Local Autonomy

In all of the controversy surrounding Romans 14 and the fellowshiping of sinful teaching and practices, the argument has been made that 1 Corinthians 1:10 only applied to the local, divided church at Corinth; it contains no principle that is to be universally applied. Therefore, we are not under a mandate “to speak the same thing and be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10). Can this be correct? If it is correct, then nobody today is obligated to partake of the Lord’s supper on the Lord’s day because Acts 20:7 was spoken in reference to the church at Troas.

The reason this argument is made in the first place is to condemn people who are doing their best to stem the tide of error being preached on Romans 14 and the fellowshiping of sinful teaching and practices. Lest we forget, we are commanded to handle aright the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). If we “wrest the scriptures” it is to our own destruction (2 Peter 3:16).

Peter commands, “Love the brotherhood” (1 Peter 2:17). The first epistle of Peter was written “… to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia” (1 Peter 1:1), not to a single church. Those receiving it were commanded to “love the brotherhood.” How can one do this without looking out for the best interest of the brotherhood? How can one claim to love the brotherhood when he refuses to warn it of dangers that have the potential of damning souls? To say that such action is a violation of congregational autonomy is an effort to make it possible for teachers of error to go unchallenged. Brethren who love the truth and the brotherhood will never stand by while Satan tries to destroy the Lord’s church.

We need to renew our love for God and His truth and keep ourselves informed of the dangers that are lurking. Ignorance is Satan’s greatest ally, but God and one person firm in the truth make a majority.

Kyle Campbell