THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHRISTIAN SCHOLARSHIP AND DISCIPLESHIP

Are you a Christian Conservative political activist? Does it irk you when your church doesn’t take a clear positions on the political issues of our day? Well, we both regret that Christians do not speak out and stand against the evils done in our by our government in our name. Nevertheless, we must remember that the church exists primarily to fulfill The Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20), not to stand against evil as described in Ephesians 6:10-20.

Consider, for example, the purpose of a Bible Study class. The emphasis in a Bible study class is biblical scholarship, not Christian discipleship. Why the distinction? Until we know what the Bible says, we cannot do what Ephesians 6:10-20 requires of us, Christian discipleship. How do we learn discipleship. We learn discipleship by the example of others, not necessarily from the Bible. We learn how to be a disciple of Christ when we see Christians living in obedience to the Word of God.

Ephesians 6:10-20 tells us to stand against those working evil, not to antagonize those curious about Jesus. The Great Commission, tells us to make disciples, “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you”. We have to learn what Jesus taught us before we can obey Him. Before we can do what Ephesians 6:10-20 tells us to do, we must learn what Ephesians 6:10-20 tells us to do.

When happens when a church becomes too contentious because of political differences? Too many will continue to remain ignorant of what the Bible says. They will not be taught. They will just curse that church and walk away. Therefore, we must be patient and wait for God to do what we cannot.

Psalm 46:10 New King James Version

10 Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!

There are none so blind as those who refuse to see. We cannot make those so blind see. There are none so deaf as those who refuse to hear. We cannot make those so deaf hear. We cannot work a change the hearts of God’s children. God does that for each of us. We can only help each other by sharing our joy when we discover what is in the Word of God.

Do churches have a role in politics? Yes.

  • With respect to many of the issues that have become contentious in our day, the Bible is unambiguous.  OUR MAIN ISSUES lists the political agenda of The Family Foundation, our parent organization. The Family Foundation is a faith based organization that promotes Biblical principles with respect to the value of life, marriage, religious freedom, parental authority, and constitutional government (see Who We Are). Therefore, even though a church probably should not endorse specific candidates or a specific political party, every church should be able to take clear, Biblical positions in these areas. Is every church required take exactly the same positions as The Family Foundation? No, but we do expect that Conservative Christian churches will have similar positions with respect to these issues.
  • Christians are supposed to be salt and light of the world (Matthew 5:13-16). To help members in their role as good citizens, every church should encourage its members to become informed, actively support those see as the best candidates for public office, and vote.

So, why then did Jesus say this to Peter?

Matthew 16:18 New King James Version

18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not[a]prevail against it.

As disciples of Christ, we are the church. When we have been properly discipled by our churches, as soldiers of Christ we can stand against the gates of Hades.

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3 Responses to THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHRISTIAN SCHOLARSHIP AND DISCIPLESHIP

  1. I am often bewildered, but I think it has to do with growing up in the south, that the predominantly black churches speak so much about politics rather than the Gospel— they have pulpits about what makes sense politically with a smattering of Gospel teaching— which I suppose comes from reconstruction days.
    I’ve had several black friends even explain to me that their traditional black church is also a house of politics other than a house of worship.
    It has always troubled me when many pastors blur the lines— and I fear the bluring is only getting worse

    • Tom Salmon says:

      @Julie

      I am hardly an expert with what goes on in various churches, but I would like to think the politicizing of churches has more to do with how seriously each congregation takes the Bible than it does with race. Unfortunately, because the issue of race, I expect most black pastors find it the subject of politics especially difficult to put in its proper perspective.

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