>> Can I be in fellowship with one who has an unscriptural position on MDR if
>> they are not in an unscriptural marriage and they don't teach their
My question might be, "how do you know he has an unscriptural position if he
is not in an unscriptural marriage and if he doesn't teach his position? Do
you see my point?
Maybe through casual conversation, maybe through Bible study comments, etc.,
but at some point one must communicate his view on MDR for you to know of an
When an unscriptural point becomes known it is an opportunity for us to
teach the way of God more accurately (Acts 18:26). It is a time for
patient instruction and forbearance as we study, etc. (Eph. 4:1-6). There
are a variety of knowledge levels in any congregation, and therefore we must
help each other grow in our knowledge and spiritual discernment (Col.
Practically speaking, if one is not promoting (teaching) error, practicing
error or endorsing error, then you are not having fellowship with him in
error (as per 2 Jno. 10-11) -- even if his thinking on a subject (such as
MDR) is not fully developed, or even mistaken. This is one reason why we
must "grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord" (2 Pet. 3:18; cf. 2 Tim.
2:15). We all have plenty of room to grow and overcome mistaken views.
This is why we must be preaching the whole counsel of God and speaking the
truth in love - so that we may all grow to spiritual maturity (cf. Eph.
If, however, one with wrong thinking on MDR begins to teach his error - or
practice error - then there is basis to object and oppose him (2 Jno. 9-11;
cf. Acts 15:1-2).
You also ask:
>> To what lengths should/must I go to determine a brother's position on MDR?
To no greater length than you would go to determine any other belief he may
have. But as we study the Bible together, teaching the whole counsel of
God, opportunity will surely arise for us to discuss MDR and many, many
other scriptural subjects. If you have reason to believe one holds an
erroneous view then you ought to try to teach them (Acts 18:26; 2 Tim.
The best thing we can do is to fully teach the gospel of Christ on MDR and
all other topics so that each Christian can "examine himself, whether he is
in the faith" (2 Cor. 13:5). If a brother teaches, endorses or practices
error, then we must try to restore the erring brother rather than silently
stand by as he loses his soul (Gal. 6:1-2).
I hope these thoughts have been of some help. I welcome your comments so
that I can test my thoughts and conclusions against the revealed word of
Thanks again for your post, and may the Lord bless you as you serve Him.
Joe R. Price
Mt. Baker church of Christ