Can We Achieve Doctrinal Unity?

This is being written as we are preparing to attend the 1998 Unity Conference in Rocheport, MO, on the weekend of July 31- August 2. It will probably not be finished until after we return around August 4. There will be a report on the Conference by Mike Mastropaolo elsewhere in this newsletter.
I do not expect that we will achieve total doctrinal unity in this lifetime, as I have previously written. But just by the act of meeting together with a spirit of co-operation and good will, we do show a unity of love for each other, and love for the Father, Yahweh, and His Son, Yahshua the Messiah.
It is something of a paradox that we all profess to believe the same basic doctrines, yet often find it hard to work together to fulfill the commission given to us by our elder brother, Yahshua the Messiah.
Mat 28:18-20 And Yahshua came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
He showed in other places that this teaching was for those who would follow the disciples, also. That is you and me, brothers and sisters. Of course, not everyone can travel around as the Apostle Paul did, evangelizing, preaching and teaching. But there are other things we can and should be doing. We can set a good example for our neighbors, family and friends. We can be prepared to answer when questioned about our faith. The Apostle Kepa (Peter) said to be always ready with an answer for the faith you hold (1 Peter 3:15).
We can support those who are doing the work of spreading the gospel to the world. We can pray for their efforts, for their inspiration, for their dedication, and that they (we) would always be yielded to His Spirit and its correction. We also need to pray for discernment so we do not support charlatans or false teachers by mistake. A word of caution, though. Just because we do not have the same understanding on every point, does not mean the other party is a false prophet. No one, in this present age, has ALL the truth. It will take the Second Coming of Yahshua to achieve total understanding.
We can stop assuming that we, and only we, have an "inside track" to Yahweh, and that therefore, our "understandings" are gospel, and everyone else's are merely the "ideas of men." The plain truth is that this world is right now laboring under a massive campaign of Satanic deception. This is nothing new. It has been going on since the time when Satan told Eve that she was missing out on some good things by listening to Yahweh's instructions to leave the fruit alone. Of course, it has been intensified tremendously, just in my short lifetime, and especially in the last 20 years.
The most obvious example of this is to be found in the worlds of entertainment and education. We find here a tremendous paradox. On the one hand, we are almost prudish with our political correctness when it comes to sex. If you leer at a fellow-worker (or if he or she thinks you are leering), you may be guilty of sexual harassment. No kind of talk or action that can be perceived as harassment is permitted, by fiat of the federal government.
On the other hand, that same government has decreed that your child is not yours, but theirs. They somehow know better than parents how to raise your children. Abstinence teaching is not permitted, or is frowned on as ineffective, so "safe sex" is taught. If a pregnancy results, the child can be hauled off to an abortion clinic without the parents being notified.
The ACLU, the American Library Association, the National Association of Teachers (NEA), and others, are fighting tooth and nail to force libraries and schools to allow unrestricted internet access for all children. They say that to not allow children of all ages to see the worst kind of pornographic slop possible, is to deny them their "rights." They say children are entitled to "free access."
You may find this hard to believe. I did. But it is true. While a child would probably be reprimanded for reading a copy of "Playboy" or "Hustler" at school, he or she can see much worse on the unrestricted internet simply by typing in one word and hitting "enter."
Homosexuality is being taught under the guise of "tolerance" and "respect" for the rights of others. This pernicious, destructive so-called life-style is being portrayed as good and acceptable for all. The fact that it is destroying families and sowing death for those who follow this perverse way (in the form of AIDS primarily), is never mentioned.
When the sanctity of sex is cheapened and made a spectator sport and the butt of crude jokes, as has been done, then we can expect nothing but continued and worsening perversion. It is hard for me to realize that the "little boy dirty jokes" and sexual innuendoes I heard as a boy are now standard fare on TV sitcoms, in movies, and on radio and TV talk shows. And worse than anything we ever imagined back then, too!
Violent video games, movies, TV programs, etc., are responsible for a tremendous amount of the carnage we see and hear about every day. The very idea that what we allow into our minds has no effect on our behavior is ridiculous on the face of it. If this were true, then why do the advertisers spend millions upon untold millions of dollars to influence our buying habits?
Our "values" have suffered irreparable damage since the Supreme Court forced the Almighty and His Laws out of the public institutions. We are so far down the slippery slide that it will take the intervention of Yahshua at His Second Advent, to forcefully change our ways. Yes, He is coming again! But this time, not as the "Suffering Servant." This time He is coming as the "Conquering Avenger" to resurrect His faithful Saints, and to put down those perverse and rebellious individuals and nations who will rise up to fight against Him and His angels at His appearing.
We have the opportunity now to stop breaking His Eternal, Moral Law, the Ten Commandments, and begin to live righteously. But before we can do this, we must repent, accept Yahshua's sacrifice, and be "begotten" again by being baptized. Baptism is a putting to death of our "old man," as Paul described it, and then coming up out of the water a "new man."
By doing these things, we can receive the gift of the Holy Spirit to dwell within us. That is the way Yahweh writes His laws in our hearts. We can then keep His Commandments with a Spiritual intent not possible without that indwelling presence of His Spirit.
Yahshua said, "If ye will enter into life, keep the commandments." Peter said, "Repent and be baptized every one of you for the remission of sin, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Peter and Paul both said that we must have the Spirit in order to be saved, Acts 5:32 and Romans 8:6-9.
Remember, sin is the violation or breaking of the Law, the 10 Commandments, 1 John 3:4. That is what we must stop doing. We must start keeping all ten of them, including the 3rd and 4th, which seem to be the least understood ones of all (His Holy Name and His Holy Sabbath).
If you have questions or comments, or wish to learn more about baptism and the true plan of salvation, please contact us. We are available by regular mail, electronic mail, telephone, and often in person, if the distance is not too great.
Until next time, then, may Yahweh's blessings be yours. Shalom! ~FB

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