It is inevitable that we in our Christian life will come into contact with people from churches other than those of our own denomination. We will meet such people at school and at work and in the course of social interaction with the world. How we act towards such people is a very important aspect of our Christian witness. We believe, of course, that some of these may be genuine Christians and some will not be. By God’s grace we must give a good testimony before them and also seek to win them by our actions and testimony to the faith that God in His grace has given to us.
1. Why are there so many different denominations? How must we view this situation?
2. Are the differences among various professing Christian churches important? Are some of these differences greater than others?
3. What are some of the major distinctive truths that God has given to us as Protestant Reformed Churches? Are these distinctive truths important and precious to us? Do we really have reason to be separate as churches from even other Reformed Churches?
4. Can we relate our distinctive Protestant Reformed truths to other Christians? Have you ever talked to someone outside of our churches in a personal way about the truths we hold dear in our churches? What was the reaction of those you talked to? Have you ever invited someone from another church to come to church or young people’s society with you? Have you ever accepted an invitation to go along to another church?
5. What should be our attitude towards Christians from other churches? Perhaps it is good for us at this point to be self-critical. Do we sometimes “turn people off” by the attitudes we reflect? What is wrong with this? Have you done this yourself? How can we change this?
6. How much should we discuss differences of beliefs with other Christians? Is this necessary? Or could we perhaps just ignore those differences and focus only on the things that we have in common?
7. Is it necessary sometimes in our Christian life to condemn what others believe? Evaluate the very commonly held notion in America that everyone has the right to believe what he wants to and it is always wrong to criticize the beliefs of others. Is there a proper and an improper way to judge what others believe? Do we sometimes wrongly offend people from other churches? On the other hand, must we also be ready to expect that the truth of God’s Word will bring offense and division?
8. Can we have Christian friendship and fellowship with people from other churches? Is it possible that through such friendship we might be led away from the truth of God’s Word? Is it also possible that such friendships might strengthen us in the knowledge of God’s Word and even in what we believe as Protestant Reformed people?
9. How can we be warm and personal and inviting to Christians from other denominations without compromising the truth we believe?
The things we do
Will soon be past
Unless we do
The things that last
The life we build
May never stand
For we may build
On sinking sand
The world thing
For which we slave
Can never bring
Us from the grave
The things above
Like truth and love
Will always be