Why the division amongst believers?

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Sep 29, 2019
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#1
Hi everyone
I was wondering why there is so much discord within the church over interpretations of scripture? It seem to me that it is not so much that believers can agree to disagree; it is that there seems to be a need to invalidate the opponent's very relationship with God, and a refusal to fellowship often.For instance, that they are not really saved, or that the devil has got to them in some way. Homosexuality, divorce, the role of women in church; faith and works; jewish law etc. You name it and there seems to be a multiplicity of opinions and genuinely held positions.
 

Oncefallen

Idiot in Chief
Staff member
Jan 15, 2011
5,771
2,198
113
#2
Hi everyone
I was wondering why there is so much discord within the church over interpretations of scripture? It seem to me that it is not so much that believers can agree to disagree; it is that there seems to be a need to invalidate the opponent's very relationship with God, and a refusal to fellowship often.For instance, that they are not really saved, or that the devil has got to them in some way. Homosexuality, divorce, the role of women in church; faith and works; jewish law etc. You name it and there seems to be a multiplicity of opinions and genuinely held positions.
In reality scripture is crystal clear on many of these issues but some persons prefer to try to make scripture (completely rip it out of context) fit their desires or preconceived notions of God rather than conforming themselves and their will to what scripture clearly states.
 

morefaithrequired

Well-known member
Sep 28, 2019
2,194
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#3
Maybe its better to avoid communication altogether on the subject. Like politics, religion can divide, even if we worship the same God. But that would make forums like this one obsolete I guess.
 

morefaithrequired

Well-known member
Sep 28, 2019
2,194
1,258
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#4
I am not a fan of Latter day Saint (Mormon) theology. But i will never forget an incidentcwhich occurred 28 years ago.
I was driving but suddenly had a puncture on a narrow mountainous road in the countryside. Within 5 minutes 2 angels appeared in formal attire offering to help. Had my tyre changed within 10 minutes. All I had to do was receive their Bible.
I wiil always respect the virtuous nature of such Christians. Maybe they are shaming the rest of us with their exemplary behaviour.
 

maxwel

Senior Member
Apr 18, 2013
8,654
1,884
113
#5
Hi everyone
I was wondering why there is so much discord within the church over interpretations of scripture? It seem to me that it is not so much that believers can agree to disagree; it is that there seems to be a need to invalidate the opponent's very relationship with God, and a refusal to fellowship often.For instance, that they are not really saved, or that the devil has got to them in some way. Homosexuality, divorce, the role of women in church; faith and works; jewish law etc. You name it and there seems to be a multiplicity of opinions and genuinely held positions.
1. We discuss and debate scripture so much because those within orthodox denominations consider the scripture to be sacred, as well as vitally important for all matters of faith and practice.

We talk about it, and sometimes argue about it, because we value it so highly... it is of supreme importance.

2. Within orthodox denominations, we actually do have general agreement on essential doctrines.

When we disagree it is generally over secondary issues, or on matters where someone is diverging substantially from orthodoxy.


Conclusion:
We talk about scripture so much because it is SO IMPORTANT TO US.

.
 

p_rehbein

Senior Member
Sep 4, 2013
27,144
4,344
113
#6
Hi everyone
I was wondering why there is so much discord within the church over interpretations of scripture? It seem to me that it is not so much that believers can agree to disagree; it is that there seems to be a need to invalidate the opponent's very relationship with God, and a refusal to fellowship often.For instance, that they are not really saved, or that the devil has got to them in some way. Homosexuality, divorce, the role of women in church; faith and works; jewish law etc. You name it and there seems to be a multiplicity of opinions and genuinely held positions.
I see by your Profile Page that you are "unsure" of your Spiritual Status. That you are "not sure what it means to be saved." Is this the reason for the Thread/questions you are asking?

As for the debate/discussion/argument over Scripture and/or it's interpretation, that has been going on since the Church was first established. Even the Apostles disagreed on certain issues as is evidenced in the 15th Chapter of Acts.

You chose some "hot button" examples, and there are reasons for the differing opinions on them within the Church. Mostly, it is based on Denominational ideologs. However, concerning homosexuality, in my experience the Church is united. The 1st Chapter of Romans deals with this completely as to Gods view, and His view is the view the Church should certainly hold as their own.

Homosexuality is a sin. And, as with all other sins/sinful lifestyles, if one desires to be a child of God, and an heir to the Promise, they must repent (turn from) their sinful lifestyle and live a life pleasing to God. A person who identifies themselves as having homosexual desires can be saved and inherit eternal life, but ONLY if they turn from that lifestyle, and turn to God, and deny the desires of their flesh. As most believers say "hate the sin, not the sinner." And, in my opinion, this is what God does, and the Church should do as well. There is no room for compromise on certain issues. Gods Word is clear, and regardless of what man desires, if God declares something a sin, it is a sin, and those who engage in that sin are not His.

The other "issues" you mention are the normal ones that cause disagreement based on individual/Denominational interpretation/teaching.

I suggest you concentrate on resolving your doubts about your Spiritual status........then, you can move on to discussing/debating the other issues.
 
