How to Strive for Unity Amidst Division

Episode 586 Show Notes 

From the Show

For those who have been in churches who do not focus on the clear teaching of the bible and then come to research these things on their own and discover new teachings that are sound and biblical, at that moment, it is easy to look back on what you have experienced and say, “that was all nonsense, I can’t believe those churches never taught me this stuff.” I think that is where we have to be humble. Certainly, even my understanding of the scriptures have, I believe, matured. But I am thankful for those in my life that the Lord used in various seasons to teach me and encourage me. And we can be thankful to God for those people while taking doctrine seriously.

–Adriel Sanchez

Questions in this Episode

  1. 1. I recently was reading to my children a new children’s book about the bible and the book described sin as loving things more than God. It warned the kids that if they love anything too much, like their parents and friends, then this is the definition of sin. Is that the entirety of what sin is? I understand that we need to love God supremely; however, I don’t necessarily want my children insecure or afraid if they love me or their father too much. Is there a better way to talk to the kids about sin or is this how we really should talk to them? 

2. I have always struggled with my faith. I have been through a lot of rough experiences, from being in prison, to drug addiction, to seeing family members die, and I have earnestly and sincerely asked God to speak to me during these situations, lots of other people believe God speaks to them, but I have never ever heard God speak to me. Not once. Does he speak to anybody today?

3. In Matthew 1:18 it says before Joseph and Mary came together she was found to be pregnant and verse 19 says that because Joseph “resolved to divorce her quietly.”And then right after that in verse 20 it says “don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife.”My question is, was Mary and Joseph married before she was pregnant or after she became pregnant?

4.  I’m having trouble knowing how to feel unified with the body when there is so much bad theology out there. I spent my childhood in a charismatic, prosperity gospel church and it has made me very sensitive to those things. I now feel that teaching should be exegetical and Christ focused, but it seems to be very hard to find people who agree with me. I see churches taking a topical approach to scripture that often avoids the subject of sin and feels more like a self help guide. I’ve been told I’m being too skeptical. I know that many of my friends believe the gospel so I consider them my brother or sister in Christ, but it’s hard for me to feel unified when our beliefs and focal points are so far apart. How can I keep from being too critical of immaturity or a difference of beliefs, while staying sensitive to false teaching?

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Resources

Core Christianity: Finding Yourself in God’s Story by Michael Horton

The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way by Michael Horton

Photo of Adriel Sanchez

Adriel Sanchez

Adriel Sanchez is pastor of North Park Presbyterian Church, a congregation in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). In addition to his pastoral responsibilities, he also serves the broader church as a host on the Core Christianity radio program, a live, daily call-in talk show where he answers listeners' questions about the Bible and the Christian faith. He and his wife Ysabel live in San Diego with their four children.

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