Wouldn’t it be great if Christians agreed on everything? Imagine a church were that happened. Well that church doesn’t exist. Furthermore, if we are tempted to look back longingly at the early years of the church we would see the same problems. Paul says “and if” anyone has a different attitude to what he is promoting in Philippians 3:15, meaning since there were people with that mindset. There is no debate. The fact is even born again believers stray. Some, maybe many (v.17) in the congregation did not believe Paul. Likely Epaphrodites told him about the Judaizers, the perfectionist, the lawless ones, and even the disagreement between Euodia and Syntyche. This is a problem, but the answer is not to sit back and hope it goes away. Instead Paul addresses those who are out of line. Those prone to “think otherwise” were endorsing ideas outside the sphere of biblical truth. These are the immature, but not necessarily the unsaved. Identifying the others is a difficult task. It must be approached with great humility and caution. However, the more diligent the rest of the church body is at shepherding them, the more healthy it will remain in the long run.

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