Oct 1, 2019
23
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#7
Oh it's really just very simple. There is a lot of heretics. I mean they basically just did what the Pharisees and Sadduccees before them did and made up their own traditions and their own doctrines which got nothing to do with the scripture, by which they make the Word of God to no effect.
 

morefaithrequired

Well-known member
Sep 28, 2019
2,194
1,258
113
#8
Hi everyone
I was wondering why there is so much discord within the church over interpretations of scripture? It seem to me that it is not so much that believers can agree to disagree; it is that there seems to be a need to invalidate the opponent's very relationship with God, and a refusal to fellowship often.For instance, that they are not really saved, or that the devil has got to them in some way. Homosexuality, divorce, the role of women in church; faith and works; jewish law etc. You name it and there seems to be a multiplicity of opinions and genuinely held positions.
The truth is...everyone thinks they own it.
 
Jul 20, 2019
1,228
874
113
#9
Hi everyone
I was wondering why there is so much discord within the church over interpretations of scripture? It seem to me that it is not so much that believers can agree to disagree; it is that there seems to be a need to invalidate the opponent's very relationship with God, and a refusal to fellowship often.For instance, that they are not really saved, or that the devil has got to them in some way. Homosexuality, divorce, the role of women in church; faith and works; jewish law etc. You name it and there seems to be a multiplicity of opinions and genuinely held positions.
Because there is spiritual warfare, when christians gather together, the enemy sends his soldiers to disrupt the peace. Its part of his MO. Most organised religion now is designed to please mankind, not God and his glory. More bums on seats means more money.
 
Sep 29, 2019
394
170
43
#10
I see by your Profile Page that you are "unsure" of your Spiritual Status. That you are "not sure what it means to be saved." Is this the reason for the Thread/questions you are asking?

As for the debate/discussion/argument over Scripture and/or it's interpretation, that has been going on since the Church was first established. Even the Apostles disagreed on certain issues as is evidenced in the 15th Chapter of Acts.

You chose some "hot button" examples, and there are reasons for the differing opinions on them within the Church. Mostly, it is based on Denominational ideologs. However, concerning homosexuality, in my experience the Church is united. The 1st Chapter of Romans deals with this completely as to Gods view, and His view is the view the Church should certainly hold as their own.

Homosexuality is a sin. And, as with all other sins/sinful lifestyles, if one desires to be a child of God, and an heir to the Promise, they must repent (turn from) their sinful lifestyle and live a life pleasing to God. A person who identifies themselves as having homosexual desires can be saved and inherit eternal life, but ONLY if they turn from that lifestyle, and turn to God, and deny the desires of their flesh. As most believers say "hate the sin, not the sinner." And, in my opinion, this is what God does, and the Church should do as well. There is no room for compromise on certain issues. Gods Word is clear, and regardless of what man desires, if God declares something a sin, it is a sin, and those who engage in that sin are not His.

The other "issues" you mention are the normal ones that cause disagreement based on individual/Denominational interpretation/teaching.

I suggest you concentrate on resolving your doubts about your Spiritual status........then, you can move on to discussing/debating the other issues.
Hopefully by engaging with this site and having fruitful discussions with people my spiritual status can be more clarified. It sounds like you want me to come to a conclusion before I,ve discussed things. I usually like to think and discuss first and then reach decisions. I,m asking God to guide me. Homosexuality is a case in point. I,ve just read Justin Lee's book "Torn" in which he talks of his struggles with his faith and sexuality. He interprets Romans 1 in a very different way; for instance he was not involved with idol worship, but genuinely loves Jesus. So why would God give him over to being gay? Anyway, perhaps this is not the thread to get into all of that. My point is: would you now say that his relationship with God is invalid, or that he is no longer a christian because of his interpretation?
 
Sep 29, 2019
394
170
43
#11
1. We discuss and debate scripture so much because those within orthodox denominations consider the scripture to be sacred, as well as vitally important for all matters of faith and practice.

We talk about it, and sometimes argue about it, because we value it so highly... it is of supreme importance.

2. Within orthodox denominations, we actually do have general agreement on essential doctrines.

When we disagree it is generally over secondary issues, or on matters where someone is diverging substantially from orthodoxy.


Conclusion:
We talk about scripture so much because it is SO IMPORTANT TO US.

.
Thanks Maxwel. I suppose any family will have its arguments, including God's family. The point is whether the family can agree to disagree and at what point other family members decide someone doesn't belong anymore.
 
