Equating a different view of a secondary issue with teaching a false gospel shows that somewhere in the past a church was taught that the minors are the majors, that the veneer is also the foundation, that the nonessentials are also the essentials. The only thing that can correct wrong beliefs or confused beliefs or mis-prioritized beliefs is consistent and faithful Bible teaching... and that is the very thing they have voted against.

There's a world of difference in differing over a secondary issue and the truth of the deity and work of Christ. Even if there is a difference of opinion over the charge, it is so small that it should have been the basis of a Bible study followed by a fellowship meal, not the basis of a pastoral dismissal and calling him a false teacher of the gospel... but we live in a day when it is easier to vote out a preacher than it is to have a Bible study. One of those requires you to open a Bible (and your brain). The other only requires you to raise your hand (or some other chosen method of voting).

But why should we be surprised? When the salvation of souls is reduced to the raising of a hand during an altar call (altar calls-something not commanded in the Bible), why should we be shocked that the removal of a pastor is reduced to the raising of a hand in a business meeting (business meetings-something not commanded in the Bible)?

Yesterday my wife and I watched a theology Q&A before bed. During the video, two men disagreed on a verse in 1 Corinthians. And it wasn't a mild disagreement. It was something that both men had strong (and differing) views on. Yet, they finished the Q&A with love and even laughter. Unbeknown to me, there was also another difference of opinion among two parties yesterday. This time it wasn't two famous preachers on YouTube. This time it was with a pastor and a church in Anderson.

This pastor is my brother in Christ. And I also think I can call him my friend. I have shared some personal questions with him, and I have asked for personal advice from him. I asked him if he had any lunch plans today and found out what happened yesterday. It has been on my mind all day. The most troubling thing is not that two Christian parties disagreed, nor the fact that a man has lost his employment (though that is a terrible situation to be in, having been there myself). The most troubling part of this is that an organized group whose purpose is to preach and build up one another in the gospel has equated what isn't the gospel with what is the gospel. And that shows me that it isn't only a secondary issue that they (the majority vote) don't understand. It's the gospel that they don't understand. And, the person God sent them to show them the difference they have decided they no longer want.

May God work in this situation to bring about his glory. May God’s providence work in this situation to bring about his people’s goodness. And may we remember that while a multitude of things may separate a pastor from a people, nothing in this universe can separate that pastor from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus his Lord.