Christian fellowship and unity are vital, but so too is Christian truth. When bad behavior or bad beliefs are being allowed to go unchecked, Scripture makes it clear that this needs to be called out, and if need be, fellowship may need to be broken.
When there are serious differences on serious issues, how much should Christians attempt to strive for unity? Let me preface this question by saying that each day I look for any connections or correlations between what I find in the morning news and what I read in my daily Bible study.
It is quite obvious what the big headline today is: most of the media is proclaiming – prematurely and therefore quite inaccurately – a Biden win in America. And sadly in the social media I notice some who claim to be Christians who are cheering this on. They seem to love Biden as much as they hate Trump.
My morning reading included Romans 14 which is about divisions between weak and strong brethren. Specifically, it is about those who eat meat and those who do not. While Paul sides with the former – the strong believers – he informs his audience that it does not really matter what they eat. He urges as his core principle that they do not judge one another but love each other instead.
OK, that is good as far as it goes in this rather limited context. Meat-eating is not too serious nor sinful (although in v. 23 Paul says that whatever does not come from faith is sin). But what about in those areas where it is more serious and sinful? Then how does Christian fellowship work out?
All true Christians should know that things such as abortion and homosexuality are clearly sinful. If those claiming to be Christians are deeply involved in either, they need to repent and turn from their sin. Only then can Christian unity occur, and fellowship be restored.
But what happens when a believer may not so much be involved in doing those things, but fully supports those who do? If politicians like Biden and Harris and political parties like the Democrats fully support these things – and so many other things that clearly go against biblical values – can Christians in good conscience support them?
And what should Christians who do not support such politicians and parties do with these other believers? Do the principles found in Romans 14 apply here (don’t judge each other but just love one another)? Or are there other biblical truths that we need to bring into the equation?
There certainly are. Christian fellowship and unity are vital, but so too is Christian truth. When bad behaviour or bad beliefs are being allowed to go unchecked, Scripture makes it clear that this needs to be called out, and if need be, fellowship may need to be broken. But see more on this here.
So how does the concerned Christian proceed here? It is harder if the ones promoting ungodly and unrighteous parties and policies are family members or close friends. The aim should be to keep relationships going while also seeking to reach out to the loved ones in the hopes of bringing them around.
As to “friends” on the social media, we have less need to hang on to everyone. If they are pushing all the beliefs and values that you oppose as a biblical Christian, you do not necessarily need to hang on to them. There is a place for letting some of these folks go if it seems clear that they are unlikely to change.
But one more thing can be mentioned here. If all this was just about somewhat differing political views and valid disagreements on some opinions about politics, that would be one thing. But the Christian cannot ignore the truth that something more sinister might be at work here. There is also the possibility of satanic deception.