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Can I Stop Associating With Christians Who I Don’t Agree With?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
November 13, 2023 4:19 pm

Can I Stop Associating With Christians Who I Don’t Agree With?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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November 13, 2023 4:19 pm

Episode 1357 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

Questions in this Episode


1. Can Christians read extra-biblical books like the Book of Enoch?     2. Are Gospel tracts with pictures of Jesus breaking the Second Commandment?   3. How can we disassociate true Christianity from hate groups?   4. Can I stop associating with Christians I disagree with?   5. Should the Church perform exorcisms to deliver from evil spirits? Today’s Offer: Inner Core   Want to partner with us in our work here at Core Christianity? Consider becoming a member of the Inner Core.   View our latest special offers here or call 1-833-THE-CORE (833-843-2673) to request them by phone.   Resources

Book -  Core Christianity: Finding Yourself in God's Story by Michael Horton


Can I stop associating with Christians who I don't agree with? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, hi, this is Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day.

We'd love to hear from you. Here's our phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843.

2673. If you get our voicemail system, feel free to leave your voicemail there. And of course, you can always email us at questions at First up today, let's go to Scott calling in from Arkansas.

Scott, what's your question for Adriel? Like in the Old Testament, there's a couple that I remember called Jasher and the Book of Gad that's here. And in the New Testament, there is a reference to a book called Enoch. And it's in Jude, verses 6 and 7, 1 Peter 1, 1 Peter 3, 9th Peter 20, as well as 2 Peter 2, 4. And I was wondering, I was interested when I heard about these, and I thought, is it okay to study these also after reading the Bible, of course?

And also, as scholars, you know, experts you guys are, do you recommend a certain version of these that would be better than other versions? Hey, great, great questions. And thanks for calling us expert scholars.

I always appreciate those kinds of comments, although I don't know that I would say that about myself. But I will say this. It's interesting that you bring this up. I was just reading to my kids this morning in Joshua Chapter 10, right, that situation where the sun stands still. And there's a quotation from the Book of Jasher, which you just mentioned. Is this not written in the Book of Jasher?

That's also quoted in 2 Samuel Chapter 1, verse 18, maybe also in the Book of Kings as well. And there's not a lot of information about like what book was that exactly? And some people think maybe it wasn't kind of a song book that people knew about at that time. And then with regard to other books like the Book of Enoch, you mentioned it being quoted in the New Testament.

Here's what I'll say. As far as we have, you know, access to some of those writings, I think it's interesting to look at those, to give some historical context, but we wouldn't treat them as canonically inspired. And so we don't include them among the sacred writings inspired by the Holy Spirit. We don't treat them as Bible. And so in that sense, we have to read them, I think, recognizing that this isn't a spiritual authority in my life.

I have to be discerning. Yeah, they can give some background, some historical context to some of the things we see in Scripture. And oftentimes they're quoted because they were writings that were well known, maybe to the audience, the group that was being written to initially. And so, you know, there could be lines of analogy that were drawn or things explained by appealing to those books. But again, they're not canonical Scripture. So that doesn't mean we have to avoid them or we shouldn't read them. I think that they're interesting to read.

And I think that there can be some benefit just as kind of, you know, historical background. You just wouldn't want to go as far as saying, well, you know, because they're quoted, they must be biblical. I mean, we're on par with Scripture. I mean, think about the fact that the Apostle Paul, when he's preaching to the philosophers in Athens, he begins to quote pagan poets, right? And he's affirming something true about what they said. But he's not affirming everything about what they taught, certainly not.

Many of them were idolatrous. And so it's okay to be able to look at the world around us and say, hey, this is true and all truth belongs to God. It's God's truth. And we get some historical background, we get some context, but it's not divinely inspired. And then as far as, you know, which translation of the Book of Enoch should I get? You know, is there like an NIV or an ESV?

I'm not sure. And just to be very candid with you, I've not spent a lot of time studying except for when I was preaching some through 2 Peter and looking at those texts that were quoted in Jude as well. But probably you're going to want to find something that's a little bit more recent and maybe doesn't have all of the archaic language.

That's what I'd suggest. And so, Scott, excellent question and appreciate you calling in. God bless. Enoch is on line five and he says to quit dissing him. Yeah, the Book of Enoch, not to be confused with the Book of Eli, the Denzel Washington movie. Thank you for clarifying that.

They're not the same. OK, this is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We do receive emails here at the Core and you can email us anytime.

Here's our address. It's questions at Here's an interesting email from Sheila. She says, I found some leaflets when cleaning out my mother's house. One has a picture of Jesus on it and on the front it says, Come as you are.

