When Should a Difference in Doctrine Make You Leave? - A thought from Pastor Piper and my response

I recently responded to a blog post by Pastor John Piper on the Desiring God Blog. I thought that I would share his post, and my comment. My comment hasn't yet surfaced because their blog has a mediator to approve the comments. Though, I figure it will pass.

Q: If you were a member of an Arminian church, and your pastor asked you not to talk about the doctrines of grace, what would you do?
Piper: I would ask him what he means: "Do you mean at home with my kids? Do you mean in conversation when somebody asks me? Do you mean Sunday school on the doctrine of salvation? What do you mean?"
And if he said, "All of the above," I would leave the church. I mean, I wouldn't necessarily do that immediately. I would say, "Whoa. So you're forbidding me from doing what the Bible requires me to do, namely, to speak the truth in love. Since I can't follow Christ here under your leadership, you're asking me to leave."
But I would say, "Could we just study and pray about this?" And if he's willing to engage in any kind of process, I don't want to encourage people to leave. I don't want to encourage people to walk away from their churches. I want them to work at being there and ministering and caring and being unified as much as possible.
But if all of that comes to naught, I think something as much as, "You may not speak about the things that are very dear and precious and central to your understanding of the gospel," that would probably mean you need to find another church.

My Comment: "The question and answer is a wise thought. I don't think it can cover every possible question or situation perfectly, but I do think that the answer serves as a viable guideline. I live in an area where the doctrines of grace are not held to by most professing Christian Baptists, and therefore unless I am willing to join the Presbyterian or Lutheran church in our area (ie. Compromise my views on Baptism and the Lord's Supper) then I will either have to isolate myself or have to somewhat be patient and also be hopeful that my Arminian friends will do the same."


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