Doctrine is not to divide but rather to deepen our affections and devote us more to serving God.
When we are together we are "Gathered". When we leave our times of fellowship we are "Scattered". We are in the world representing Christ and telling people about the hope we have.
Here is a new resource that will be a record of where the church has been and where we would like to go.
Have a Listen to Mountain View Scattered.
The New Year is a great time to reflect, re-evaluate, and make resolutions for the year going forward. But resolutions come unstuck and we’re left with unused gym contracts, uneaten health foods, and broken promises that we made ourselves.
Well, resolutions that are connected to a mission or set of values are way more likely to stick. So, in this series we realign our resolutions with the mission that Jesus gave us. Let’s make it stick, together.
This is an adapted excerpt from Pastor Mark Osborne's final sermon in a series entitled "Happy New Year". It addresses how we seek and find our happiness in Christ and how that plays out in our daily lives. This final message looks at what we can do as Christians to most effectively reconcile our differences and keep pushing forward to welcome people into a saving relationship with Christ.
 The apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter.  And after there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe.  And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us,  and he made no distinction between us and them, having cleansed their hearts by faith.  Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?  But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.”
 And all the assembly fell silent, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul as they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles.
(Acts 15:6-12 ESV)
Were the Gentile's different? Yes they were different. But they are still a part of us.
Because their differences are not enough to overcome the Gospel. The Gospel is able to unite everyone despite our differences. Despite everyone's differences in background, current beliefs, behaviour, the way they dress, or the way they talk.
The Gospel overcomes all of that. Every single bit.
After every new group is added to the church the battle is the same, "Until you agree with me there can never be a WE." There is always disunity until we are reminded how the Gospel Unites all of Us.
Often times we allow natural divisions in the way we worship to become absolute separation until we look at the fellow Christians around us and declare them heretics.
We cannot allow our denominational separations, or churches within our many denominations, or ministries of "discernment" to divide. The Gospel seeks to unite us while the misuse of these stated things seek to drive a wedge between us.
 But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.  As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him,  knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.
(Titus 3:9-11 ESV)
We must avoid division that sprouts from nuances in our theology. Paul here tells us to avoid people who do this because they are setting out to divide God's Church and undermine the work of the Gospel.
So how do we as Mountain View Baptist Church make sure that we never get into as situation of brother vs. brother. How can we overcome this?
At the core of this entire issue is PRIDE. Here is a practical question that we can ask ourselves. While holding onto our doctrinal convictions how can we still be friends with fellow Christians?
"How can I put ME aside for YOU so that we can be a UNITED TWO?"
Practical Ways to Address this Issue:
- Welcome One Another (Romans 15.7)
- Forgive One Another (Colossians 3.12-13)
- Bear One Another's Burdens (Galatians 6.2)
- Serve One Another (Galatians 5.13)
- Love One Another (John 13.34)