Sep 29, 2019
394
170
43
#12
I am not a fan of Latter day Saint (Mormon) theology. But i will never forget an incidentcwhich occurred 28 years ago.
I was driving but suddenly had a puncture on a narrow mountainous road in the countryside. Within 5 minutes 2 angels appeared in formal attire offering to help. Had my tyre changed within 10 minutes. All I had to do was receive their Bible.
I wiil always respect the virtuous nature of such Christians. Maybe they are shaming the rest of us with their exemplary behaviour.
In the story of the good Samaritan Jesus tells of someone who was of the opposite view to another. He helps another because of compassion. Their doctrinal differences don't come into it. He doesn't ask if he is saved; or give him a samaritan tract to read. Simple human compassion.
 

morefaithrequired

Well-known member
Sep 28, 2019
2,194
1,258
113
#13
In the story of the good Samaritan Jesus tells of someone who was of the opposite view to another. He helps another because of compassion. Their doctrinal differences don't come into it. He doesn't ask if he is saved; or give him a samaritan tract to read. Simple human compassion.
your conclusion here ruffles feathers. not mine. sometimes i think theology is a synonym for ego.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
9,986
3,628
113
#14
Hi everyone
I was wondering why there is so much discord within the church over interpretations of scripture? It seem to me that it is not so much that believers can agree to disagree; it is that there seems to be a need to invalidate the opponent's very relationship with God, and a refusal to fellowship often.For instance, that they are not really saved, or that the devil has got to them in some way. Homosexuality, divorce, the role of women in church; faith and works; jewish law etc. You name it and there seems to be a multiplicity of opinions and genuinely held positions.
Things get lost in translation? Or the Bibles been copied so many times that some things are skipped over.
Personally I think everyone can benefit from reading the Bible straight through without skipping any parts out, and people can usually agree well it DOES say this.

But lots of people dont do this, they pick and choose or dont read the whole thing, thats what I notice. Then they will come to strange conclusions, because theyve isolated verses and kind of made their own patchwork quilt Bible.
 

Adstar

Senior Member
Jul 24, 2016
6,449
2,924
113
#15
Hi everyone
I was wondering why there is so much discord within the church over interpretations of scripture? It seem to me that it is not so much that believers can agree to disagree; it is that there seems to be a need to invalidate the opponent's very relationship with God, and a refusal to fellowship often.For instance, that they are not really saved, or that the devil has got to them in some way. Homosexuality, divorce, the role of women in church; faith and works; jewish law etc. You name it and there seems to be a multiplicity of opinions and genuinely held positions.
If a Christian believes that another Christian is misguided in their beliefs.. And if they have love for the one they believe is misguided they will speak up and give warning to them about their misguided beliefs..

There are doctrines that are essential to see one saved.. When a person has a false doctrine in one of these essential areas then it is Very important that a fellow Christian give them warning.. And if they reject the guidance given then the true Christian must oppose them to prevent them leading others into deception..

There are doctrines that are no core doctrines essential to salvation.. While Christians should still share their views on such issues they should not use the difference of opinion as justification for division.. Some people seem not to know the difference between a core doctrines and a disputable doctrine of no salvational importance.
 

morefaithrequired

Well-known member
Sep 28, 2019
2,194
1,258
113
#16
If a Christian believes that another Christian is misguided in their beliefs.. And if they have love for the one they believe is misguided they will speak up and give warning to them about their misguided beliefs..
That sounds arrogant to me and probably to a lot of non Christians. Its dogmatic. I believe jesus Christ is the answer. But Im not going to force that on someone else. I will tell them what I believe if they ask me. But Im not going to infer they are stupid because they dont have the same belief. I have a Muslim friend. Im not going to tell him his beliefs are "misguided."
Choose not only respectful language but take care to have a respectful attitude to others. otherwise they will disrespect you. Even more than they did in the first place.
 

Adstar

Senior Member
Jul 24, 2016
6,449
2,924
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#17
That sounds arrogant to me and probably to a lot of non Christians. Its dogmatic. I believe jesus Christ is the answer. But Im not going to force that on someone else. I will tell them what I believe if they ask me. But Im not going to infer they are stupid because they dont have the same belief. I have a Muslim friend. Im not going to tell him his beliefs are "misguided."
Choose not only respectful language but take care to have a respectful attitude to others. otherwise they will disrespect you. Even more than they did in the first place.
No arrogant.. It is loving.. If i truly believe someone is headed to the eternal lake of fire because they believe in a doctrine of devils i am compelled by my conscience to give warning..

Telling someone you believe they are wrong about a belief and why you believe it is not forcing anything on anyone.. And saying that it is forcing is just a lie..

I never said i believe the other person is Stupid because they believe something that is wrong... Truth is come by the guidance of the Holy Spirit and has more to do with conviction and conscience then Intellect.. Actually pure intellect will get a person Nowhere in relation to the Word of God..

I hope someone loves you muslim friend enough to tell Him the truth and share the gospel with him.. Because at this moment in time he is believing in an evil deception..
 

morefaithrequired

Well-known member
Sep 28, 2019
2,194
1,258
113
#18
I never said i believe the other person is Stupid because they believe something that is wrong..
that could be inferred though quite easily from the use of "misguided"
 

morefaithrequired

Well-known member
Sep 28, 2019
2,194
1,258
113
#19
Actually pure intellect will get a person Nowhere in relation to the Word of God..
strongly agree with this. though I myself do value the intellectual path but not over the top biblical, that's a turn off.
 

morefaithrequired

Well-known member
Sep 28, 2019
2,194
1,258
113
#20
I hope someone loves you muslim friend enough to tell Him the truth and share the gospel with him.. Because at this moment in time he is believing in an evil deception..
And if you were in my place, you would be strongly asserting your belief that you are right and he is wrong. he wouldn't be your friend for long.