Can two walk together except they be agreed? Amos 3:3 Have two Christians who have ever walked upon this earth ever agreed on bible text 100%? If so, rarely. The best man can do is to agree on the majority of things and learn to disagree peacefully on the smallest of matters. Thus was the case of the Pharisee and Sadducee of Jesus’ day, and such is the case of liberal and conservative members of the churches of Christ today.
Now, some actually believe that if you disagree with them over the smallest of matters, you must be a heretic or a false teacher. Yet, we are commanded not to judge fellow brethren. Rom 14:10 Fellow brethren are they which abide in the apostle’s doctrine. Anyone who who deviates from their doctrine is to be withdrawn from and chastened, but treated as a brother. 2 Thess 3:6,15 The truth of the matter is this, we are not commanded to agree with fellow brethren, but to agree with God’s Word which unifies us all. Not all can be right, but all can be wrong. It is self evident as we approach the end of time that more and more Christians are in disagreement with one another. Secondly, with the advent of multimedia in the last century such as the internet, man has become more aware of those subtle differences.
I know of no church of Christ member who is at odds with the gospel of Christ. They all seemingly know that the gospel is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 1 Cor 15:1-4 They all know one must believe with all their heart and confess with their mouth that Jesus is the Christ. Rom 10:8-10 They all know one must repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. Acts 2:38 They all seem to know one must be faithful unto death in order to receive a crown of life. Rev 2:10
Most all Christians seemingly know how to worship. They all meet on Sunday to take the Lord’s supper and to give of their means. Acts 20:7 f; 1 Cor 16:1-3 They sing without the use of instrumental music. Eph 5:19 Oddly, a few are drifting from this doctrine and are adding musical accompaniment. On most all other matters, doctrine is a bit skewed.
Most all churches of Christ have developed customs which were never mentioned in the new testament. They have added a weekly midweek bible study. They have added women teachers in their bible studies (Sunday and midweek), of children (male and female) to the age of 18. Most allow women to teach the gospel and doctrine of Christ to other women of all ages. Most all are engaging in politics as a part of their core beliefs.
There are major and minor difference between two factions of the church. Liberals will eat meals at the church’s expense in the same location of where they meet. Conservatives will eat meals at their own expense separate and apart of where they meet. Liberals use man made organizations to aid in the work of the church. Conservatives are content to allow the church to do its own work. Liberals will aid both sinner and saint alike with the church’s contribution. Conservatives aid only the saint with the contribution, and aid the sinner with their own money.
All churches of Christ have self autonomy and are bonded together only by the bible as their aid. There are variations from one congregation to another in what they believe and don’t believe. Some ultra-liberals believe homosexuality is something one is born to become. Some ultra-liberals have instrumental music. Some ultra-liberals encourage women to teach during the week even as men teach. Some ultra-liberals no longer speak where the bible speaks and remain silent where the bible is silent. Some ultra-liberals do not believe all scripture was inspired of God.
In the past few years, the churches of Christ as a whole are getting smaller and smaller. Apostasy has slowly come upon the Lord’s church and is being devoured with a common plague. It is called adultery. I know of few churches of Christ today who don’t have members who have committed adultery, and some of these are preachers, deacons, and elders. The dye has been cast upon the church and forever stained until all who have committed adultery repent of their great sin!
Nevertheless, there are a few remnants who have been cast to the four corners of the earth who still try and follow God’s Word as it was written. They still try to speak only the oracles of God. 1 Pet 4:11 They still believe all scripture was from God’s inspiration. 2 Tim 3:16,17 They still believe we must rightly divide (the old testament from the new) the Word of truth. 2 Tim 2:15 As with Noah and Abraham I have found very few who dare to stand alone, even as did Elijah and Daniel of the old and the apostles of the new, who obeyed God rather than man. 1 Kin 19:10,14 f; Acts 5:29 I hope I am mistaken about this amount, even as Elijah was wrong to think he stood alone.
We must all understand that many are called, but few will be chosen. Mt 22:14 If we want to be among the called, chosen, and faithful, we must strictly adhere to God’s Word. Rev 17:14 I pray for all who have obeyed the gospel that all remain faithful to the doctrine of Christ and his apostles, and seek not to add any new doctrine. Jesus’ apostles will be rewarded their just reward come the day of judgment, and so will all who abide in their doctrine, which is the doctrine of Christ, which be the doctrine of God the Father. Acts 2:42 ff; 2 Jn 9; Jn 7:16,17 Let us all be unified in their doctrine and not deviate to the right hand or to the left, but let us all stay on that strait and narrow path which leads to life everlasting. 1 Cor 4:6 ff; Mt 7:13,14; 1 Cor 1:10 Let us obey what the apostles commanded us to do, and abide in their traditions. 2 Thess 2:15 Let us abandon all the doctrines and commandments of men which turn us from the truth. Tit 1:14 If we do this, we do well.