I find it very interesting that we have preached against the “social gospel” for many decades, but we are increasingly seeing non-institutional churches announcing “events” which are planned and promoted by churches and include appeals for young people to join in the food and entertainment provided by individuals. Many have even adopted the popular definition from the religious world of fellowship as referring to social interaction, particularly in the setting of eating a common meal.
However, Bible fellowship does not imply food or a dinner table, but brethren who have open Bibles and are desirous of blending their hearts together in the worship and praise of God. Bible fellowship is not expressed by participating together in “events,” but by sharing in a common faith and a joint participation in spiritual matters (2 Corinthians 6:14-18; Ephesians 5:3-12; Hebrews 10:32-33; Romans 15:25-27; 2 Corinthians 8:1-5; Philippians 1:3-7; 4:14-16; Philemon 4-7; 2 John 9-11).
To those who have doubted the danger associated with the incorrect definition and application of the Bible doctrine of fellowship need to realize that “it is high time to awake out of sleep” (Romans 13:11). These false concepts need to be preached against, lest they help to advance error in the Lord’s church.
Adapted from Harry Osborne