Some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.”

And when Paul and Barnabas had great dissension and debate with them, the brethren determined that Paul and Barnabas and some others of them should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders concerning this issue.
(Acts 15:1-2, NASB)

Dialogue Is A Srategy Designed To Lead To Christian Compromise

If there was one place in Scripture which shows all of this dialogue in the Church today, which only leads to compromise, is not the way the Lord wants us to deal with those who are teaching false doctrine it would be our opening text above.

The Judaizers aka the Circumcision party began to teach things contrary to Scripture and which robbed Christ of the glory that is to be His alone. We remain forever grateful that when the news reached the Apostles Paul and Barnabas the following foolish “conversation” did not occur:

Paul: Well Barn, at least they are preaching Christ. Hey, if that’s the way they see it then who are we to judge? As a matter of fact, dude, let’s contact them by Camel Carrier and see if we can set up a conference where we can dialogue about our differences.

Barnabas: Yeah, good idea P, cuz we know this is how Jesus handled His differences with the Jewish religious leaders. I remember how the Lord would never say anything publicly to upset these men because He loved them so much and always respected their right to believe whatever they wanted to about God.

With this all in mind I share the following letter here from the AM Mailbag by permission of its author David Cason. The “quote from AM” our brother in Christ is referring to is found in the Apprising Ministries post Rick Warren and A “Balanced” Reversal of the Protestant Reformation:

From: David Cason
To: Apprising Ministries
Sent: Monday, June 02, 2008 8:39 PM
Subject: Warren/Abanes Statement


I reproduced below the quote from AM and made a small change that I think illustrates in a simple and clear fashion the profoundly anti-Scriptural nature of the Warren/Abanes statement. Followed it with a couple of apropos Scriptures.


David Cason
The Lions’ Den

Warren’s views of the Circumcision Party are similar to those held by a number of conservative, Bible-believing, evangelicals including myself, Ron Rhodes, Gretchen Passantino-Cobern (Answers In Action), Hank Hanegraaff (president of the Christian Research Institute), and Dr. Norman Geisler, co-author with Ralph MacKenzie of The Circumcision Party and Evangelicals (Baker Books, 1995).

Of particular relevance, is the book by Geisler and MacKenzie—both of whom are well-respected evangelical apologists. In their volume they discuss the many differences and similarities between Paulists and the Circumcision Party.

In fact, PART ONE of his book is dedicated to “Areas of Doctrinal Agreement” that lists eight major areas of doctrine that he says evangelicals share with the Circumcision Party (120 pages worth). And on top of that, his entire PART THREE is dedicated to “Areas of Practical Cooperation” that includes social action, educational goals, spiritual heritage, and evangelism (see pp. 359-429).

Unfortunately, many of Warren’s critics are vehemently anti-Circumcision Party, and this prejudice has often colored their views of other evangelical leaders—one case in point, Rick Warren. For a quick, yet thorough look at the Circumcision Party from a balanced perspective, I recommend the numerous articles available from the Christian Research Institute on the subject (see resource list).

Paul’s View of the Circumcision Party

Gal 1:8 But even if we, or an angel out of Heaven, should preach a gospel to you beside the gospel we preached to you, let him be accursed

Gal 5:7-11,12 You were running well; who held you back that you do not obey the truth? The persuasion is not from Him calling you. A little leaven leavens all the lump. I trust as to you in the Lord that you will think nothing else, but that the one troubling you shall bear the judgment, whoever he may be…O that the ones causing you to doubt would sever themselves.

Gal 2:4-5 But it was because of those false brothers stealing in, who stole in to spy on our freedom which we have in Christ Jesus, they desiring to enslave us, to whom not even for an hour did we yield in subjection, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

Gal 2:11-13 But when Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was to be blamed. For before some came from James, he ate with the gentiles. But when they came, he drew back and separated himself, being afraid of those of the circumcision. And also the rest of the Jews dissembled with him, so as even Barnabas was led away with their dissembling.