The following is an excerpt of a conversation on speaking out for the truth of what scripture says in conversations on hot-button issues like egalitarianism and complementarianism from a few weeks ago:
I agree with your points. Thank you for the links.
Your beginning grabbed me. “The issue of egalitarianism and complementarianism became a very hot-button issue that often still gives me a cold sweat because of how divisive it can become. ”
I want to encourage you to keep honoring the truth’s authority. My husband and I are also constantly in this type of situation. Each time, we inevitably come back in prayer facing God to really make sure of the truth and to make sure God wants His truth to be known. It is beneficial to people who hear them, especially to people who don’t agree.
The conversation reinforcing my own determination in this situation is the question “what causes divisions?” Paul urged Philippians to have the attitude of Christ. The attitude of Christ is imitating his whole person: part of that is to share his character, his vision, his goal, and his message (the whole truth message content). Phil.2:2 states then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.
One of the keys is to agree with each other on all the teachings. So what causes division? Suppose there were 20 people in the Philippian church. They all agreed wholeheartedly in Paul’s teachings in the beginning. There was no division. After a while, for example, two people were convinced of the outside teaching that believers should also be circumcised. And they went ahead persuading another 8 believers to agree with them in different degrees. And then later, 5 among the 10 who were holding fast to the truth on salvation began to express tolerance on the first 10 people’s opinion and still verbally confirmed the salvation through faith truth. Now here, we have a whole spectrum of positions among the 20. But only the last 5 were right and chose to agree with Christ. Who caused division? The 15 believers who chose to deviate themselves from the truth.
The point I shared this scenario is to put the kind of “ungodly guilt” under the light, which oftentimes the last 5 believers would have if they are in our time (because others blame those people who are “too stubborn” on the right theology either prideful or divisive). But what is important is God would judge the first 15 suppressing the truth and being divisive. Even the right 5 did what their accusers did to keep silent(“keep silent, and everybody is just fine together as a church”), the 15 will face the same judgment yet the 5 will face the judgment of not taking opportunities to save their brothers and sisters from falsehood. Because the situation could be eventually all 20 were persuaded back to truth, in that case, God is pleased, real unity is reached, and the gospel is advanced. May we all fight the good fight.