Mon Aug 18, 2008 - 10:12:18 »
1- I believe that the denominations are united; we are united in Christ. 

2- I'm even amazed at how God uses church splits to build the kingdom of God! 

3- Even Paul rejoiced that the gospel was being preached, even though it was done with selfish motives. 

1-  ??? ?  Division = unity?  That's a contradiction in terms, Sherman.

2- Demolition = building?  I don't get it.

3- Yup.   ::nodding::  But generally in a split, the new group ends up preaching a different gospel.  I don't think that's what Paul had in mind.

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Re: Denominations Will Never Unite - G.C. Brewer
« Reply #51 on: Mon Aug 18, 2008 - 10:31:06 »
From the pen of the late great champion of the faith, G.C. Brewer...

But will the denominations ever be united?  Will they ever be one?  I answer unhesitatingly, No.  The denominations will never be one.  He who hopes for that has a vain hope.  He who works for it and prays for it works and prays uselessly.  I don't hope for it, work for it, or pray for it.  Now I hope and pray that the time will come when there will be no denominations, but I do not hope to see all the denominations federate or merge into one gigantic organization, one great denomination.  No, indeed, I don't want to see that and never expect anybody else to see that.

                                                        - G.C. Brewer (1949)

I disagree much about the OP.  I believe that the denominations are united; we are united in Christ.  We are one body in Christ.  All those who look to Jesus appealing to Him for salvation are born of the Spirit and part of the body of Christ.  If you claim Christ, I claim you as my brother, though you may disclaim me. 

I also rejoice in the great diversity in the body of Christ, the diversity in structures, visions, passions, styles of worship, callings, etc. etc. etc.  I believe that because of God's great love for mankind He's inspired people to reach different groups of people, different races, different cultures, diver generations, different....   

I'm even amazed at how God uses church splits to build the kingdom of God!  Multiplication!  What often happens in a church split is there ends up being two churches that are seeking to build the kingdom of God, reaching out to the community with the love of Christ.  God wants to reach people with the Gospel of His love and He'll use all means to do so.  What happens in a church split?  Two groups work hard with renewed vigor to build their group.  New positions of leadership are opened up.  People work with mixed motives, partly because of renewed vision and passion for God, and partly because they want to show they were right and the other group was wrong.  But God being a wise builder, allows such to increase His kingdom.  Even Paul rejoiced that the gospel was being preached, even though it was done with selfish motives.  In fact, I've come to accept that all my righteousness is polluted with my selfishness; and I expect no more from anyone else.  I thank the Lord for his love, forgiveness, and mercy. 

I rejoice, and believe the Lord rejoices, in the diversity in the body of Christ!

People often believe many things about the Lord Jesus and His church....but what part of it is true? Can we believe whatever we want to and it still be in harmony with what He believed or wanted for His church?

When Jesus was pouring out His soul before His Father in prayer prior to His betrayal He was praying that His disciples would be united as one, just as He and His Father are One. I don't think this was a prayer advocating diversity of opinions and doctrines, but Jesus was praying that His disciples remain in Him as one united body of believers.

Read the text of John 17....."I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one---as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me." (John 17:20-21 NLT, Emph. added)

The point of my emphasizing the above is to say that the message of the church must be united....it can't be twenty-five thousand different messages and still be considered as "one." It can't be the case that all the different groups calling themselves Christians are speaking multiple different messages and then tell the world that they are "united."

Paul also instructed believers in Corinth...."I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment." (1 Cor. 1:10 ESV, Emph. added)

I only point out these things to say that I do not believe that Christ celebrates diversity... or at least not the way many often describe it. We are to be as one in Him....all anchored to the same foundation of knowledge that has been given to us through the testimony of the apostles. Jesus prayed for it, and we should strive to make it a reality.





Offline stevehut

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Re: Denominations Will Never Unite - G.C. Brewer
« Reply #52 on: Mon Aug 18, 2008 - 11:08:50 »
1- I don't think this was a prayer advocating diversity of opinions and doctrines

2-"I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one,

3- the message of the church must be united....it can't be twenty-five thousand different messages and still be considered as "one."

4- I do not believe that Christ celebrates diversity... or at least not the way many often describe it.

