A PRACTICAL MODUS VIVENDI FOR THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST

There is no such thing as a “perfect church”. The church is simply a body of sinners saved by the grace of God; struggling to do the will of God. Problems happen in the church when some over-zealous brothers or sisters pick out things they do or don’t do to make themselves look more spiritual, and start pointing their judgmental fingers on their fellows who don’t necessarily agree with them. We all have biases. We all form opinions of our own on many things in the Bible. It’s what we do as humans; humans are rational beings after all. We think differently on many Biblical issues. We see things differently because of our cultural backgrounds, our education, our traditions among many other things. I guess what is crucial is for us to realize that we do not have the right to tear up the church of Christ over our own pre-suppositional biases; throwing a guilt trip on everyone who does not think and act like we do. I submit to you 2 things we can do to help realize the prayer of Jesus to the Father for the unity of His church (cf. Jn. 17:20-23). Firstly, we must clearly identify our biases. It is so painful, but we must. We all have them, and we must identify them. Secondly, we must personally discern the irreducible minimums of the Christian faith; the core of Biblical truths. Truths that we can all readily affirm, we can all rally behind, and even willingly die for. Truths about the infallibility of the Bible, deity of Jesus, His virgin birth, justification by grace through faith, the goodness and eternality of God, the imminence of Christ’s 2nd coming, etc. These are the common core that we need to cling to and go back to again and again. These are the major truths of historical Christianity that we need to be united about. When we have clearly juxtaposed our biases on the peripherals with the irreducible minimums of our faith, then we can discuss things and issues as brothers and sisters in the Lord over an atmosphere of love and acceptance. Maturity will make us all less dogmatic and less judgmental in our interpersonal relationship.
I subscribe to the dictum: IN ESSENTIALS, UNITY; IN PERIPHERALS, FREEDOM; IN ALL THINGS, LOVE.