On my wall hangs framed hand-written letters from A.W. Pink to my maternal grandfather, evangelist Fred Cherry, and my grandfather's responses to Mr. Pink. These letters are highly treasured by me, a gift from my grandmother, Virginia Cherry, and they are replete with wonderful instructions for pastors of any age, in any age.
For those of you unfamiliar with the life, ministry and writings of A.W. Pink, I would highly suggest Ian Murray's biography entitled "The Life of Arthur W. Pink." At the end of this highly readable account of Pink's life, Dr. Murray places an appendix with extracts from Pink's writings. I have read the book several times because of my grandfather's friendship with Mr. Pink, but I did not pay much attention to one of the excerpts until today, when a friend of mine pointed it out to me. On page 254 of Murray's biography of Pink there is an extract from Pink's writings entitled "Rules for Preventing Dissension."
I am posting the excerpt on today's blog as a fresh reminder to everyone that those who are causing dissent are those who violate the Biblical mandates from Romans 14. In other words, every Southern Baptist should take a long, hard look into his or her heart to see whether or not any of these following principles, derived straight from Scripture, are being broken.
Rules for Preventing Dissension
Teaching in Romans, chapter 14.
Under the new covenant there is no longer any distinction in the sight of God between different kinds of "meat" or sacred "days" set apart for religious exercise which obtained under the Jewish economy. Some of the early Christians perceived this clearly; others either did not or would not acknowledge such liberty.
This difference of opinion bred dissensions and disrupted fellowship. To remove this evil and to promote good, the apostle laid down certain rules which may be summed up as thus.
First, 'Let ever man be fully persuaded in his own mind' (v. 5) and not blindly swayed by the opinions or customs of others.
Second, 'Be not censorious or condemn those who differ from you' (v. 13).
Third, Be not occupied with mere trifles, but concentrate on the essentials (v. 17).
Fourth, Follow after those things which make for peace and mutual edification (v. 19) and quibble not over matters which are to no profit.
Fifth, Make not an ostentatious display of your liberty, nor exercise the same to the injury of others (vv. 19-21).
Would to God we as Southern Baptists, people who claim to believe in the authority of Scriptures, actually follow them when it comes to preventing dissension.
In His Grace,