Unity With Error?
By Ron Boatwright
What should be the basis of unity? Will just any unity suffice? Jesus prayed to God for unity of His followers by saying “that they all might be one” (John 17:21). How are we to be one? In His same prayer Jesus gives the basis for unity by saying “Sanctify them by your truth, your word is truth” (John 17:17). Unity can only be based on God’s word of truth as found only in the Bible. The problem in today’s denominational world is men have added to and taken away from God’s word with their many differing creeds. Human opinion is made equal and superior to the word of God. We are warned in Revelation 22:18-19 if we add to or take away from God’s word, we will lose our souls. The denominational world with all of its disunity is exactly what Satan wants. The word denomination comes from a root word which means division. Denominationalism is a betrayal of Christ.
Paul tells us how to have Biblical unity. “Now I plead with you, brethern, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10). In order to have the same mind and same judgment we must have only the same beliefs and practices as found only in the New Testament. We must limit what we do to be saved and what we do in worship to only what God has authorized in scripture. This is the only way to have the unity for which Christ prayed and for which Paul pleaded. Throughout the Bible man’s worship and service to God has either accepted or rejected depending on man’s obedience to God’s commands (Genesis 4:4-5, Leviticus 10:1-2).
There can be no unity between those who follow human opinion and those who follow only the word of God as found in the Bible. We are commanded, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?...Therefore come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord” (2 Corinthians 6:14, 17). Here we are forbidden to have unity with those who follow the false doctrines of men.
How can the denominational world defend their many differing doctrines when they cannot justify them scripturally? They can’t. In trying to justify what one does he asks, “Is it a salvation issue?” In other words, “Does it really matter?” If one can shift the focus then there is no necessity in proving or defending one’s unscriptural practice. Anything that differs from God’s word is sin and sin is a salvation issue, “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). In speaking of the doctrine of Christ, “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds” (2 John 10-11). Let’s not share in the evil deeds of the denominational world in joining with them or giving them any encouragement in their evil deeds. If we do we will be spending eternity with them.