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Why Influence Is NOT > Truth

2. Remember, bridge-building is not > truth.

Isolationism may not help the truth, but bridge-building doesn’t always either. Just because someone is being a nice guy and is not calling people out doesn’t mean that he is super mature, loving and faithful.

I want my dog to behave when company is around, but when someone’s trying to break into my house, I want her to bark. If she is going to lap a burglar’s hand she, at the least, isn’t doing her job.

Bridge-building must always serve the truth; it can never be at the expense of the truth.

3. Influence goes both ways.

I was thinking about this as I read Tim Challies’ recent review of Mark Driscoll’s new book, A Call to ResurgenceThe ever-charitable Blog-Father of the Reformed Movement says the following:

I genuinely appreciate Driscoll’s desire to have Christians work with others beyond their tribe, but I believe he errs too far in the other direction and neglects to call out some false teachers and neglects to give clear criteria that will allow us to do so. His desire for unity is commendable, but even while we reach across the aisle to some, we will need to be willing to unflinchingly reject and condemn others. 

I can hardly overemphasize the danger that may come here. I believe wholly in the value and necessity of working across tribal lines, but we must never do this at the expense of the primary doctrinal issues of the Christian faith.

Tim commends unity and a desire for influence, while at the same time asking what will be tolerated or, worse, lost in the process. This is an important question.

I’ll take it a step further: How will this intentional doctrinal diplomacy impact Mark Driscoll? It would be completely arrogant for anyone to think that they can partner, affiliate or otherwise fellowship with people and not be influenced by them.

Influence goes both ways, even for megachurch pastors and best-selling authors.

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Erik is a pastor at Emmaus Bible Church (EmmausBibleChurch.org), a church plant south of Omaha. Converse with Erik on Twitter at @erikraymond.