1-  ::amen!::

2- Yup.  A unified message is one of the things that attracts people to know God.

3-  ::amen!::

4- Yup  ::nodding::

Offline Sherman Nobles

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Re: Denominations Will Never Unite - G.C. Brewer
« Reply #53 on: Mon Aug 18, 2008 - 15:16:22 »
1- I believe that the denominations are united; we are united in Christ. 

2- I'm even amazed at how God uses church splits to build the kingdom of God! 

3- Even Paul rejoiced that the gospel was being preached, even though it was done with selfish motives. 

1-  ??? ?  Division = unity?  That's a contradiction in terms, Sherman.

2- Demolition = building?  I don't get it.

3- Yup.   ::nodding::  But generally in a split, the new group ends up preaching a different gospel.  I don't think that's what Paul had in mind.

1.  It's called Unity in Diversity.  We are one body, though we are different parts.  We are united in our relationship with and love for Jesus.  We are related by being part of the family of God; and though we are part of the greater family, we still have our different immediate families.  It's similar to Israel -- one nation made up of different tribes. 

2.  Multiplication = growing.  Mitosis - cell multiplication.  It's true that the original cell is no more, but in its place there are two cells and the body grows. 

3.  Actually almost all splits result in both groups preaching the gospel, the good news of the love and forgiveness of Christ.  In fact, most splits help both groups to refocus on reaching out with the love and forgiveness of God to those who do not know God. 

Unfortunately, pride and self-righteousness do keep the various parts of the body from functioning together as they should.  In fact, some individuals and groups can be so prideful so as to cut themselves off completely from the greater body of Christ.  This causes the body great pain and can eventually result in the death of the part that's cut off if it doesn't repent.

Offline stevehut

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Re: Denominations Will Never Unite - G.C. Brewer
« Reply #54 on: Tue Aug 19, 2008 - 07:56:47 »
1.  It's called Unity in Diversity.  We are one body, though we are different parts.  We are united in our relationship with and love for Jesus. 

2.  Multiplication = growing.  Mitosis - cell multiplication. 

3.  Actually almost all splits result in both groups preaching the gospel, the good news of the love and forgiveness of Christ. 


1- I have no problem with diversity.  But a Methodist is not united with a Presbyterian; the reason why these separate churches exist, is because people argued over various issues and decided to break fellowship.  Ecumenism is not unity.

2- In that same prayer that you cited, Jesus also said "may they all be one, that the world may believe."  And indeed, this huge division is one of the excuses that unbelievers use to continue in their unbelief.

3- Actually, in the histories that I have studied, schisms are brought about because one of the groups wants to preach a different gospel.                       

marc

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Re: Denominations Will Never Unite - G.C. Brewer
« Reply #55 on: Tue Aug 19, 2008 - 08:04:32 »
I've seen relatively few schisms caused by churches preaching a gospel other than the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.

Offline stevehut

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Re: Denominations Will Never Unite - G.C. Brewer
« Reply #56 on: Tue Aug 19, 2008 - 08:09:44 »
Marc, you might be surprised at the silly reasons and wacky theologies that cause people to divide.   ::frown::

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Re: Denominations Will Never Unite - G.C. Brewer
« Reply #57 on: Tue Aug 19, 2008 - 08:12:21 »
Nope, but I don't know that these mean they are suddenly teaching another gospel.  Sorry, it's just that I've heard that term used too much against people who disagree with the slightest insignificance.  I realize you may not have meant it that way.

Offline stevehut

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Re: Denominations Will Never Unite - G.C. Brewer
« Reply #58 on: Tue Aug 19, 2008 - 08:19:32 »
For clarity:

I cannot be "one" with a church that teaches infant baptism.

Or the perpetual virginity of Mary.

Or homosexual preachers.

Or a second "holy book." (Book of Mormon, Apocrypha, etc.)

Just to name a few.

When splinter groups divide, they deliberately break fellowship with others.  Hence, by their own choice, they are no longer "united."

Offline Jimbob

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Re: Denominations Will Never Unite - G.C. Brewer
« Reply #59 on: Tue Aug 19, 2008 - 08:53:28 »
Who cares about the unity of denominations.  What we want to be very, very careful about is denying a fellow child of God.
I think you hit on an important point.  Desiring "denominational unity" is itself "denomination-think" at it's core, still seeing corporate bodies instead of brothers and sisters.

