On Tolerating Flaws

by Greg Linscott

I was reading the iMonk*- he had an interesting post on A.W. Pink that caught my eye. The key excerpt:

The short story is this: After years of speaking, teaching and preaching, A.W. Pink eventually gave up on trying to find a church where he could worship as a member. He came to believe that there were no churches where he could participate or minister in complete support and good conscience. So he stayed home, with his wife, and typed his magazine. He gave up on the church, and while his gift of teaching was magnificent (in the opinion of most Calvinists,) he couldn’t find a single pastor he could support or a single church he could even attend the last two decades of his life. He withdrew and stayed home, writing those books your reformed Baptist church is selling at the book table.

You should read the whole post- it is thought provoking. It also makes me wonder how much “diversity” should be tolerated when seeking local church fellowship. We have had circumstances over the last year where there were some doctrinal differences. I know of people who attended this church not too long ago who, for all intents and purposes, are now “pulling a Pink.”

Conversely, I also know that there are people in the congregation who do not see every issue the way I do. As a pastor, I sometimes wonder how to maintain the tension of preaching the truth in love, yet also loving the people who continue to stay even though they know I know we have differences of interpretation/application.

Is it ever advisable to ask someone to stay- even when they don’t see eye-to-eye with you on what they feel is a major issue? Is there a time when you should ask someone to leave- though they seem content to stay- because their difference is hindering the work or their ability to serve wholeheartedly in the fellowship?

(*OBLIGATORY DISCLAIMER: I would hope my readers understand I am not giving my wholesale endorsement to Michael Spencer)