Where is the Line?
We live in a time and culture where churches are abandoning the truth of Scripture. Many churches are incorporating secular ideas and trying to intertwine them with Scripture. This is clearly seen in the debates involving gender and sexual identity, but also in philosophies such as evolution. These are not just the “fringe” churches filled with crazy liberals that are pushing their churches into theological liberalism by rejecting Scriptural authority. These are churches you know, churches you have prayed for, and even churches you have visited.
At the same time, there is also growth among those who see Scripture as the ultimate and only authority for faith and practice. These churches may differ on smaller issues, but stand strong in the core doctrines of the Gospel. These churches are growing both in numbers and influence. The question then becomes for churches today, who should be our friends in the faith?
Is Church Cooperation and Fellowship Biblical?
The Bible shows us that fellowship between churches is an important aspect of the shared unity we have in Christ and an immense help in time of need. We see this throughout the New Testament. Paul collected an offering for the church at Jerusalem who were experiencing extreme poverty from other more financially stable churches in Corinth and Galatia. One must note that the differences in non-essential doctrine between Jerusalem and the other churches was fairly substantial. Yet, they were able to bond over the Gospel and help one another through encouragement and even finances.
What Types of Churches Can We Cooperate and Fellowship With?
Churches today should partner and work alongside other churches in order to accomplish a greater goal in reaching the lost with the Gospel. In order to do that though, one must first understand the Gospel. Those core doctrines of the Trinity, the Deity of Christ, sinfulness of man, the Resurrection, etc. are essential for cooperation and fellowship between churches. There are other doctrines that must also be taken into account for closer relationships between churches, but the Gospel itself should be the main dividing line.
What Will We Do?
Make no mistake that line is being drawn. Whether we like it or not. Churches today are being tested by those whom they have known and even worked with in the past rejecting core truth and pursuing unbiblical practices and beliefs. This will continue to happen as culture shifts further and further to the left. The line is being drawn and the choice is left to each church, will we stand with liberal churches who reject the Gospel out of convenience or will we stand strong in the Gospel of Jesus Christ with other churches who are like-minded in that same Gospel?