On the inside of the leaflet, it has several scriptures. I'm a psychiatric nurse and I try to spread God's word. Is it a sin to hand out leaflets with a picture of Jesus on it? Is that considered a graven image?

Controversial question. But of course, we get those all the time here at Core Christianity. It doesn't seem like it would be a controversial question, I'm sure to many of you listening right now, because so many people don't think of pictures or images of Jesus or of God as being violations of the second commandment.

But I think at the end of the day, what we have to say is, well, what does the Bible teach? Early on in the history of the Christian church, it was very clear that the church avoided making images of God. They viewed them as graven images. They didn't have, you know, images of Jesus and so forth, you know, that they burned incense to and whatnot, in part because of the association with pagan worship. This is how the pagans around them in Rome worshiped. And so they rejected all of that, not just because of its association with pagan worship, but also because of a firm conviction that this was something that was prohibited by God's law. And so now fast forward, you know, many, many centuries, I think there are ways in which we've minimized God's law or just set it aside altogether.

And I think that this is one of the areas where we've done that. And people think, well, why do you got to be such a, you know, really, you know, images of Jesus? Is that really a big deal? But in scripture, the reason why God took this so seriously is because he's the one who wants to present himself to us through his revelation. It's not my job to create an image of God and who he is. He reveals who he is through his word. And there's a danger that all of us, you know, can fall prey to of creating God in our own image or, you know, creating an idol.

Our hearts are prone to do this. And so I always say, Sheila, if it sounds to me like you want to share the love of Jesus with the people who are there, I think the best way to do that would not be by sharing pictures of Jesus with them. I think the best way to do it, and it sounds like this is what you're doing as you're there, is by sharing the love and the truth of God's word with them. That invitation, right, that you mentioned, come as you are. Well, Jesus said at the end of Matthew 11, come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden. And I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart. The best thing that you can give people is the word of God. And you can deliver that personally by going and spending time and having conversations.

That's really what I would encourage you to do. It's the word of God where the power lies, if you will. It's the Spirit of God who works together with his word to convict the hearts of people and to draw people to salvation in Christ. And so maybe make your own that are just sort of scripture-based and share those with the people that are there and look for opportunities as you pray for them to encourage and build people up in Christ. God bless.

Amen. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, theology, you can leave us a voicemail 24 hours a day at this number. It's 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673.

Here's a voicemail from one of our listeners named Dustin. With the rise of hate groups and stuff like that and a lot of them being connected to people that run them being somewhere in the Christian line, how do Christians that are trying to worship and not represent these hate groups, how do you do that, if you get what I'm saying? Well, you as a Christian should not be in a hate group. It sounds to me like you're picking up on the association of some Christians with some of these groups that are identified as hate groups. John is very clear in his letter, in 1 John, that we can't say we love God and hate our brother or our neighbor.

That just doesn't compute. If you say, I love God, but I'm characterized by hatred for another person, I'm lying. How can I really love God who I haven't seen if I can't even love my brother?

This is a real problem. The tragic thing is it sounds to me like maybe what you're seeing is how this brings reproach upon the church and it certainly does because people see this and they see the association of some so-called Christians with a particular organization or group and they think, well, is this what Jesus is about? Of course the answer is no. I already said, if you're looking at just 1 John, John makes it absolutely clear that that's not the case. One, we have to, I think, call that what it is and make sure that we're distancing ourselves from those who are characterized by hatred because that's not what we're called to, that's not who we are, that's not what we should be characterized by as Christians. On the contrary, we should be characterized by the love that we have for the body of Christ and for all people, charity, good works, so that the world might see our good works, our charity, and glorify God who is in heaven. But if we're characterized by hatred, well, then we're definitely not salt and light in the world as Jesus said and those Christians who, for whatever reason, Christians or people who identify as Christians but are involved with these groups and are pushing some of these ideologies, they need to be called to repentance because these are the very kinds of things that John in 1 John says will damn a person to hell. You can't say that you have the love of God in you if your heart is filled with hatred for your brother. And so this is a scary thing, it's a terrifying thing, and we should call people to repentance, especially if they claim to be Christians and they're characterized by these things or they're identifying with these groups.

Thanks, Dustin. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We'd love to hear from you. If you've got a question about doctrine, theology, something going on in your church that concerns you, maybe a particular Bible passage that's always been a little bit confusing to you, feel free to leave us a voicemail at 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. I also want to mention that we are a listener-supported ministry. We don't receive money from a church or denomination. We don't play commercials here. We don't get money from a radio station. We actually count on people just like you to make donations to keep us on the air. That's how we do it. And there's a group of people that really believe in what we do so strongly that they've committed to making a monthly donation to Core Christianity. We call them our inner Core.

