Summary: Truth divides from error not lives in peaceful coexistence.
Why Are We Divided?
I do not know if there has ever been a time since the 1st Century when there has been so much talk about unifying the Church. The problem is that we are more divided than ever and that division keeps increasing on nearly a daily basis. In fact, those who speak the most about unity seem to be the ones that are dividing it the most. One of the biggest problems and in essence the root of all the other issues that divide the church is the lack of truth or understanding truth.
31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. KJV
Jesus said that knowledge of the the truth would makes us free and the way to know that truth is to continue in His Word. Many claim to be His disciples or students and yet there is great diversity of opinion as to what the truth of His word is and how to apply it, Many are not free but are in bondage to rituals, traditions and a myriad of man made dogmas. Some of those things would be hilarious if they were not taken so seriously and have such a hold on people. Others border on the fringe of insanity and yet find multitudes who cling to them as though written by the finger of God on Sinai in their presence.
Scripture is twisted or wrested so out of context that it makes no sense what the proponents of their interpretation say it means and yet it is presented as truth and deceives many. There is an attitude of toleration of multiple interpretations as if there can be many different truths without any conflict or call to militate against the various positions.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. KJV
Notice that Jesus did not say that He was a truth or one of many truths. He said He was the truth. The one and only truth. Thus anything that is not absolutely accurate about Him and not in correct relationship to Him must be a lie since it is not the truth about Him.
There are numerous ideas or doctrines about who Jesus Christ was, is and will be. Only one doctrine is right because only one can be the truth about the Truth, Jesus Christ. All else is error and must be condemned as error, a lie or heresy. He does not tolerate error. How often did He correct false doctrine by saying, “you have heard it said, but I say unto you”? Even when He did not use that phrase He corrected the teachings or beliefs of all the various groups, Pharisees, Sadducees, Zealots, Herodians, Greeks, Romans as well as individual preferences that were not in alignment with the truth of the Word and in as such not in alignment with Him, the Truth.
12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. KJV
The Spirit was sent to guide us into “all” truth. Not just essentials and avoiding nonessentials or those things within the “pale of orthodoxy” but He will guide into all truth. Thus there is no such thing as nonessential doctrine. “In essentials unity and in nonessentials charity” sound magnanimous, gracious, loving and all that, but it is not biblical.
If something is true then the Spirit’s job is to guide us into it and the Spirit is not about just doing nonessential busy work. Sure, you may not lose your soul if you have some doctrines wrong but Christianity is about much more than salvation and if God wrote about it then it is essential that we know the truth about it. If we are to be conformed into His image does His image only consist of what we determine essential or is His image about everything that He is, created, expects, desires and commands?? Should be an easy answer.
When you glad hand and fellowship with people who hold to false doctrine or error you are not conforming yourself to the image of Christ. You may be using some worldly concept of love, grace, tolerance etc, like going along to get along, but that is not what Christ did. Had He done so, they would have never crucified Him. They would have welcomed Him into the Ministerium and asked Him to pray some mush prayer at City Hall’s various functions. Instead, He confronted and corrected error no matter who held to it or got mad about it. Only any given subject, He ticked off the Left, the Right, the politicos, the patriots, the moderates and at times even those who followed Him.