Introduction Part 1: The Doctrines That Divide By Erwin Lutzer
September 19, 2018
These are a couple of excerpts from Lutzer’s book “The Doctrines That Divide” by Erwin Lutzer. “A friend of mine says that some of God’s sheep cannot tell the difference between grass and AstroTurf.” That statement rings so true to my ears. One can also say that some of God’s people do not know the difference between religion and true Christianity. As I read this book, it shed light on many of my own observations in regard to the Church at large. I was encouraged, because until a friend of mine gave me this book I was beginning to feel like the proverbial sore thumb. I thought that I was losing it. Finally, a well-known author has put out on paperback in detail a truth that has haunted me since day one. I am sure most Believers have had scriptures that seemingly leap off of the page when they read or hear them. These are some of mine:
Ephesians 4: 11 “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. 17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart;”
I am certain that there is no nutritional value in Astroturf. However, green grass for sheep is full of everything a sheep needs to remain fat (in a positive way) and healthy. By diligently studying God’s Word, we can discern, with the help of the Holy Spirit, the difference between truth and error. The author’s analogy of grass and Astroturf is spot-on. He goes on to write:
“At an ecumenical gathering, a prophecy came from God The Father saying, “Mourn and weep, for the body of my Son is broken….I gave all I had in the body and blood of my Son. It spilled on the earth. The body of my Son is broken.”
Hello, beyond a shadow of a doubt, this is not a reference to the communion wafer. This is about us, the TRUE Body of Christ. We have been broken, divided, and sub-divided for close to 2,000 years now. Some churches have done away with Apostles and Prophets. Moreover, many do not teach The Word of God any more, they teach creeds and doctrines of men who have long since died. Jesus said, “Feed My sheep”. If the truth be told, I did not have a clue regarding the meaning of the word ‘ecumenical’, so I looked it up. It is an adjective meaning> “concerned with promoting unity among churches or religions”.
Ephesians 4: 11 “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;”
Christ Himself gave us what is commonly known as the five-fold ministry gifts for the specific purpose of developing us into “the measure of the stature of the fullness of (Himself) Christ;” How dare we allow ourselves to strive for anything less by picking apart what Christ gave us by replacing it with “the doctrines of men”. What is truly sad about this is the fact that we enable this sort of behavior by support denominational thinking.
Here is another quote Lutzer’s book: “To dramatize an ecumenical spirit, the participants at the conference had a foot washing service. Protestants washed the feet of Catholic priest as a sign that they had repented of teaching that Catholics were not Christians, that the Pope was the Antichrist, and that Catholic piety was nothing but crude superstition. Catholics washed the feet of Protestants, asking forgiveness for making jokes about Martin Luther and other great Reformers and for their smug disdain for Pentecostal worship.”
I would say that was a step in the right direction, or putting their best foot forward, pun intended. Brothers and sisters, we need to take this message seriously and follow suit. Divide and conquer is a strategic ploy being used against us by the enemy of the Church. Mark 3:25 “And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand”. To be continue…