Oct 4, 2006

sowing discord

Erik Tryggestad writing for The Christian Chronicle presents some difficult scenarios American evangelists create in mission fields when they opt to push teachings that are divisive.

Some mission based churches are being divided by the very things that have long divided churches in America. Some quotes from the article:
Some churches in Malawi sing during the Lord’s Supper. Others don’t.

Until recently, the difference never kept congregations from fellowshipping with each other, said Priestly Nkhonjera, a minister in the small African country.

But then some — including missionaries from the United States — started teaching that singing during communion is wrong.

Now some Malawian churches ask visitors about the issue and, based on their response, either welcome them or show them the exit, Nkhonjera said.
The African nation’s woes illustrate what can happen when churches in the United States export their divisions to the mission field, missionaries say. Young congregations in developing countries often find themselves in the middle of controversies among American churches — including divorce and remarriage, the working of the Holy Spirit and how many cups are used in communion.
These problems shouldn't surprise anyone; pushing our opinions on new Christians, and causing divisions within the Lord's body is not a demonstration of Christian love. Read the complete Christian chronicle article for its full impact.

12 comments:

jettybetty said...

Isn't that the saddest thing? We all just need Jesus--not the American version of Jesus--just Jesus.

Anonymous said...

Glad you’re back.
Good post.
Milly

L.E.Meredith said...

Larry good to see you, after seeing you back I just feel better
Thanks

Larry said...

JB...
Very sad indeed!

Simplicity seems scarce in the religious world. Making ones relationship to God complicated beyond repair does nothing but cause problems.

Larry said...

Milly...
Thanks for the welcome.

I'm trying to decide whether to continue with this blogging thing or do some other things...

Larry said...

Laymond...
Appreciate your welcome back sentiments as well as your emails.

I wasn't as much hiding as taking a break from blogging. Very often my old mind has enough problem finding the coffee cups, much less tossing a few words into space.

Alan said...

Hi Larry,

Good to hear from you again. I was likewise appalled by the unfortunate things described in that article. We've got to get better at discerning the crucial issues (ie related to the cross) from the disputable matters.

Larry said...

Alan...
For some reason the "crucial issues" seem to lay dormant while the "disputable matters" spread like wildfire.

Anonymous said...

Interesting blog.
My name is Wren; greetings from Montreal, Canada.

http://z6.invisionfree.com/denominations

Larry said...

Wren...
Good to hear from someone livng in beautiful Canada.

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

preacherman said...

Larry,

Excellent post.
I am glad to see you blogging again.
I enjoy reading your blog.

I think it is so sad that things that don't matter divide churches. If Christians understood that it is no longer I but Christ and had that attitude then their would be a lot less fighting.

On my blog my current post is on Romans 14 and the disputable matters. We see that most of the disputable matters, matters of opinion are the things that divide the church. I hope that Christians will understand that we can have different opinions, views, and that it is okay. We must stres love above all things. Love is essential.

Again, great post.

Larry said...

preacherman...
I agree; love above all things is essential.

We all harbor opinions, but have no right to force them on others and reject them as Christians if they don't agree with us.