We and Them

December 13, 2000

There is nothing wrong with a we and them mentality if we keep focused upon who and what "we" are to be. We are to be a separate people, a holy people, sanctified as overcomers and walking in the spirit. There will be those that do not want to follow the narrow road, we are not to be like "them."

The problem from a unity perspective is the we and them mentality in the body of Christ. If the lukewarm church is to be those that are spit out of the body for their smug self-sufficiency, then we should do all we can not to be like them. The restitution of all things is not denominational, interdenominational or even non-denominational. The restoration is made up of pre-denominational people or at least post-denominational. We are to be restored to the faith of our fathers and not conformed to the traditions of men.

Perhaps we need to rephrase something that has caused some confusion. The point of contention with the sola scriptura doctrine is the statement that the Bible is the "only" authoritative word of God. We have discussed the Logos and the Rhema as both being the word of God and both carrying authority as both the written and the spoken word of God. I propose this: what if we were to say that the Bible is the only authoritative "written" word of God? Would this satisfy the contention? We already agree that the Bible is inspired and inerrant in its original form but if we were to deny God as to authority, we will run into conflict with what the word of God actually teaches.

Many of you may remember when we discussed the phrase from I Corinthians 13:8-10, "Charity never fails, but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail, whether there be tongues, they shall cease, whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For "we" know in part and "we" prophesy in part. But when that is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away." There are those in the church that teach that the perfect has already come as the completed Bible and that prophecy and knowledge has ceased since the first century. We can easily reject that kind of reasoning as ignorance but what of the ones that cannot? So steeped in the traditions of men, "they" are using the Bible here as the final authority. Do you approve of musical instruments in the church? There are those that believe that since there are no pianos or organs or guitars in the first century church that they are not to be allowed in the church, reject others that do and use sola scriptura as their guide. To think that way is of course absurd but this is only an extreme example of a continuing problem - this kind of opposition to reason exists! Without the Holy Spirit to guide us into ALL things, the Bible is used as a blind guide for pretentious delusions to quote mis-interpreted scripture as a tool for self-righteous bigotry. To use the Bible as a sword to cut our brothers and sisters is of the flesh and against the clear teaching of scripture. It is the accuser of the brethren leading his people to judge and condemn other members of the body of Christ. "Which things also "we" speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Ghost teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual." I Cor. 2:13. We are not to be as the heathen, "we" are to speak the truth in love.

Soon after my Baptism with the Holy Spirit, I bought a small pocket sized KJV Bible with small print. I would need big glasses now to read it but my favorite verse was Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding." I turned to that verse so often that the Bible would open to that page automatically when I opened it. We all believe in the Bible but it must be rightly divided as to the true interpretation and that comes through the spirit directed ministries. The fact is that the Bible teaches that the perfection of the saints will come through the apostles, pastors, teachers, evangelists and prophets "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." Jesus is the chief cornerstone of the foundation of apostles and prophets. We are not yet perfect but that does not give cause for every brother and sister in having their own understanding of being perfect. We are to pray and do good works and overcome and love our brother and that may be part of it but that is not what will make the church perfect. What leads "us" to perfection is in upholding these Bible and spiritual truths as given by the five-fold ministry instituted by God as the true source of unity and edification. We are the body of Christ, if you lay any other foundation than this, including the dead letter of scripture without spiritual authority, you deny the very Bible that you are trying to defend.

There are still weakness in the walls of our temple restoration. It may have begun many years ago by the Nicolaitans and the false authority of the we and them mentality within the church but that is not our concern here. There are Protestant weaknesses and there are Catholic weaknesses, first love and unity of the spirit is the plumb-line. Division has reigned supreme throughout the history of the church and that includes all branches. We cannot look at the past and judge and condemn the actions of others, that is the job of satan and his people. We are to skip all the nonsense and get back to the foundations that have already been laid for us in the early church and yes, the progressive revelation of God throughout history given to His ministers. We are to forget former times of ignorance and have the mind of Christ. To do that we MUST put away the traditions of men and the doctrines of demons that have caused the divisions. To do it God's way we must have the gifts of the spirit but more importantly is that we are to minister in the FRUITS of the spirit: love, humility, patience and the like. If we cannot love our brothers and sisters, whether Protestant or Catholic, we lie if we say that we love God. We are not ONE with Jesus until we are ONE with His body.