Offline stevehut

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Re: Denominations Will Never Unite - G.C. Brewer
« Reply #60 on: Tue Aug 19, 2008 - 09:10:36 »
Desiring "denominational unity" is itself "denomination-think" at it's core, still seeing corporate bodies instead of brothers and sisters.

Yup.   ::nodding::  We are saved as individuals, not as groups.

Ecumenism is simply a wimpy shortcut.

Offline Dennis

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Re: Denominations Will Never Unite - G.C. Brewer
« Reply #61 on: Tue Aug 19, 2008 - 10:39:36 »
Desiring "denominational unity" is itself "denomination-think" at it's core, still seeing corporate bodies instead of brothers and sisters.

Yup.   ::nodding::  We are saved as individuals, not as groups.

Ecumenism is simply a wimpy shortcut.
Probably, and withholding fellowship for trivial reasons is mean spirited divisiveness.

Offline Lee Freeman

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Re: Denominations Will Never Unite - G.C. Brewer
« Reply #62 on: Tue Aug 19, 2008 - 11:31:31 »
The scriptures will never keep together in union, and fellowship members who have not the spirit of the scriptures, which spirit is love, peace, unity, forbearance, and cheerful obedience. This is the spirit of the great Head of the body. I blush for my fellows, who hold up the Bible as the bond of union yet make their opinions of it tests of fellowship; who plead for union of all-Christians; yet refuse fellowship with such as dissent from their notions. Vain men! Their zeal is not according to knowledge, nor is their spirit that of Christ. There is a day not far ahead which will declare it. Such antisectarian sectarians are doing more mischief to the cause, and advancement of truth, the unity of Christians, and the salvation of the world, than all the skeptics in the world. In fact, they make skeptics. (Barton W. Stone, "Remarks," Christian Messenger, August 1835, p. 180).


It is, to us, a pleasing consideration that all the churches of Christ, which mutually acknowledge each other as such, are not only agreed in the great doctrines of faith and holiness; but are also materially agreed, as to the positive ordinances of Gospel institution; so that our differences, at most, are about the things in which the kingdom of God does not consist, that is, about matters of private opinion, or human invention. What a pity, that the kingdom of God should be divided about such things!! (T. Campbell, the "Declaration and Address," 1809)


That as it is not necessary that persons should have a particular knowledge or distinct apprehension of all Divinely-revealed truths in order to entitle them to a place in the Church; neither should they, for this purpose, be required to make a profession more extensive than their knowledge; but that, on the contrary, their having a due measure of Scriptural self-knowledge respecting their lost and perishing condition by nature and practice, and of the way of salvation through Jesus Christ, accompanied with a profession of their faith in and obedience to him, in all things, according to his word, is all that is absolutely necessary to qualify them for admission into the church. (Thomas Campbell from the Declaration & Address, quoted by Alexander Campbell in Memoirs of Elder Thomas Campbell, pp. 49-50)


The one fact is, that Jesus the Nazarene is the Messiah. The evidence upon which it is to be believed is the testimony of twelve men, confirmed by prophecy, miracles, and spiritual gifts. The one institution is baptism into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Every such person is a christian [sic] in the fullest sense of the word, the moment he has believed this one fact, upon the above evidence, and has submitted to the above mentioned institution; and whether he believes the five points condemned or the five points approved by the synod of Dort, is not so much as to be asked of him; whether he holds any of the views of the Calvinists or Arminians, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Methodists, Baptists, or Quakers, is never once to be asked of such a person, in order to admission into the christian [sic] community, called the church. (A. Campbell, "The Foundation of Hope and of Christian Union," Christian Baptist, April 5, 1824)

The Saviour expressly declared to Peter, that upon this fact that he was the Messiah, the Son of God, he would build his church; and Paul has expressly declared, that "other foundation can no man lay (for ecclesiastical union) than that Jesus is the Christ." The point is proved that we have assumed, and this proved, every thing is established requisite to the union of all christians [sic] upon a proper basis. Every sectarian scheme falls before it, and on this principle alone can the whole church of Christ be built. We are aware of many objections to this grand scheme, revealed by God, to establish righteousness, peace, and harmony among men; but we know of none that weighs a grain of sand against it. We shall meet them all (Deo volente) in due time and place. (A. Campbell, “The Foundation of Hope and of Christian Union,

Offline Sherman Nobles

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Re: Denominations Will Never Unite - G.C. Brewer
« Reply #63 on: Tue Aug 19, 2008 - 12:31:01 »
1.  It's called Unity in Diversity.  We are one body, though we are different parts.  We are united in our relationship with and love for Jesus. 