Yeah, it's a monthly donation of $25 or more. First, I want to say thank you to all of you who have joined the inner Core. Your support is a huge blessing. I ask that you would continue to keep us in your prayers. Pray that God would use His word over the airwaves to convict people, to draw people closer to Christ, to lead them into a deeper understanding of the Scriptures. Just recently, we were talking to someone on the broadcast who was saying, man, I was brought up Roman Catholic, and as I've been listening to the broadcast and studying the Bible, I just feel like I'm starting to see things more clearly. I'm starting to have a deeper understanding of what God has done for me, of the grace that He's offered to me in Christ.

That's what we want to see. We want to see people's lives transformed, not by me or by Bill, but by Jesus. And so would you partner with us to that end by becoming a member of the inner Core?

Again, it's a monthly donation of $25 or more. And as a thank you, we'll send you a copy of the book Core Christianity by Michael Horton, which will be a blessing to you and encourage you further in your faith. You can learn more by going to forward slash inner core, just one long word forward slash inner core. Love to have you prayerfully consider joining that very special group of people.

And again, thanks to all of our current inner core members, supporters. It really makes a huge difference in this ministry. Well, speaking of Core Christianity, the book by Michael Horton, here's an interesting email for you.

It's from Dave and he says, I've read Michael Horton's book. I found it very helpful in pointing out what beliefs are uncompromisable for Christians. However, I'm wondering how I should think about churches and denominations dividing over issues that are not mentioned in the book. In particular, disagreements around gender and sexuality. They valid reasons for believers to stop worshipping together. Does dividing over these topics elevate them to a level of a core belief? Excellent question.

And I'm grateful to hear that you benefited from Mike's book, a wonderful resource. But right now, as churches are wrestling through some of these issues that the culture has brought right in front of us, you mentioned sexuality, you mentioned gender. And some of them sadly are compromising or saying, well, we're just going to sort of embrace the world's way of thinking about this. Would that be a legitimate reason to leave a church? If your church says we're going to be a quote unquote open and affirming church, meaning we're not going to teach the homosexuality as a sin, and we're just going to, you know, somebody wants to come to our church who's living a gay lifestyle. We're not going to call them to repentance. We're going to say God loves you just the way you are.

There's nothing you can do about it. I've heard that before. And that's our stance. Would that be a good enough reason to leave a church? I would say the answer is yes, because there's a fundamental misunderstanding there. There's a core misunderstanding we might say about the application of God's word, and particularly the application of God's law, which is still applicable today, even for believers under the New Covenant. It's not that Jesus came to abolish the law.

He came to fulfill the law. And what we're seeing around us is a lot of Christians and a lot of churches that are compromising on some of these very important issues. It's not like these issues are mentioned in the Nicene Creed per se. And so a lot of times when we're thinking about core Christianity, we're thinking about that which has been professed by Christians in the creeds, the historical creeds of the church, the Nicene Creed, the Apostles' Creed.

But that doesn't mean that these other things are insignificant. And if your church is compromising on these issues with the sort of paganism of the world, well, that church is in serious spiritual trouble. Not long ago I was preaching through the book of Revelation, just finished it a few months back, but when we were earlier in the book looking at Jesus' letters to the seven churches in Revelation chapters 2 and 3, one of the things that he highlighted that the churches in Asia Minor were really struggling with was compromise. Some of those churches were compromising with the pagan culture of the day.

They were embracing the sexual immorality that was rampant all around them, and Jesus warns them. He says, look, if you keep going down this road, your church is going to be destroyed. Your church is going to be judged by me.

And that's one of the tragic things that we're seeing all around us today is that there's still that temptation to compromise with the world. And James says, look, if you make yourself a friend of the world, you've made yourself an enemy of God. And so what does it look like for us as Christians to be salt and light, to be truly distinct from the world while also living in the world and pursuing the good of the world through the proclamation of the Holy Gospel and through a commitment to charity, to good works, and letting our good works shine before men and women so that they might see those good works and glorify God who is in heaven. That's what Jesus calls us to. But if a church is no longer willing to call sin, sin, and they reject what the Bible teaches very clearly about some of these things, you mentioned also gender, right? If a church says, well, we also are going to just sort of go the way of the culture right now, which is, by the way, is always changing.

So it's like you do that with regard to some of these discussions, you know, sexuality and gender, you just have to be prepared to do it again in a couple of weeks or months because it's so fluid that there really is no, there's nothing concrete or stable about it. What we need to do actually is recover what the Bible teaches about these things. And so, brother, I'm grateful that you were encouraged by and built up with, you know, Mike's book.

