A friend sent me this clip of an article written by a brother in Japan, Kokichi Kurosaki. I like how he deals with this.
Let us pause to remember. In rejecting the authority of the Roman Church, the reformers turned to the Scriptures as the authority for their faith and actions. In the fierce conflict of the early days of the Reformation, it was natural that they should seek the security of some objective standard to meet the seemingly unlimited politico-ecclesiastical power of Rome. Therefore the position of the Bible as the God-inspired testimony of the apostles’ personal faith in Christ gradually changed and became the source of Protestant ”dogma” and the criterion of acceptable faith. Replacing the Roman pope, the Bible became the center of Protestant churches.
And so on the one hand there are the so-called fundamentalists who, accepting the Bible as the ”infallible Word of God,” believe there is no mistake in the whole Bible, not even in one phrase or manner of wording. To them it is, in the most literal sense, the Word of God from cover to cover, and their faith is utterly dependent on its literal infallibility.
On the other hand there are liberals who try to compromise Biblical truth with science. Denying the spiritual in favor of the rational, or adopting the results of the higher and lower criticism, they reject the inspiration of the whole Bible.
There are yet others, though, who take the whole Bible to be the word of God as do the fundamentalists, but in a little different way. They believe that the Spirit acts in the words of the historical records to reveal the Living Word. They recognize the Bible as the record of God’s revelation of Himself throughout history, climaxing in Christ–an inspirited record resulting from the activity of the Spirit in the individuals who wrote it. There is only one center of Christianity, and this center is spiritual fellowship with God through Christ–life union with God in Christ. When there is this koinonia–fellowship–there is the Body of Christ, the Ekklesia. The Ekklesia exists where there is this life-union with God through Christ. Only this union with God in Christ can be the center of Christianity.
The only caveat I would offer, is not to see that life union in Christ as someone who agrees with what we think, or sees church the way we see church. I find people with the marks of the Spirit’s life in them in all kinds of places, even if they haven’t been through the same experiences I’ve been through. God has many ways to work his life into people. As we recognize his presence in each other, we’ll be less likely to seek out only the ‘like-minded’ and find incredible fellowship in lots of places God might lead us.
A friend of mine in Australia talks about recognizing the fragrance of Father in others. I like that. That’s why you come away from some relationships hungry for more, and others wanting a bit less. It doesn’t matter whether they see things the way you do or not, but whether we can see Father is at work in them to make his life known. After all, unity is a gift God gives his children. It is something we can only recognize and celebrate, not something we can produce by our own efforts. That’s why Jesus prayed for his Father to do it instead of asking the disciples to.