letters to surfers

Question  Is it possible to cooperate with people who have different doctrines?
by Robert Brow  (www.brow.on.ca)

I teach that there is only one church in each city and surrounding villages (as in the NT - Antioch, Ephesus,Philippi, Athens, Corinth, Rome, etc.). But it meets in many locations, each with its own name and denomination.   Some of these will have different explanations and models of the church from mine.  So I picture the church here in Kingston like a garden, and our heavenly gardener likes different clumps of flowers each with their own individuality - a rose should not try to look like a tulip. Those who say their denomination or gathering are the only true church in this city are just plain wrong.  But it is not my task to correct them.  I just let them be, and let the Lord deal with them.  "Who are you to pass judgment on servants of another?" (Romans 14:4).  The art is to be very clear about one's own function, and yet recognize that others are also part of our one garden in their own very different way. As regards people of another religion (you list those who say that Jesus was an angel, but not the Son of God; or that Jesus was human, but not divine, divine, but not human; or that we can become actual Gods if we work our way up to the higher levels) we need to be very firm about our faith without rejecting them as enemies. We may for example cooperate with them in some social services as long as we do not have to deny what we believe. So, whether with Christians with ideas and practices that we find strange, or in our dealings with other religions, we can be very strong about "this is what I am called to be and do,"  and we trust God take care of the rest. Even if people come in with a false religion and take over some part of the one church in our city, we make sure we stand fast,  and let the Lord deal with them in his own way (as in Revelation 2:9, 14-16, 24-25,  3:4, 9-10).

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