A Commentary by Two Norwegian Brothers
Understand the Times, International
We were musing in a conversation the other day about some of the issues associated with the difficulties of doctrinal divergence. Our discussion focused on a certain fellowship of churches. Like countless others, we were greatly disturbed by the seemingly steady shift to the slippery slope of doctrinal relativism that seems to be plaguing many within this movement at the moment.
Although we completely believe God is in control and will ultimately perform His will in and through the lives of people within His Church, we also see a call to the leadership of any movement in order to do so. A lack of action in the midst of opportunity, for the sake of “letting God handle it,” is nothing short of Christian fatalism.
We believe 2 Timothy 4:2 makes it clear that we are to “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.” These are not passive but an active response to the need for direction and correction with the church. As we well know, Paul says in 1 Timothy 5:20:
Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.
We were both part of a fellowship for many years. One of the main themes was the “perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry.” We were inspired by our leader to be reproducers of all we were taught by word and works.
We have both felt an “uneasiness” with this subtle shift of emphasis of ministry and saw a “new breed” of pastors being raised up. Many of them seemed to have a strangely different ethos for ministry than what we both had witnessed during our years of association with this fellowship. Some leaders often proudly announced, “We don’t need to follow in the footsteps of our leaders.” They did not seem to understand that in taking the name of the mother church, they were to adhere to some basic essential doctrines for the sake of unity in order to avoid confusion.
As we struggled to understand this new paradigm, we decided to do a simple comparative analysis of great church movements of the past and see if there were any similarities with their rise and ruin that we were witnessing within the broader landscape of this worldwide fellowship.
We hereby offer an abbreviated overview of our findings for the consideration of the leaders of this fellowship of churches before it is too late. Click here to continue reading.