You’re Welcome

Acts 21:4   (KJV)   4 And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem.

Acts 21.4 - You're WelcomePaul and His companions were welcomed by the disciples. They get to stay with them for a week with no problem.

Many of us still value hospitality—and rightly so. Others though pick and choose who they welcome and allow to share their homes—and rightly so. This isn’t to advocate any kind of unreasonable discrimination, but there is a godly discrimination. What I want to focus on though is our attitude toward each other as believers. Before, being a believer is the only qualifier for the disciples to welcome each other. They were blessed and happy to meet and welcome fellow Christians.

Nowadays, others have seemingly a lot more non-negotiable “qualifiers” to go through before they would willingly welcome a believer. They have to seamlessly share the same doctrinal positions to the minutest detail. Forbid the thought that they would stay with a group of people who prophesied. That’s a huge issue nowadays, but there was no discussion of any contention or concern about it during the time of Paul. They knew they had one Lord, one faith, one great commission to accomplish.

Dear God, I humbly pray that we would return to that kind of attitude towards our brothers in sisters in You—that we welcome each other simply because of that—we’re one spiritual family. Help us to not foolishly render your body—your church—bruised, broken, and bloodied because of our own careless and even cruel attacks on each other, forgetting that an assault on a fellow believer of a different denominational persuasion or preference is an assault on You. Help us to fully love the whole of You—from the Head to every part of Your body, not just our own little space.

 

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Dealing with Disputable Matters

Titus 3:9   (KJV)   But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.

This is as straightforward as straightforward could be: we have to avoid foolish or ill-informed questions or discussions, foolish and proud discussions about genealogies or spiritual pedigrees, contentions and/or quarrels and/or dissentions and/or fights, even Titus 3.9 - Dealing with Disputable Matterswhen we’re dealing with the Law or God’s Word. Why should we avoid them? Why not get involved with these seemingly helpful discussions? It’s because they are unprofitable, useless, they’re a waste of our time, energy, and effort.

Aren’t all questions and discussions about God’s Word beneficial? The answer is obvious. We’re to avoid discussions that are foolish, disputable, and controversial. We avoid discussing teachings that lead to quarrels and fights. These are argumentable teachings that may be very clear in the Bible but the most well-meaning and most well-intentioned of us interpret very differently from each other.

“In essential teachings, we have unity; in non-essentials, we have liberty; in all things, we have charity—we have love.” There are essential teachings in the Scriptures; they are clear, absolute truths we don’t compromise. We teach them, spread them, discuss them, propagate them, and defend them. Then there are the disputable ones. We study them; we unbiasedly interpret what they teach. We believe what we humbly understand about them—with full conviction and persuasion. In dealing with those who believe otherwise; we keep our beliefs between ourselves and God. Why, I’d we’d rather talk to our brothers and sisters about those cardinal, non-negotiable teachings and practices that unite us, and lead us to loving each other deeper rather than those argumentable interpretations that lead to heartaches, quarreling, and even sin.

If any of you find a better and more Scriptural approach regarding disputable teachings or interpretations, I beseech you to educate me. Our hearts are after the Lord; He is the Truth; there’s no problem for us waving a white flag, bowing our hearts, and bending our knees to the authority of the Truth. Otherwise, let’s keep loving each other, united, and teaching the essential things of the Kingdom: righteousness, love, truth…