Tuesday, December 26, 2006

When has someone gone too far?

I would say this is an example of someone going to far:

During a search I came across a letter written at the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International (FBFI) web site with regards to Vision Forum and the Family Integrated Church, entitled: The Integrated Church Movement: Viable Church Polity or False Teaching?

Once you get through all of the rhetoric in the beginning you get to the crux of their beef when they say:

When one examines the underlying theology of the movement, the answer must be no. The FBFI is without apology committed to a dispensational understanding of Scripture. It is clear that the postmillennial teaching of Vision Forum is in contradiction with the doctrinal statement of the FBFI and would be incompatible with the ministries represented by members of the FBFI.”

This shows that while they may disagree with the method of “doing” church they are in the end making their eschatology a high priority, even one to separate over.

It is their prerogative to separate over particular doctrines; however they also go on to say:

“These churches are classified according to their particular theological, hermeneutical, or traditional distinctive, but the one thing that unites them—that litmus test for fellowship—is their integrated church philosophy. Scripture is clear that fellowship with unbelievers and false teachers is sin. Fundamentalists cannot violate the doctrine of separation by allowing ICM to infiltrate our local churches. Fellowship with Vision Forum, IUCAH, or similar groups—or so-called Fundamentalists who adopt such an errant theology and practice—should be condemned, not condoned.”

Wow, it is good for people to hold firmly to their convictions but when one begins to label others outside their belief system as unbelievers and worse because they do not believe exactly the same or do church exactly the same they have crossed the line. It sure would seem that of utmost importance to them is eschatology and thus eschatology has been made their “litmus test” of fellowship. I always thought the litmus test of fellowship was whether one was a believer or not and not ones understanding of end times.

I would pray that this group, who by the way I had never heard of until I read this letter, would see the folly of their ways and repent. Calling others in the family of God unbelievers simply because they dislike their “hermeneutical principle” is uncalled for and in the end dishonoring to God.

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