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DOCTRINE QUESTION 62
How should a Christian act toward other Christians from a different denomination. Should they still have fellowship with them?
This is a question that has sad overtones to it. It is sad indeed that it has to be asked. These denomination should have never been. There will be no denomination of Baptists, Pentecostal, etc., in heaven. Each saved person bearing those divisive name on earth, will have to leave them behind when they go to heaven.
In Ephesians 4:3, we are told "Endeavouring to KEEP the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." FIRST, this verse tells us we should not be disagreeable, contentious or argumentive. SECONDLY, the word "endeavour" means, zealous, diligent or "do your best." THIRDLY, you will also note that it is "the unity of the Spirit we are to KEEP", not MAKE. This unity is expressed in the following verse as being in "One Body" We are not to "make unity" but to "keep" a unity already made. This unity is the joining by one Spirit into one body all believers. In as much as we meet a born-again believer we are to seek fellowship with them,(not their denominations) since we are in the same body.
Sometimes this fellowship can be very limited, since there are conflicts of doctrine and practice, however, we are to maintain a good relationships with other believers, as individuals. Fellowship is sharing what we have in common in Christ. Care should be taken that our fellowship is not around some particular denomination, which is a division in the Body of Christ. This would not be the unity of the Spirit. Individual fellowship should always be maintained, but denominational fellowship is encouraging what is wrong in the eyes of God. We must not forget to thank the Lord for each person in denominations that God is using for His glory.
Care should be exercised as well, that those individual believers are walking with the Lord and not living in known sin.
All comments and questions to: Harold Smith
Updated July 2009, by Shelly Allen