Article - Is It Wrong To "Mark/Note" Christian Individuals And Congregations Of The Lord's People? (part 1)
When discussing with fellow Christians the idea of “marking” or “noting” a Christian or congregation, some Christians get very offended and speak of how Christians should not practice such (Proverbs 16:25). However, our authority is not in man but in Jesus and the New Testament (Matthew 28:18; John 12:48; Colossians 3:17). The Bible mentions the importance of “marking/noting” individuals and congregations. Furthermore, it authorizes the practice of noting faithful individuals and churches as patterns for other Christians and churches to follow (1 Corinthians 11:1; Philippians 3:17). Paul noted/boasted about the Macedonian churches because of their wonderful ability in giving as a way to exhort the Achaian church (2 Corinthians 8:1-2). He especially emphasized that “no church,” other than the Philippian church, “shared with” him “concerning giving and receiving” (Philippians 4:15). Jesus through the writing of John publicly circulated the fact that the Smyrna church and the Philadelphian church were faithful (Revelation 2:8-11; 3:7-13). Paul wrote publicly about the faithfulness of Epaphras, Tychicus, Onesimus, Silvanus and other Christians (Colossians 1:7; 4:7-9; 1 Peter 5:12). John “marked” Demetrius for his good testimony (3 John 1:12). Therefore, the Bible is clear that it is not wrong to mark/note individuals and congregations for their faithfulness in the Lord. There are several reasons why this should be done: (1) It encourages surrounding congregations and individuals (Philippians 1:12-14). When other Christians heard of Paul’s faithfulness and persecution, it led them to greater boldness and faithfulness in their work; (2) It reminds Christians that there is just one true church with many congregations (1 Corinthians 12:20); (3) It is a way to keep in contact with one another; to pray, edify, and help each other get to heaven; (4) It is a wonderful encouragement to look to other faithful brethren as good examples and follow their sound leadership; (5) It reinforces what the pattern is.
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