Retooling: Teaching, Theology “Divides”; Application “Unifies”

The 21st Century Retooling of the Church – Part XXI

Are you “Pre-Trib”, “Mid-Trib”, or “Post-Tribulation” in your theology of the “End Times”.  Are you an Evangelical, Fundamental, Pentecostal, Main Line Denominational, or an Independent in your label of Christianity?  Do you believe in “once saved, always saved” or do you believe that salvation is a process where one “works out his salvation”?  All these are “theological” differences that divide the Body of Christ, producing heated debate and “draw the line in the sand” divisions.

On the other hand the “application” of spiritual principles through “service” (the central motivation for the five fold) always bring “unity”.  I remember worshiping beside a lady at a Jesus Rally in the ‘70’s who claimed to be a Byzantine Catholic, not having any idea what a Byzantine Catholic was or stood for, but I do remember us worshiping in “unity” together not caring about any labels that usually brought division theologically.  Service Project days where several churches get together to clean up, fix, repair, etc. local communities through “service” always erase labels and brings “unity”. Rather than most meetings of the local Council of Churches encouraging a “dialogue” over their differences to create an atmosphere of “tolerance”, it would be far more effective if they just “serve” one another, creating an atmosphere of unity of purpose.

Application of the gospel can bring resistance, though; usually from the theological communities opposing their effort.  Jesus always had the Pharisees criticizing what he was “doing”, and the Sadducees looking over his shoulder. Only time has changed, but not the forces of opposition.  The Pharisees argued that it was not proper to heal on the Sabbath theologically; Jesus just applied the principles of healing and healed no matter what day.  He fed the masses when they were hungry, healed those who were ill, delivered those who need deliverance.  He just “did it”, applied the truth, not argued over what was the truth. The Pharisees of today’s Church will still oppose the application of the gospel somehow in an attempt to bring disunity.

The five fold is to “prepare the saints for the work of the service”; it is to release the saints to apply their faith in everyday situations through “service”.  Its purpose is to bring the Body of Christ together, not divide it, to bring believers in Christ into the maturity of being “Christ-like”, to bring the fullness of the gospel to a dying world and a struggling church.

I, personally, propagate application over theology. “Doing” gets things done; “arguing” and “debating” always stalls the “doing” process.  Like Niki’s slogan that when wearing their sneakers “Just Do It”.  The 21st Century Church should follow that when being a Christian, a follow of Jesus Christ, one should “Just Do It”!  That is called “application”, the “service” that the five fold is equipping the Church for….. for the “doing” of the gospel.