The Bible, along with imparting God’s revealed truth on many spiritual subjects, also adds multiple admonitions for the purpose of proper application. In our day and time, there are a lot of people who say that they hold to the truth on a certain subject. That may be the case, but do they righteously apply it?
“Fellowship” is used as an association or close relationship. It denotes a sharing or companionship in a venture (Luke 5:10; Hebrews 2:14). In the New Testament, its primary application is the spiritual association of Christians (Romans 15:25-27; Philippians 3:10). Speaking of fellowship in a negative sense, Paul says, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11). There seems to be a dangerous double standard among brethren which needs to be carefully watched. For example, most non-institutional churches would not ask someone to preach who supports human organizations out of the church treasury to preach as full-time evangelists and preach in gospel meetings. However, they will ask men who believe and teach error on divorce and remarriage to come into their congregations. What makes the topic of institutionalism more important than the subject of divorce and remarriage (or any other topic which would cause someone to sin)? I understand that sometimes a congregation may be fooled by the brother or not know of his teaching, but most of the time it is a determined decision to use a false teacher.
What about the subject of fellowship? If someone believes and teaches error on the subject of fellowship, would it be right for a congregation to use them? John wrote, “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son” (2 John 9). Would we ask a Baptist to come and preach a lesson on salvation? No! What makes the subject of salvation more important than the subject of fellowship? Is the subject of fellowship a valid subject over which to draw lines of fellowship? Some do not believe so today!
In Manasseh’s day, he “… set a carved image, the idol which he had made, in the house of God …” (2 Chronicles 33:7). This compromise was abominable to God. Are we doing the same? Why are you still holding fast on some subjects, but yielding to compromise on others? “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith …” (2 Corinthians 13:5) and stand fast (1 Corinthians 16:13)!