| The inarguable doctrines of the Church...|
Over the years spent at this wonderful website, I've seen quite a few arguments on the particular doctrines held by believers from the various denominational and sectarian circles of the Church. Most of the worst arguments, in my opinion, could have been avoided had individuals respected the right of diversity on issues that tend to divide certain circles.
We are all persuaded (or nearly persuaded) upon certain issues. There are certain doctrines or beliefs that are not (and will not be) common to all believers. From beliefs about "[i]eternal security[/i]" to "[i]tongues[/i]" to "[i]music[/i]" to the "[i]rapture[/i]" to "[i]tithing[/i]", etc... -- there are issues that can be debated based upon our own understanding of the Scriptures. But what about those things that cannot be debated? What are the indisputable and inarguable doctrines of the Church?
Hebrews 6:1-2 gives us a set of principles that are basically set tenants that are implored to be foundational in the Church:
Quote:These ideas are above dispute (although we may disagree upon certain intricacies of these principles). But are there any others? Are there other doctrines that are central and inarguable concerning our faith? These may not be a doctrinal tenant -- but an idea that is agreed upon by all true believers. For instance, we can pretty much all agree that prayer (or intimate communion with God) is vital to a believer's spiritual life. We can all probably agree that the Word of God is necessary for spiritual knowledge and growth and a basis for judging our own beliefs and the doctrines of the Church.
1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of [b]repentance from dead works[/b], and of [b]faith toward God[/b],
2 Of the doctrine of [b]baptisms[/b], and of [b]laying on of hands[/b], and of [b]resurrection of the dead[/b], and of [b]eternal judgment[/b].
A few years ago, I was taking some Assembly of God correspondance courses for Bible college (while attending a secular university at the same time). During that time, I was reading through the modern parts of the "Church History" courses. When the Assemblies of God began in 1914, they discussed what should be considered the "fundamental truths" for their particular fellowship of believers. Their goal was to create a very brief set of understood truths that bound the fellowship together in belief yet still allowed for doctrinal persuasion on other issues. Two years later, they agreed upon a short set of principles that have remained relatively unchanged today. The fact that the list was quite brief has allowed (good or bad) a strong diversity of administration within each local church. Some churches are strictly "old fashioned" holiness congregations, while others have formed into the large mega-Church mentality (with even some small churches embracing this idea). Now, I no longer attend an Assembly of God church. However, I still personally adhere to most of those simple statements.
If you were to make a list of inarguable beliefs, what would you include?
I wonder if we could create a list of such beliefs -- politely excluding what is merely persuasion (formal or informal) from [u]indisputable[/u] doctrine. These doctrines would need to be brief and simple enough to allow for the individual persuasion of the delicate intricacies. They need to be the beliefs that are understood and shared by all true believers (regardless of denomination or sect).
We know that the aforementioned concepts from Hebrews 6 belong on such a list. Are there any others? Is it even possible to make such a list?
BTW, I will go back to this first post and create a list of those things that we can all conclude are part of the inarguable doctrines of the true Church. These statements are not be meant to divide us by particular belief, but to unite us on what is certain to be indisputable truth.
| 2007/6/12 11:49||Profile|
| Re: The inarguable doctrines of the Church...|
Here is what Peter said when posed with a similar question:
7 Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. 8 So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, 9 and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. 10 Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.
12 Then all the multitude kept silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul declaring how many miracles and wonders God had worked through them among the Gentiles. 13 And after they had become silent, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, listen to me: 14 Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name. 15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written:
16 After this I will return
And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down;
I will rebuild its ruins,
And I will set it up;
17 So that the rest of mankind may seek the LORD,
Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name,
Says the LORD who does all these things.
[b]18 Known to God from eternity are all His works. 19 Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God, 20 but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood. 21 For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.[/b]
| 2007/6/12 12:29||Profile|
| Re: The inarguable doctrines of the Church...|
The [u]inarguable[/u] doctrines of the Church??
now that's just asking for trouble. ;-)
| 2007/6/12 13:34||Profile|
No 'winks' about it Ron. Now 'that's' truth ~ I thought the same thing last week when trying to come to Chris's conclusion.
Chris, we were licensed AoG and there were 14 tenants of their faith -- have they shortened the list ? Sure wouldn't doubt that, from what I hear.
