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Coalitions, Denominations, and Movements, Oh My! A Biblical Perspective on Unity from the History of the Church in England

Reflections from the English Reformation  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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While many wildly popular movements have occurred throughout the history of the church, most, if not all, have been under unbiblical pretenses. As a result, shepherds should only support coalitions, denominations, and movements in evangelicalism as far as they remain faithful to the Word of God. This is evident from three examples in church history: the Jerusalem Council from Acts 15, the conflict between Puritans & Separatists in the 17th century, and the Social Justice movement taking place in evangelicalism today.

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The Evangelical Question

The year was 1966. A movement towards ecumenism was in full swing and growing like a wildfire in Britain. On one side, there was the Anglican Church of England, which was preaching a message of inclusivity for the gospel, and on the other side, there were the Congregationalists, who were preaching a message of exclusivity for the gospel. There were faithful saints on both sides of the spectrum. The face of the Anglicans was John Stott, the famed author and priest. The face of the Congregationalists was D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, the famed author and pastor. Both men were comrades. Both men respected the work of the other. Yet the rift between both men was growing with each passing day.
However, we think to ourselves, how do situations like the one above even occur? Doesn’t Paul say these timeless words on unity in ?
Philippians 1:27 NASB95
27 Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
One spirit. One mind. For the faith of the gospel. And in what manner? “συναθλοῦντες”. Struggling, or competing, alongside one another in

Case Study: The Jerusalem Council ()

Case Study #2: The Anglican Debate (1534-1662)

Case Study #3: The Social Justice Movement (2015-)

The Final Solution

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