2.  Multiplication = growing.  Mitosis - cell multiplication. 

3.  Actually almost all splits result in both groups preaching the gospel, the good news of the love and forgiveness of Christ. 


1- I have no problem with diversity.  But a Methodist is not united with a Presbyterian; the reason why these separate churches exist, is because people argued over various issues and decided to break fellowship.  Ecumenism is not unity.

2- In that same prayer that you cited, Jesus also said "may they all be one, that the world may believe."  And indeed, this huge division is one of the excuses that unbelievers use to continue in their unbelief.

3- Actually, in the histories that I have studied, schisms are brought about because one of the groups wants to preach a different gospel.                       

1- Methodists are united in Christ with Baptists, Catholics, Presbyterians, etc.  If one is in Christ then it doesn't matter what label one wears.  If you claim Christ, I claim you.  If you disclaim me, that's between you and our Lord.  Fellowships between individual believers are broken for a variety of reasons, but primarily due to pride and self-righteousness.   But even so, though there are problems, rifts in the family, we are still family, assuming one has been born of the Spirit having God as Father.

2-Yes, one in heart, one in Spirit, one in love for God and one another.  If we are one in these areas, our various understandings of God and scripture are not an issue.  Furthermore, "oneness" does not mean "sameness".  It's attitudinal, not cerebrial in nature.  My brother and I are one in Christ, one in our need for God, and one in our reliance upon God for salvation.  But oneness does not mean that we all have to understand God the same, worship the same, or think the same.  In the body, the heart is very different from the eye. 

Please don't misunderstand me; there is power in unity, in recognizing and honoring one another as brothers in Christ.  But this unity does not mean that we have to be the same.

3- Many major divisions in the body of Christ are centered around doctrinal differences; even so, such differences are rooted in pride, self-righteousness, expectations of conformity, and trying to control others.  I don't know why it's so difficult for us to accept others as brothers in Christ who understand God and scripture differently than we do.  Maybe it's because we think more highly of ourselves than we should, thinking that we have THE right understanding and The right attitudes - which is only self-deception.  None of us have perfect understanding or perfect attitudes.

Offline Jimbob

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Re: Denominations Will Never Unite - G.C. Brewer
« Reply #64 on: Tue Aug 19, 2008 - 12:41:20 »
The scriptures will never keep together in union, and fellowship members who have not the spirit of the scriptures, which spirit is love, peace, unity, forbearance, and cheerful obedience. (Robert Richardsomn, "Reformation No. IV, MH, Sept., 1847)

Pax.
That one sentence is a mouthful, isn't it?

Offline stevehut

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Re: Denominations Will Never Unite - G.C. Brewer
« Reply #65 on: Tue Aug 19, 2008 - 23:26:28 »
1- Methodists are united in Christ with Baptists, Catholics, Presbyterians, etc. 

2-Yes, one in heart, one in Spirit, one in love for God and one another.  If we are one in these areas, our various understandings of God and scripture are not an issue. 

3- Many major divisions in the body of Christ are centered around doctrinal differences; even so, such differences are rooted in pride, self-righteousness, expectations of conformity

1- Which, of course, leads them to worship in separate places on Sunday morning....OK, thanks, I've got it.   ::noworries::

2- I would never expect another person to agree with me on every little thing; hey, my wife doesn't always see things my way.

3- Which is exactly why I made the comment about Methodists and Presbys.

Offline Sherman Nobles

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Re: Denominations Will Never Unite - G.C. Brewer
« Reply #66 on: Wed Aug 20, 2008 - 08:53:35 »
1- Methodists are united in Christ with Baptists, Catholics, Presbyterians, etc. 

