Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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The Patternists: Is Defending Truth Divisive?


There are two models followed in an attempt to attain unity among God’s people. The first is an attempt to have unity amidst diversity. In effect, to go along to get along. Those who follow this model claim that doctrine is unimportant, and will not contend with those who believe differently than themselves. The idea is that God is love, and is accepting of all of us, no matter what we believe or teach.

The second model consists of defending truth. It is the Biblically based model. It certainly excludes those who are unwilling to hold to truth, but allows those who love God and His word to rally around a divine standard. Christians are told to: 1) All speak the same doctrine, and all have the same mind and judgment (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:10); 2) Be unified in the same way that the Son and the Father are unified (John 17:20-21); 3) Avoid doctrines which originate in the minds of men (Matthew 15:8-9); 4) And contend for the faith (Jude 3).

In the first model those who contend for the faith are the ones who are castigated as divisive. “There wouldn’t be a problem if you weren’t so contentious!”

In the second, Biblical model, those who contend for the faith are acknowledged to be defending the unity of the Spirit. Those who teach error that are the ones identified as guilty of causing division and strife.

To which model do you ascribe?

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