Trash Talking Within New Covenant
Theology circles is a Contradiction
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command:“Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
(Galatians 5:13-18 NIV)
Let us Dump the Trash
If a contributor to a Christian discussion forum, say on Facebook, which was made up mostly of credo baptists, taught within that forum that the baptism of infants was the New Covenant equivalent to the Old Testament’s circumcision I would expect most would expect, if not demand, that said contributor prove the truthfulness of their teaching with God’s word. Sola Scriptura!
But what if they appealed to Church tradition, the church fathers and modern scholars would you and others then take them seriously? I’m hoping we would agree that ultimately one’s case is either made or denied with Scripture alone. What we posit as biblical truth must be clearly revealed in God’s word.
Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:20-22 NIV)
At the end of the day if you were not convinced of their doctrine, would you deny them the right hand of fellowship, and treat them with the love and respect as commanded by Jesus.
If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. (1 John 1:6-7 NIV)
I remember when Sinclair Ferguson, Al Martin, R. Albert Mohler Jr., John Piper, R.C. Sproul, Joni Eareckson Tada, and Douglas Wilson were speakers at Ligonier Ministries’ 2000 National Conference. That was remarkable in itself. This was also remarkable:
- No one that I knew in NCT circles back then was outraged that the guest speakers, who differed greatly among themselves on many points of doctrine, could regard one another as brothers and sisters in Christ and behave as such.
- Not one laid the charge that so and so’s doctrine was dangerous.
Though I believe we have strong differences with more than one of those speakers I would give Ferguson the right hand of fellowship. Who are we? We are not worthy to sit at his feet.
How good and pleasant it is
when God’s people live together in unity!
2 It is like precious oil poured on the head,
running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
down on the collar of his robe.
3 It is as if the dew of Hermon
were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
even life forevermore.
(Psalms 133:1-3 NIV)
Times have changed. It’s amazing how easily it is within NCT to draw battle lines between one another while we honor and respect those with whom we have far greater differences. This was not always true within NCT.
May there be peace within your walls
and security within your citadels.”
8 For the sake of my family and friends,
I will say, “Peace be within you.”
9 For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
I will seek your prosperity.
(Psalms 122:7-9 NIV)
It’s one thing to challenge another’s doctrine. It’s quite another thing to create confusion, division or call into question the character of another over doctrinal differences. Our own teaching is much more aligned to that of brethren within NCT than it was with some of the speakers who attended Ligonier Ministries’ 2000 National Conference. They did not tear one another apart. They actually honored one another before their Lord and Savior.
Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For,
“Whoever would love life
and see good days
must keep their tongue from evil
and their lips from deceitful speech.
11 They must turn from evil and do good;
they must seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.”
15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.
(1 Peter 3:8-18 NIV)
Brethren, We must do better than many of our accusers.
Let’s stop talking trash. We need to work together with the love of Christ.
 Ligonier Ministries’ 2000 National Conference