This is an essential subject, but one that does not get as much attention as it should do.
Jesus himself prayed for the unity of all believers in John 17. The Apostle Paul mentioned it in a number of his letters. I have been reading through Ephesians and Philippians recently, and this theme comes through loud and clear.
So I find it extremely disappointing when brothers and sisters in Christ say and do things that do not promote unity. And, I am sorry to say, it happens very often in the Reformed circles in which I grew up. It seems that there are some who are just out to tell us what is wrong with what others believe.
Gary Brady’s blog, Heavenly Worldliness, which I would highly recommend carried a review of a conference in London where, it seems to me, the main aim was to criticize some of our brothers in America. These are men who are solidly reformed in their doctrine, but there are some issues upon which they may be open to criticism. You can read the review here. Now Gary is very gracious in his response, but seems to be frustrated by the negativity that was shown.
I don’t think it is right that names should be bandied about at such conferences, particularly if they are brothers and sisters in Christ. What does that do for unity? If those organising the conference felt there were issues that needed to be discussed, they should have PRIVATELY contacted the individuals concerned expressing their concern. And there may well have been ISSUES that they felt they wanted to raise, but they could have done so without naming names.
We are told to be on our guard against false teaching in the Scripture, that is for sure. However, the Apostle Paul rarely mentions names. When he does, he is doing so with Apostolic authority, which we should not claim today.
In any case, I do not think that any of those mentioned could be considered false teachers even though there may be things that they do, or associations that they make with which we may disagree. That certainly does not disqualify them from being effective in their ministry.
Let’s pray for ALL of our brothers and sisters in Christ who are seeking to serve him. Let’s not engage in personal attack. The Devil loves to see the people of God disunited. I haven’t finished on this subject yet…..