The corporate world is changing. Old-line companies are being bought and sold; sometimes they are merged with others. Start-up companies appear and often are swallowed up. It almost seems as if there is a merger-mania. The basic purpose of mergers and buy-outs is to affect the “bottom line.” These activities occur sometimes because of greed and sometimes of necessity. Sometimes it benefits the consumer, and sometimes it hurts.
In our age there is a merger frenzy occurring also in the church. Unfortunately and at great spiritual loss most mergers in the church are also “bottom-line” oriented. The church in the world today is becoming more conglomerate and corporate, than it is spiritual. Whatever the alleged benefits of that attitude, the fact is that the loss is incalculable when merger is at expense of truth.
It is a Biblical truth that all believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are saved regardless of the name by which they call themselves. Scripture tells us, “The Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” ( 2 Peter 3:9). Therefore the Heavenly Father determined a plan and brought it to pass. He sent the Lord Jesus Christ into the world. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son . . .” Furthermore He gave promise “that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). . . To bring His loving purpose to pass in individual hearts, He left us with His Holy Word, and commissioned His Church, believers in Christ, to “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). By this blessed Gospel message the Lord comforts troubled sinners, brings people under His gracious rule, and keeps them unto eternal life in heaven.
To the accomplishment of his purpose, it is God’s will and command that only Truth be taught. He attaches freedom to Truth in John 8. The end result of dilution of truth is error. Error is dangerous. It undermines the confidence of salvation as it undermines the objective Truth of the Bible. It leads people away from Truth and thus salvation. All people are saved by grace. Thank God! But the church is not to challenge that grace by denying Truth. The Lord warns Christian to “Beware of false prophets” (Matthew 7:15), and tells us what to do when we are confronted with error. We are to come out (2 Corinthians 6:17) and avoid it (Romans 16:17,18).
But promoters of merger- mania in the church seldom respect the Truth. This disregard is to a great extent rooted in rejection of the divinely appointed purpose that God has given to His Church. This purpose is not social, political, financial, or the self- aggrandizement of the leaders. The purpose is not to define and redefine Scripture as though the Holy God did not know what He was talking about. The divinely appointed purpose is to preach the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the whole counsel of God. If merger is based upon a common agreement and acceptance of the Word of God, God will bless such a merger. It is His will and command that Christians be “of the same mind and of the same judgment” (2 Corinthians 1:10) in matters of Scripture.
If the “bottom-line” of the church in the world is not God’s, which is truth and faithfulness to the word, and ultimately eternal salvation, whatever other “bottom line” it establishes for itself is without merit or blessing. For if Truth and the eternal salvation of souls redeemed through the atonement of Jesus is at best an after thought rather than the essential thought, if it is even a thought, “they shall not profit this people at all, says the Lord” (Jeremiah 23:32). It is clear from Scripture: any self-ordained “bottom-line” pursuit of the church that is not true to God’s purpose and Truth means that the “consumer” is always hurt.