I appreciate the comments below on the lukewarm church. The point I was trying to make is not to put down fundamentalist conservatives but rather if we are to be on fire for the Lord and not lukewarm, this is a radical faith, not a conservative one. This is also the point that the comments of this group are making and what will prepare us to take dominion as among the manifest sons. Our Christian faith does not consist of political conservatism or worldly economics but rather the love in our hearts shed abroad liberally. Once this is truly recognized, the delusion is taken away and we are able to accept the knowledge of the Son of God with the mind of Christ.

To continue with the Protestant-Catholic Dialogue, I would like to discuss the priesthood of all believers. If we could limit our discussion to this for now and come up with some ideas on what the difference between the Aaronic and the Melchizedek priesthoods are, we may be able to close this discussion. We all know that the Protestants emphasized the priesthood of all believers but I think that they did not go far enough and still drew a separation between clergy and laity therefore perpetuating the Nicolaitan system even to this day. Again, mistakes from both sides causing division. What does the Bible teach about this? What is the priesthood from an Orthodox point of view? What can we do to promote unity and put away the traditions of men?

Until next time, Always yours in Jesus.


Hi Jay,

When looking at the church of Laodicea, the first thing that catches the eye is the name of this church. The name is a compound word from Laos, which means people, and Dike, which means tradition, so the name stands for 'traditions of men'. The second thing that catches the eye, is that Jesus stands at the door and knocks to enter.... You'll find further hint of this in the letter of Paul to the people in Colossae, where he asks them to share this letter with the church of Laodicea (Col 4:16), and the warning that is mentioned in this letter in Col 2:8:

8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, following the tradition of men according to the rudiments of the world, and not in accordance with Christ.

What this means to me, is that this church is the prototype of churches today and in every time, where religious form is prominent, and Jesus therefore is shut out. It is like living under the law, you have the form without the substance. It's much the same in many churches, or better said in lives of many people. To me, this is a direct signal to all of us, to examine our lives and ways of expressing our belief to find out what is, or has become a form, and what is still, or should be substance. If the form gets the upper hand, we're closing Jesus out of the temple where He should live. His life in us is (should be) the initiator of the outward expression of what we are. The opposite is counterfeit. Let us understand that Jesus IS our live, and we should yield to Him. Love will be the fruit He will expose through us.

Bless you,



The next letter is an appeal to the group for an answer to the question of Catholic practice of annulment from one going through an abusive situation. I answered her the best I could that she did not need to go through this no matter what the church taught about it and there are other options. Maybe someone else can address this. We discussed marriage, maybe we should also discuss divorce.




In response to a comment from another reader regarding Christian unity, I'd like to add 'my two cents' worth:' It pains me to hear leaders of many Christian denominations take an 'us and them' attitude both verbally and in action. I find it very difficult to understand why those whose very life is the leadership of God's people would choose language and/or actions which are intended to create division rather than unity.

I've been thoroughly enjoying the discussions I've seen going on in your recent mails. I appreciate the fact that even in disagreement there is an attitude of love and respect. Your readers are obviously very well informed! Perhaps one of them, or you, could help me find an answer to a question. I have been trying to find out when, and by whom, the Catholic practice of annulment was established, but have been having no luck. My parish priest is not open to any discussion related to the topic, so I'm seeking help from you and your informed readers. If nothing else, I'm hoping someone can point me to a book or website. This issue is very significant to me, as I am currently struggling with the process. It seems that as the victim of an abusive spouse I am once again being victimized by being forced to put my life on hold while the wheels of bureaucracy at the archdiocese level slowly turn. I'm not disagreeing that a process is necessary, just struggling with the idea that after suffering from years of abuse I am forced to go through this particular process. Somehow, I can't get past the feeling that God doesn't intend for abuse victims to be put through this. I'm hoping that I can get over this feeling of being re-victimized by growing in understanding of the history of the annulment process. Any help anyone can give would be appreciated! I realize this doesn't really fall into your discussion format; forgive me if my asking is totally out of line!



