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Sunday, January 26, 2003

Edifier du Jour-1 Corintians 11:17-19(NASB)
17 But in giving this instruction, I do not praise you, because you come together not for the better but for the worse. 18 For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that divisions exist among you; and in part I believe it. 19 For there must also be factions among you, so that those who are approved may become evident among you.
There is something to be said about divisions. If you insist on not dividing, you can't judge something on their merits. If you don't give grades, you can't acknowledge the good students. If you don't keep score, you can't easily tell who is and isn't doing well. For denominations who have very broad definitions of what it means to be a Christian, it becomes hard to determine what they stand for collectively other than a hesitancy to criticize. Sometimes having division is better than trying to paper over differences. A number of denominations that have employed a big-tent philosophy seem to be coming apart, for the liberals and conservatives in the church are chafing at one another. You might be better off with conservative and liberal Anglican blocs and moderate and liberal Presbyterian and Methodist blocks. A clearer definition of what a church stands for will help people's church selection. I know I'd be hesitant to consider a PC-USA or Methodist church due to the underlying liberal nature of the denominations. There are some good churches in those blocs, Ames Methodist in Saginaw comes to mind. Some division might help the church, with traditionalists getting what they want and liberals getting what they want rather than fight over things.

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