I read an article this week where an author talked about a congregation which follows a worship practice that he believes to be incorrect. He holds these brothers ‘in error’ and insists that fellowship with this group should be abandoned.
A wise man once said,“Brothers in error are the only kind of brothers I have.” There are often two problems with abandoning fellowship with a fellow believer in Christ with whom we have doctrinal differences.
The first problem is that if you are of the opinion that your ‘brother in error’ should be delivered over to Satan (1 Tim. 1:20), you are likely operating with a mistaken definition of what false teaching really is.
“Teacher,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”
“Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us. I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.
Mark 9: 38-41
The disciples are operating with the assumption that if you are with us you are O.K. ‘Affiliation makes you right’, but Jesus does not agree. In this case Jesus commands a policy of non-interference. “Do not stop him.” A good deed done in the name of Christ cannot be used for evil. Continue reading