Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 6, 1970
NUMBER 12, PAGE 18b-19a

Questions On Fellowship — Focusing The Problems

— W. E. W.

1. What is fellowship?

a. A condition?

b. An act?

c. An attitude?

d. A relationship?

e. Or what?

2. How may we know one is in fellowship with God?

a. Can we know precisely at what moment a person is out of fellowship with God?

b. How can we determine what errors result in severance of fellowship with God?

c. Does fellowship with God depend on our soundness on ALL issues and controverted points?

3. Can we distinguish between major and minor issues as regards error and fellowship?

a. Does error on any single issue result in severance of fellowship with God?

b. Can we distinguish between errors of FAITH and errors of OPINION as regards fellowshipping or not fellowshipping those in error?

4. What do we mean when we say we cannot fellowship a man in error?

a. Does it mean to avoid him?

b. Does it mean to mark him?

c. Does it mean to withdraw recognition of him?

d. Does it mean to refuse endorsement of him?

e. Does it mean we refuse association with him?

f. Does it mean we count him as a "heathen and publican?"

5. In considering a congregation unworthy of fellowship...

a. Do we mean God does not recognize the group as a church of Christ?

b. Do we mean we are to consider the church unworthy of our participation in its worship and service and that God recognizes neither their worship nor service?

6. Does fellowship ever involve or embrace social association?

a. Such as eating meals together?

b. Such as visitation in homes?

7. Is "limited fellowship" acceptable?

a. Can we fellowship a person so long as we do not encourage him in his error, or become a party to his error?

b. Can we include "liberals" in the corporate association of a local church?

c. Can individuals rightfully fraternize with those who are in error?

8. Can we distinguish or separate between a man and his practice?

a. Is it possible to have nothing to do with a person's error, yet maintain fellowship with him?

b. Can we associate or fraternize with men who are in error while opposing them in their error?

9. When is our relationship with others to be considered as fellowship?

10. What relationship can we have with others which is not fellowship?

11. What are the precise points of contact involved in Biblical fellowship?

a. What social contacts?

b. What benevolent contacts?

c. What evangelistic contacts?

d. What contacts in the realm of "Christian everyday living"?

e. What congregational contacts, that is, contacts in congregational interests, activities, and affairs?

12. Shall we let fellowship take care of itself?

a. Will this approach solve the problems confronting individual Christians as regards what is right or wrong as to relations with individuals and congregations which are in error?

b. Will this approach enable congregations to embrace a proper policy toward individuals or other congregations in error on various points?