"Let Us Agree To Disagree"
Pine Bluff, Arkansas
If not explicitly stated, the above title is at least implied by persons who are determined to compromise their convictions (?) In religion or who are ignorant concerning the teaching of the New Testament relative to conformity in doctrine.
This relatively recent change in attitude toward the authority of the Bible is attributed to several factors, viz. (1) a general misapprehension of what constitutes fellowship in the New Testament (1 Jn. 1:5-10); (2) a false concept of love which has led some to become soft towards error, i.e., many believe that exposing error in explicit terms (such as Jesus did with regard to the Pharisees in Matt. 23) does not emanate from a heart filled with concern, but is the product of an arrogant, conceited heart; (3) ecumenical councils established to promulgate a "unity in diversity" concept in religion; (4) the erroneous view that adherence to doctrine is irrelevant (i.e., the view that one must accept the basic fact of the gospel. [viz, the deity of Christ, and the basic act, immersion in water] but other differences, even doctrines diametrically opposed to one another are not grounds for the withholding of fellowship). None of the constituents of the "Let Us Agree To Disagree" philosophy are in harmony with the Scriptures and ought to be unequivocally rejected!
In matters of doctrine there can be no "agreement to disagree." One's teaching (doctrine) conforms to the New Testament or it does not. A doctrine is scriptural or it is not. One is in fellowship with God and God's children based on the truth or he is not (Jn. 17:17, 20-22). One is abiding in the doctrine of Christ or he is not (2 Jn. 9-11)!
The "Let Us Agree To Disagree" theory has no logical stopping point. If we may "fellowship" the Christian Church with its perversions of worship (e.g., instrumental music, choirs, et.al.) Claiming that the differences are only doctrinal, what about Baptists who wear religious titles of distinction, teach the impossibility of apostasy, and deny the essentiality of being in the New Testament church in order to be saved? What about Methodists who practice sprinkling and pouring for "baptism" and teach that infant membership is scriptural? What about Presbyterians who teach inborn sin, and the direct operation of the Holy Spirit? What about Pentecostals who practice "tongue speaking," perform "miracles," and claim present day immersion in the Spirit? Are these not doctrinal matters? Can we not "Agree to Disagree" in these areas? No, friends, we cannot!
One reason why religious discussions are so uncommon is, the majority of professed "Christians" have resolved that it does not matter what one believes as long as one loves Jesus and is honest. But, they have conveniently forgotten that Jesus said, "If ye love me, ye will keep my commandments . . . he that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me . . ." (Jn. 14:15, 21). The apostle John penned these words, "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous" (1 Jn. 5:3). So, the denominational view that doctrine (i.e, the teaching of God's word, including the keeping of His commandments, obedience) is not essential, and therefore, insignificant is fallacious! In matters that concern any concept (fundamental) of Christianity, the faith, or the gospel, there can be no "agreement to disagree," because there is only one faith (Eph. 4:5; Gal. 1:6-9) , and anyone or anything that differs with it is wrong (2 Jn. 9-11)!
Guardian of Truth XXVIII: 10, p. 307