2-Yes, one in heart, one in Spirit, one in love for God and one another.  If we are one in these areas, our various understandings of God and scripture are not an issue. 

3- Many major divisions in the body of Christ are centered around doctrinal differences; even so, such differences are rooted in pride, self-righteousness, expectations of conformity

1- Which, of course, leads them to worship in separate places on Sunday morning....OK, thanks, I've got it.   ::noworries::

2- I would never expect another person to agree with me on every little thing; hey, my wife doesn't always see things my way.

3- Which is exactly why I made the comment about Methodists and Presbys.

Why does it matter where one worships, as long as one worships!  Why does it matter if one group is inspired to sing old hymns and another group feels inspired to sing contemporary worship songs, as long as they worship!  We can be united in Christ and yet diverse in where we worship, when we worship, how we worship, etc. as long as we worship the One.

I not only see, but rejoice in the great diversity in the body of Christ!  Each group has it's own strengths and weaknesses.  As we grow to respect and love eachother, we will grow together in Christ and reflect more of the essence of Christ.  To me, our unity is not and cannot be centered around doctrine, around style of worship, or around a specific structure (on non-structure); rather, our unity is and can only be centered on the person of Jesus Christ, our Lord and God.  As we grow to respect and love eachother, the lost will increasingly be drawn by that love and respect to Jesus and desire to join in our fellowship.  The key is love and respect for one another.  The Eccumenical movement in the church seeks to promote this love and respect of one another.

Offline stevehut

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Re: Denominations Will Never Unite - G.C. Brewer
« Reply #67 on: Wed Aug 20, 2008 - 16:26:38 »
Why does it matter where one worships, as long as one worships!  Why does it matter if one group is inspired to sing old hymns and another group feels inspired to sing contemporary worship songs, as long as they worship! 

The style and form are of little consequence to me, as long as its reverent toward God and edifying for the people in the pews.  You can sing A Mighty Fortress, or the latest hits from Amy Grant, I don't care much.  But my post wasn't about that.

I spent several years studying the distinctives of various denominations, and much to my surprise the differences are huge.  Attending a particular church (at least where I come from) is an indication of what we believe in.  Accordingly, I chose a congregation that teaches what I believe in.

At the same time, I opted out of certain congregations because I believe that many of their teachings are inconsistent with Scripture.

Offline Imabear

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Re: Denominations Will Never Unite - G.C. Brewer
« Reply #68 on: Wed Aug 20, 2008 - 18:42:01 »
Why does it matter where one worships, as long as one worships!  Why does it matter if one group is inspired to sing old hymns and another group feels inspired to sing contemporary worship songs, as long as they worship! 

The style and form are of little consequence to me, as long as its reverent toward God and edifying for the people in the pews.  You can sing A Mighty Fortress, or the latest hits from Amy Grant, I don't care much.  But my post wasn't about that.

I spent several years studying the distinctives of various denominations, and much to my surprise the differences are huge.  Attending a particular church (at least where I come from) is an indication of what we believe in.  Accordingly, I chose a congregation that teaches what I believe in.

At the same time, I opted out of certain congregations because I believe that many of their teachings are inconsistent with Scripture.
The truth in the matter is that it's not all about what you believe is truth, or what I believe is truth.  It's all about God.  None of us has Him all figured out. 
I guess we all tend to draw lines somewhere.  I consider myself one in the faith with pretty much all who diligently seek to be followers of Christ.  Yep, I have siblings in Christ who are Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, Anabaptists, Evangelical Free, Pentecostal, maybe even some of those in the CoC. ;)
 
I chose my church in part because I could see Jesus in the members of the congregation.  (Isn't that cool!)  They have a humble, generous spirit.  I later learned that they had some beliefs that were slightly different than what I believed.  They were all things I could live with though.  :)

Blessings.






Offline stevehut

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Re: Denominations Will Never Unite - G.C. Brewer
« Reply #69 on: Wed Aug 20, 2008 - 19:00:56 »
The truth in the matter is that it's not all about what you believe is truth, or what I believe is truth.  It's all about God. 


I couldn't agree more, daybreak.   ::nodding::

On the other matters, perhaps we'll have to agree to disagree.

 

     
anything