A few days ago, my Facebook memories from three and four years ago had quotes from Pastor Rod Parsley of World Harvest Church in Columbus, Ohio, and the host of Breakthrough Television. Pastor Rod, or PRP as he is often tagged, is who God used to begin my journey with the Lord. This was one of the quotes from my memories;
“Theology cannot be based on prophetic utterance, because theology must be the whole council of the Word of God, and your Bible says we see in part and therefore we prophecy in part.”
We all start with the Lord somewhere, and hopefully, we grow day by day, year by year, and moment by moment to be more like Jesus. When I read the quote above again, I prayed a short prayer, “Lord, help me to walk in love towards those who see things differently. Help me to realize that people love you who do not see as I do, and help me to remember that I have grown in my understanding and have not always been here.”
The Christian walk is just that, a walk. It’s easy to develop a judgmental spirit and think “they” should know more. But stop and ask yourself this question, what was my journey like in coming to a certain truth?
God is much more merciful than we are.
“Adonai is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and plentiful in mercy.” – Psalm 103:8 TLV.
“For I delight in loyalty and not sacrifice, knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.” – Hosea 6:6 TLV.
As we grow, we must recognize others are growing too, and we do not all grow at the same pace. It’s easy for us to look at someone who has a different doctrinal position than we do and think they don’t know the Lord. Correct doctrine is not a fruit of the Spirit. Right doctrine is important, but it is not a fruit that proves salvation. Many people have correct doctrine, but they are meanspirited and stingy; that is not the fruit of a believer. Jesus said we would be known by our love.
We will all be wrong at points doctrinally; many in the body of Christ believe the sign gifts have passed away. Because they hold this position, many in that part of the body view Pentecostal and Charismatics as false teachers. We can disagree on the gifts, but to state that someone is in or out of the body based on that is wrong.
John MacArthur is one of this generation’s most outstanding Bible teachers; one charismatics should listen to even though he does not believe the same concerning gifts. He is a man who understands the gospel and is a brother.
Heaven will be full of followers of Jesus, not Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals, and Catholics. Truth is foundational, and we do not compromise on truth. But if someone walks in the love of Christ and presents the sinless life, death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, should we not view them as a brother even when we have secondary disagreements?
We are all growing; we are coming to the knowledge of the truth and being formed in the image of Christ. Pray for those who disagree with you theologically. Don’t just pray they would agree with you, pray they would seek the Lord, pray they would search the Scriptures, pray they would become more like Christ. It means nothing if we win people to “our side” but don’t have love.
Here are some passages to read and pray through that will help us examine our hearts to ensure we are walking rightly before God and in love with our brothers and sisters.
- 1 Corinthians 13 AMPC
- Ephesians 1:16-23
- Ephesians 3:14-21
- 1 John 1-5