Saturday, March 7, 2015


by Pastor Bob Lawrenz

   Among Christian Churches, one wonders why there are so many different denominations. The Creeds of many of these denominations teach of one God, one Lord, and one salvation. There is uniqueness to each denomination, yet all are supposed to be based in the teachings of Jesus Christ. 

    Our Creed here at Whitestone regarding denominations is found on the back of your bulletin: “We are not a denominational Church, nor are we opposed to those that are. We choose to remain independent because of doctrinal differences that have led to division rather than unity within the Body of Christ.” 

    To that end, we are really quite inclusive, and tend to not put more emphasis on one doctrine of the Bible more than another. In other words, we find in the scriptures that there is a balance in God’s Word that takes exception to one doctrine being promoted over another. God’s Word is whole and complete in itself, and it sometimes takes careful study between scriptures to find the balance that God has provided through a number of different Bible scribes. 

    To that end, we also find that the Bible’s scribes often wrote to specific groups of people for very specific errors in which their faith was being lived. The unfruitful works of darkness in one church were not necessarily the unfruitful works of darkness in another. The church at Ephesus had difficulties that were different from the churches of Corinth and Thessalonica. All the churches each struggled with their own local cultural entanglements. 

    This is further born out in the 2nd and 3rd chapters of the Book of Revelation, as John records admonishing encouragement for each of the seven different churches which were in Asia. All had problems unique to themselves. 

    We cannot read a single verse in scripture with any accuracy unless we have the context in which it was written. In our reading today, Paul offers a doctrinal truth about the differences of light and darkness (Eph. 5:11). But he offers it in the context of that church’s error: Idolatry, and the culture of the goddess Dianah of the Ephesians (Acts 19).

“There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope
of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God, and Father
of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” ~Eph. 4:4-6

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