In the Believer's Page are links to several articles which take a stand on Biblical issues. A lot of Christians (true and false) find this objectionable. This piece answers their concerns. I will first mention the objections, followed by my responses.
"All that matters is that we love Jesus. Why are you getting distracted by other details?" But Jesus said that to love him means to keep his commands (John 14:15). How will you keep his commands if you don't know them?
"You're narrow minded". May be. But truth matters, not broadness or narrowness.
"You have a 'holier than thou' attitude". No I don't. Illustration: I'm convinced that the Bible preaches plural leadership in a local church. So if someone believes in a single "Pastor" over a church, I'd consider him mistaken. But there's more to the Bible than church leadership. For all we know, that mistaken person may have better personal holiness than I do. I don't know everything about him, and so I cannot and do not claim that I'm a better Christian than him just because he's mistaken about something.
"You're being unloving in preaching these things". No. To love someone (which is the greatest commandment) means to seek the best interest of the other person. Thus, for me to withhold truth from you would be unloving. Biblical teaching is amazingly profitable (Psalm 19:11), and thus love compels me to disseminate Biblical truth.
"You're divisive. If we don't take any stand on these issues, there will be much more unity". No. Where do you find the Bible prescribing silence on doctrine as a strategy for maintaining or creating unity? On the contrary, Biblical unity is created by the Holy Spirit in response to the salvation that we have availed of from God (1 Corinthians 12:12-13, Ephesians 4:3). Biblical unity is maintained by
- using only the new birth and the willingness to obey God as criteria for fellowship
- teaching God's word so that we all believe the same things (1 Corinthians 1:10) and have one mind (1 Peter 3:8)
"You're being like the Pharisees, the biggest villains in the gospels". No. The Lord Jesus never reprimanded the Pharisees for dissecting the Bible. He reprimanded them for adding their tradition to scripture (Mark 7:13). He chided them for their ignorance of the Bible (Mark 12:24) and asked them to study their Bibles (John 5:39). A lot of his answers to their questions began with, "Have you not read..."
"As Christians, we struggle so much with basic things like purity in our thought life, forgiving one another, etc. so why bother about the more 'technical' stuff?" This sounds very convincing, but where is such a line of thought in the Bible? When Jesus reprimanded the Pharisees for straining at gnats and swallowing camels (Matthew 23:23-24), judgment, mercy and faith were the "weightier" matters. It was crops for tithing that were the "lesser" matters, not the Biblical topics discussed on this website. In fact, these topics constitute judgment (that is, discernment) and faith, and thus are the "weightier matters" in the Lord's comparison.
"You're judging!". We're not supposed to judge according to Matthew 7:1, right?
Firstly: Aren't you judging me by saying that I'm judging?
Secondly: There are verses such as John 7:24, 1 Corinthians 10:15 asking us to judge. Hebrews 5:14 commends those who have used their spiritual senses to identify good and evil. In fact, in Ezekiel 3:18 God warns His servant to warn those who err. In Romans 16:17 we're directed to identify false teachers and avoid them. In Acts 17:11, the Bereans are commended for "judging" whether Paul's sermons were scriptural or not. I leave it to you to figure out how all these verses fit together, but one thing should be obvious: Matthew 7:1 is not a blanket ban on saying/concluding that something/someone is not right.
Thirdly: Ask yourself whether you're consistent in applying this verse. As an example, if you believe in replacement theology (that God is done with the nation of Israel and the church is the new Israel) you may accuse me of being "judgmental" when I say that you're wrong. But don't you tell the atheists that abortion or homosexuality is wrong? Are you not being "judgmental" there? You may say: "Well, the Bible is clear about these issues, but "Israel" is a Biblically neutral "non-essential" issue about which we should not be dogmatic". My response is: "From my reading of the Bible, I don't think "Israel" is an issue on which the Bible is neutral. And there are many who consider the Bible to be neutral about homosexuality and abortion after reading the same passages that you've read."