Still hold to the 14 basically, but just changed to post-trib in the early 80's, which at the AoG college in the 70's, they said was O.K. with them. They weren't forceful on that and said many AoG Churches in the west at that time were Post.
Consensus on a Forum ? :-?
Nowhere actually. Not till HE COMES.
The only "consensus" will be when they all cry "Peace-Peace", but it'll be the wrong kind.
P.S. Sorry I missed it ~~~ [b]Congratulations Married man :-D ~ Praise the LORD.[/b]
Yes, Consensus on His Love.
| 2007/6/12 14:26|
Thanks for the note! Actually, I don't mean to extract a list of doctrinal truths that are readily debated. Rather, I hope to (if possible) make a list of what is above dispute. The only things on the list will be those things in which [u]all[/u] true believers agree.
It might be impossible to conceive such a list. However, the early Church seemed to be of "one mind." Perhaps they didn't worry about ongoing sub-doctrinal issues. My hope is that we can find a consensus about those things which cannot be argued (even if the method by which those things are implemented can be debated).
For instance, we may all believe that water baptism is encouraged in the faith -- even if we don't agree to the extent by which it is performed or the degree to whether or not it is required. The list in Hebrews 6:1-2 seems to include a list of indisputable doctrines that are a base upon which all of us should agree.
| 2007/6/12 14:51||Profile|
Thanks Chris. I understood what you meant by inarguable, but I suppose no matter how short the list is, there will be "discussion".
I like the word "indisputable". That 'is' why we are all here in the first place. That 'is' the/our glue ... the rest that comes up in discussions are fringe items, sort of.
But even the Doctrine of Salvation is up for debate, as always. So to say, "saved by Grace through Faith" cuts it short and sufficient, but there will be the "but what constitutes true faith ?" question.
The Deity of Christ and His work is most-most definitely not up for disputation.
The Trinity, though not disputable, still has aspects of it that minimize the Deity of Christ or minimizes the Co-Equality in some folk's beliefs.
That The Word is inerrant-God-breathed-Divinely-Inspired is our Foundation, totally. But it's the picking of 'selected verses' to prove points that gets things going every which way from there.
The second advent should be indisputable, but ... oh well.
The resurrection is indisputable - at least from those I've seen on this Forum, if we leave off the "when" part.
Baptism is debatable most of the time.
The role of the Holy Spirit is also.
I guess we do have a short but binding list between us all and it's the foundation that keeps us together here and makes me happy to have found fellowship.
I was used to being attacked for that short tiny list I made above on any other forum I was on.
Thank you & Lord Bless.
| 2007/6/12 15:10|
1Corinthians 15:3-4 for the absolute rock-bottom basis! Anyone who doesn't believe this can't really be called a Christian.
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel...
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
| 2007/6/20 7:50|
A Christian must:
1. Believe Jesus is the Christ.
2. Believe salvation is by grace through faith.
3. Believe Jesus is coming back for His bride.
4. Believe there is an appointed a day of judgment.
5. Love God with all their mind, heart, soul and strength.
6. Love your neighbor as yourself.
I am sure there are more...
| 2007/6/20 9:43||Profile|
This disucssion reminds me of an article [url=http://www.almohler.com/]Al Mohler[/url] once wrote about the doctrines of Christianity and how it affects Christian cooperation.
...first-order doctrines represent the most fundamental truths of the Christian faith, and a denial of these doctrines represents nothing less than an eventual denial of Christianity itself.
The set of second-order doctrines is distinguished from the first-order set by the fact that believing Christians may disagree on the second-order issues, though this disagreement will create significant boundaries between believers. When Christians organize themselves into congregations and denominational forms, these boundaries become evident.
Third-order issues are doctrines over which Christians may disagree and remain in close fellowship, even within local congregations. I would put most of the debates over eschatology, for example, in this category. Christians who affirm the bodily, historical, and victorious return of the Lord Jesus Christ may differ over timetable and sequence without rupturing the fellowship of the church. Christians may find themselves in disagreement over any number of issues related to the interpretation of difficult texts or the understanding of matters of common disagreement. Nevertheless, standing together on issues of more urgent importance, believers are able to accept one another without compromise when third-order issues are in question.
| 2007/6/20 9:46||Profile|