I want to address something that has been heavy on my heart the last couple of years, and has been even heavier over the last several weeks. I am very disturbed by what see by many of my Independent Baptist brethren and other Fundamentalists concerning those that aren't Independent Baptist, or those that don't hold to the same convictions and preferences. I am seeing Christians treating other Christians like they are an enemy rather than their brothers and sisters in Christ. We are supposed to be in the same family; we are going to spend all of eternity together with each other and with Christ. So, why then do we see Christians treating other Christians like they are the enemy?
I would like share my own personal experience concerning this very subject. I was saved, baptized, married, called to preach, and called to the mission field in the same Independent Baptist church. Until 2008, I had only known this one church. I had several big name IFB pastors on my ordination council like Dr. Bobby Roberson and Dr. Melvin Aiken. In 2010, God called me to be the Pastor of Fairystone Baptist Church, which is a Southern Baptist church. It was interesting how much things with "the brethren" changed, even though my doctrine had NOT changed, simply because I was now the Pastor of a Southern Baptist church.
Over the last several weeks I have seen many Christians criticizing and blasting other Christians simply because they do not have the same preferences that many have elevated to the level of doctrine. I have seen Christians having a self-righteous attitude like the Pharisee from Luke 18 instead of having the attitude of the Publican. It grieves my heart to see Christians condemning other Christians just because they don't have the same preferences or convictions. Even more, how it must grieve the heart of Christ and please Satan, that the Body of Christ is so divided.
I would love nothing more than to be able to fellowship with many of my IFB and other Fundamentalist brethren, but I have found that they don't want to fellowship with me. I am not living in sin or out of fellowship with God; I just happen to have different preferences and convictions. I am not your enemy; we are supposed to be on the same side in this battle. As a Southern Baptist Pastor, I would like to say that it is very hurtful that many of our IFB brethren look at us and treat us like we are the enemy, even though doctrinally we are no different on the fundamentals of the faith.
I asked the question earlier, why do we see Christians treating other Christians like the enemy? The only answer that I can come up with is that their heart is not right. God help us and forgive us!