I've been listening to Phil Johnson online lately, and LOVE him. ( I still LOVE Kent Clark too, don't get me wrong, will be visiting his congregation this weekend, Lord willing). In the audio that I'm listening to this morning, Pastor Johnson speaks on what is wrong with the modern trend of evangelicals wanting to merge and embrace the Roman Catholic Church. He concisely lays out what is happening right now, and the reasons the supporters give for why they believe Jesus wants us all to embrace each other, in Jesus. After he gives their reasons, point by point using the scriptures that they stress, he then explains exactly what is wrong with this "unholy union". Great topic, great speaker, and I hope time is made to listen, pray, and pay attention to what is happening all around us. This one is on SermonAudio. It is 1hr 15min in duration.
Yes we are to get along with all people as much as possible, but our doctrine IS important, and to remain doctrinally pure requires that we do NOT link arm in arm with the world and it's religions. We are "in the world but not of the world". The differences between the true life found in Christ, and what is found in today's churches, particularly the ecumenical ones, is vast. We can reach out with the truth of the gospel, however, walking in lockstep with them and smiling and nodding when others "make shipwreck of the faith" is not loving. Yes, we need to love them, but love does not always agree (and I hate the term "agree to disagree" because usually both end up smugly thinking they are so holy in doing so). We need to stand strong for the truth. That doesn't mean we need to argue something to death either. I won't "agree" to disagree, or agree on ANYTHING with error. I will put forth prayerfully what is true, and pray that the Lord will bring them (and He will if they are truly His) to the full knowledge and acceptance of truth. Not "my" truth, but something much higher and better and holier than that. It needs to be "THE Truth" not "yours" vs. "mine". Doctrinal distinctives are being blurred and brushed aside. Doctrine does matter. Seducing spirits will tell you and I that it is not important.
Let us be loving and patient and kind....AND let us remain vigilant, I pray. It is from Jesus that this strength (and thereby perseverance) must and can only come from.