Where do you draw the line?

It seems like nearly every professing Christian has their own eschatological interpretations, many times differing from our own. Should we break fellowship with someone who professes Christ as their Lord and Savior simply because their eschatological interpretation is different from our own or should we examine their essential beliefs prior to dividing? Yesterday I came across a website that I feel demonstrates when and where I personally would draw the line. 

These fellows call this the “Prophecy of the Century“. They have videos  you can access for free which they feel validates this prophecy. They believe that the Lord led them to believe this prophecy. I’ve seen prophecies like this before and I guess it’s just a matter of time before we find out if this is really a correct interpretation or not. 

Would I break fellowship with this group based on their interpretation? On the basis of this; no I would not. Would I call them names and refuse to listen to them? Should I publicly question their salvation? I would hope that I wouldn’t. One thing I would do is ask how they feel about essential Christian doctrines such as “Do you believe in the Trinity?” I didn’t have to contact them as they openly share their views on this essential and important Christian doctrine here. 

THERE IS NO TRINITY. Right there is the red flag. The Trinity is an essential Christian doctrine. This is a doctrine that any true professing Christian holds dearly. A brief overview of the Trinity can be found here. 

Can we safely assume someone professing Christ yet denying the Trinity isn’t saved? Should we state this publicly about someone? That’s a tough call and one I used to be comfortable making all the time….just not anymore. We really have no way of knowing who the elect are however I suspect and believe someone who denies the Trinity probably isn’t saved. Notice I said probably isn’t and I’m only speaking for myself here.   

Seeing they deny Jesus and the Holy Spirit are God by denying the Trinity, I decided to look a little deeper into their website. I discovered they adhere to and promote the teachings of Mrs. Ellen White who co-founded along with her husband the Seventh Day Adventists.  Many consider the Seventh Day Adventists to be a cult.   

There are plenty more of their teachings on the website which we could carve up like Thanksgiving turkeys if we wanted to but what would be the point of that? Their clear denial of the Trinity is reason enough to simply walk away and leave them alone. We must also pray they see the error of their ways and repent of their heretical teachings.  

I would break fellowship with professing believers who deny the existence of the Trinity. I wouldn’t listen to anything a denier of the Trinity has to say on anything biblical which includes the above prophecy. If their exegesis is sloppy enough to deny an essential doctrine how can they then be trusted with anything else biblical? In my opinion, they can’t.   

Now, let’s suppose these fellows adhere to essential Orthodox Christian doctrines such as the Trinity, would I break fellowship over their eschatological views? My answer would be no whether I agree with them or not. Someone’s eschatological viewpoints aren’t as important to me as essential doctrines such as the Trinity. 

You now know where I would divide and break fellowship. I have other reasons but that isn’t the point of this post. Remember, this is just for me. Each of you has to decide when to divide and what to divide over. I can’t tell you that and I wouldn’t want that responsibility but I am curious about something……. 

Where do you draw the line?  

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8 thoughts on “Where do you draw the line?

  1. hi there phil, :o)

    i didn’t check out the articles yet, but i just wanted to say i agree with you that i wouldn’t divide over eschatology either. while my husband is adamant in his views, i am still straddlin’ the fence. at one time, i was like most of the professing Church- believing in the “2nd coming” of our Lord, but now i’m not as certain as before. until dtg (derrick) started telling me about a.d.70, i had never even heard about it. until as recently as the last 4 years i was waiting for the “rapture” to happen. it’s interesting that i’ve been a Christian for 20 years and had only heard of the “futurist” view along with the different positions on when the tribulation would take place.
    according to “preterists”, their view is not some new novelty or heresy that just popped up in recent years. they maintain that their interpretation of eschatology has been a predominant view of the Church for hundreds of years. (i haven’t delved into the issue diligently as of yet, so while i believe that historically the jewish temple was destroyed, i haven’t studied if the Scriptures conclusively support that Jesus’ advent was connected to it) as i journey on in my walk with God, i will study it further and arrive at a definite conclusion for mice-elf, but right now, it’s not at the tippy-top of my list.

    anyhoo, since i’m not going to debate these issues right now, i have to ask these questions: at the end of the day, does adhering to the futurist view (and it’s variant camps), or the preterist view (and it’s variant degrees) help me to be more Christlike? if i earnestly believe that one view is 100 % correct and i maintain that stance- am i now more spiritually mature? will it help me to be a mother who walks more in the Spirit, or a wife who is more submissive? will it help me to grow more in humility and help me to be an effective witness for Jesus by my words and behavior? i don’t think so.

    therefore, i don’t press the issue. i’d rather the fruit i bear be the “litmus’ test for my life. and please, so that i’m not misunderstood- i believe doctrines should be discussed, even at length; however, if there is no clear resolution to the matter, than charity should be demonstrated and earnest prayer should be made on behalf of those for whom we believe are in error. only the Lord Himself can give sight to any of when we have blind spots. we do not all arrive at truth at the same time so the best thing we can extend to one another is the grace to allow each other to abide by the dictates of our own conscience until God shows us differently.

    Phil: Mrs. Mav, welcome to Theology Today!

    Eschatology is a funny thing. I didn’t necessarily have preterists in mind, but I believe in finding out if the person holds to the essentials. If they don’t then I break fellowship with them. You are also correct that ones eschatological views won’t get you into heaven nor will it keep you out.

    Thanks again and please feel free to stop back and post anytime!

    Phil

  2. I know what this about!!! and I do believe in dividing in fellowship, especially where I believe that there are some hypocrisies in the action of the person in second in command…
    How ever this does not stop me from fellowshipping with the people that sit under that particular person….

    God Bless You

  3. Hi Samantha,

    What’s new with you these days?

    This posting has been in the works for quite some time. It’s about division and I have divided with many in the past over doctrinal issues. The website in question was forwarded to me in November but I wasn’t sure what to do with it.

    Division is a personal choice based on individual beliefs and I certainly don’t condemn anyone for dividing.

    Thanks for the comment!

    Phil

  4. Thank you Phil, and I do value your comment and honesty. It was something that I had to do within my own conviction. Thanks again!!

    God Bless you

  5. I believe eschatological views come from different systems of theology. For example would we break with teachers such as Sproul on paedo baptism and amillenialism? What about our forefathers in the faith? Luther, Calvin, Hodge, if you were a dispensational you would have to break fellowship with 95% of those who are Reformed and vice versa.

    But let me throw a little twist in their. The Christian church has held certain doctrines since the 1st century. If those beliefs were denied I would say divide. For example I had a person say what about the virgin birth? My answer is divide! If they deny the clear teachings of the virgin birth, they will soon admit that they deny Noah’s Ark, the parting of the Red Sea, David and Goliath and what is going to come evident really fast is that they deny all of the miraculous events in the scripture. How far are we willing to go?

    I admit not far brother. Once again as long as you belived that Christ will return to judge the world then I say cool, if your eschatology says that Jesus will not return as it states clearly in 2 Thessalonians 1 then I am willing to say divide. That teaching is too far off from what I would allow. I am still working through preterism now but it is tough right now.

  6. Hi Lionel,

    What’s new Brother?

    I agree with you 100%. I won’t stray from the essentials and that’s that!

    Eschatology is tough. I suggest reading Daniel first and then moving on to Revelation. You will soon notice there is a major difference in what a hyper preterist believes then what a preterist believes.

    Take your time Brother!

    Phil

  7. Eschatology? Not necesarrily. Pre-trib, mid-trib, post-trib? I see clearly what Scripture teaches, but I won’t divide so long as they hold to a physical, personal return of Christ to judge and to rule (of course, without tampering with the essentials).

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