I think it's an excellent, excellent book. And it's an important one for us to read. And I would just say with regard to these other things, right, these aren't insignificant things either. And so a church that has refused what God's law says very clearly, that church is an issue. I mean, we're seeing issues with regard to the authority of scripture.

And that's actually one of the things that's highlighted in Mike's book is the fact that God has spoken and he's spoken in his word. And so it sounds to me like that's what's being rejected here. And insofar as that's being rejected, a core tenant of the Christian faith has been abandoned.

God bless. Just a follow up question for you, Adriel, when it comes to this particular issue, and again, we're talking about churches or denominations who are, quote unquote, affirming teach that homosexuality is not a sin. People were born gay, even saying that, you know, God blesses that person has blessed them with the gift of homosexuality or whatever they say. Does that rise to the level of what the Bible calls wolves in sheep's clothing?

I believe it does, absolutely. And you know, the irony is, you know, people, people say, how could you say that? It just sounds, isn't it loving to just be accepting and open and affirming?

Well, no. And again, we are called to love all people. We're sinners.

All of us are. We need the grace of God. We're called to love all people. But the way we do that is not by confirming them in their sin, is not by saying peace, peace, where there is no peace.

It's by pointing them to the one who came to bring true peace through the blood of his cross, the one in whom we have forgiveness of our sins, whatever those sins are, homosexuality or other kinds of sexual immorality or greed or drunkenness, whatever they are, we all have to go to Jesus because we're sinners and we're desperately in need of his mercy. But if you tell someone who is sinning and living in sin, well, just, you're fine. God doesn't care. Continue to live in that way and everything's going to be okay. Well, then we're like the false prophets of Jeremiah's day who said peace, peace. God isn't going to judge that.

You're going to be fine. No, we need to be honest with people and we need to honor the Lord and his word. And we can do that in a way that is loving. And of course, you know, some people might think, well, I didn't feel loved by that, by you calling out my sin or by you disagreeing with me. But that's because we've adopted new definitions of love as a society. Love is, you know, you have to just affirm me and everything that I choose and you can't disagree with me.

Well, that's not the biblical definition of love. And the reality is, is most people, you talk for just a few minutes, most people recognize, well, yeah, you know, that's also, you have children and you're raising your children and they do something that you see as harmful to them. It would be so unloving to let them continue to do that or not to warn them and say, hey, there's a real problem here.

A parent who doesn't discipline their kids, right? Like it's just like, you don't love them. And in this situation as well, it's in, you know, obviously the analogy breaks down. We're not talking about parents and children. We're just talking about people, human beings and being willing to be honest with each other. And you can still love someone while disagreeing with their actions and calling them to repentance. And so that's what we're called to do as a church. And when people don't do that, when they just say, yeah, everything is fine. Peace, peace, where there is no peace. That's, that's wolf-like behavior.

It's subtle and it's deadly. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Here's a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners named Casey.

I'm calling because I have a question. The last caller called and she has a friend who has been tormented and she wanted to know if there's anybody else out here who experienced the same kind of spiritual attack. And I personally have experienced the same type of spiritual attack. And I just wanted to know what is that the church says about exorcisms and laying hands on the brethren. I'm thinking specifically about deliverance ministry.

I think, I think there are some churches that go overboard with this. I think first and foremost, we need to recognize that when Jesus came to earth in his earthly ministry, it was very much a deliverance ministry. He was binding the strong man Satan so that he might plunder his house. This is what Jesus says in the gospels very clearly. And this is why anytime Jesus showed up to a city, the people who were demon possessed, it was just trembling.

They would fall down before him saying things like, what have we to do with you, Jesus, son of the most high God? And so Jesus came to bind Satan to destroy the works of the devil. And he did that definitively at his cross. Now today, the evil one is still at work.

He goes about like a roaring lion seeking to devour us. But if you are a Christian, you have been sealed with the Holy Spirit and you cannot be possessed by the devil. You can be tormented in one sense, right? The devil will seek to deceive you. The devil will seek to tempt you. But if you belong to Jesus and you've been sealed with the Holy Spirit, well, then you're going to be kept by Jesus. And so we call upon the name of the Lord and we experience his grace, his mercy, his renewal. And it's through the gospel and its proclamation that people are delivered from the chains of Satan, the evil one. God bless. Thanks for listening to Core Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at and click on offers in the menu bar or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833-The-Core. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program and be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-13 19:47:07 / 2023-11-13 19:57:21 / 10

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