Thanks for your ever enlightening responses concerning my personal revelations of thought during your recent discussions of Sola Scriptura.

Now we turn to the Lukewarm Church-

Personally, I believe that the fire starts inside of the individual, and this fire spreads to others. These days, however, something happens during the spread of this fire. Winds of affliction create doubt in faith, fuel is stolen away by constant pilferage via fleshly, demonic and worldly influence, and human tendency to stunt the growth of radical ideology rips the very heart out of the fire. Over time, if the fire is not fed properly, it will go out.

Can we really dare to think about this extremely vital necessity of the Church without seriously examining our personal walks with God? Is it lukewarm? Or are we, like Jeremiah, who said that "it is like fire shut up in my bones", totally and completely-radically on fire for the Lord? If not, how do we get there? How does one become a Manifest Son of God? What constitutes a cold member, a lukewarm member, or a hot member? Is Jesus coming back to a bride which consists of all three conditions? Well, Jay, I guess I've got more questions than comments.

Bill Caraway

Touching on the issue of doing away with the doctrine of sola scriptura, I think it is important to understand that there are both true and false prophets out there. It is my conviction that everything that proceeds from the mouth of God is 100% inerrant and infallible. Almighty God does not make mistakes and He is perfectly capable of speaking His infallible Word through fallible people. But we need to be able to discern whether the "prophecy" is from the Holy Spirit or from some other spirit. And to do this it is imperative that the believer be filled with the Spirit and operating in the gift of discerning of Spirits. I must say though, that I am reluctant to do away with the idea of using the Bible as the final authority, because I think we need something tangible to test prophecy with, because unfortunately, we as human beings are even capable of mistaking our own feelings for the true gift of discerning of Spirits. The Bible has been proven with archaeological findings and other historic records to be completely accurate. It has stood the tests of many who have tried to discredit or disprove it. Also of all the books in the Bible, with all the different authors, there is not one contradiction, and that is REMARKABLE!!! To me, that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was God that inspired the Scriptures. So it is my belief that any word of prophecy outside of the Bible, if it contradicts anything in the Bible, is not a true prophecy, but a false one.

I do agree that Scripture is not the only inspired Word of God. I think as far as the issue of the completion of the Bible itself, this is addressed in the last chapter of the book of Revelation, where John states, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, "I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book." So I think it's a safe rule to follow that any time someone says, "Thus says the Lord," to always compare it with Scripture. Also, as Moses said in Deuteronomy 18:22, "If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him." So even if the prophecy is perfectly in harmony with Scripture, if it does not come to pass, it is not a true prophecy. God does not lie.

Many a cult was started because of people carelessly listening to so-called "prophetic utterances" that were neither inspired, nor infallible, but spoken from the mind of man - however well-meaning they might have been. So we it is my conviction that we must always use discerning of Spirits and compare every prophecy that comes forth with Scripture.

God bless,

Greetings Jay,

I've been out of the net, but now am back. What a discussion I've missed. Praise the Lord for this group. On the sacrament of marriage: Having grown up in the catholic church til age 15, I was always taught (I may be wrong) that a sacrament was a ritual that saved you. I grew up in the strict catholic church in Europe in the early 70's. Just like I was taught that taking communion actually saved you. Also that baptizing a baby saved the baby, etc. These are misconceptions, but they are still taught. I wonder how many brothers and sisters out there still believe that? These were all called sacraments. I guess that word was very freely used. I was taught that marriage and staying married kept you saved and that divorce sent you to hell! What a concept.

I cannot call marriage a sacrament. There is nothing mysterious about marriage. Spiritually yes, physically no. On the physical side there is union, material and physical needs- no mystery. Now, we get to the spiritual side of it.

  1. We become one flesh.
  2. We represent Christ and His Church.
  3. We become one spirit/one mind, thinking together (representing our union with Christ).

I believe this is the "sacramental" part of marriage far apart from the physical concept of marriage. Two different worlds apart, but each symbolic in its own way. We call it typology. Food for thought.
love in Jesus, Joseph

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