tjservant wrote:My view of the SI neighborhoodThere has been much discussion as of late on the SI forums about certain doctrinal positions being extreme and/or decisive. I would like to put forth an analogy in an attempt to provide understanding to this issue. Here goes
My neighbor and I have a fence running between our yards. This fence has a gate that can be used when we want to enter each others yard. We often visit, talk, and discuss various topics across the fence. There are also times we use the gate and enter the others yard; sometimes even the others house.We share many meals with each other. We worship together and are often engaged in Bible study together. We love each other and consider each other to be brothers. We are so often at each others house many wonder why we have a fence at all. We could remove the fence but a property line would still exist. For example, the doctrines of grace, as compared to other views and understandings, are clearly on opposite sides of the fence, but they need not be viewed as coming from the most extreme distant points of the yard. Once again, there is a clear and undeniable separation, yet to say this property line is extreme does not work for me. We stand right next to each other. We are united as children of God. We embrace each other as brothers. I believe this talk of extremes is promoting an unnecessary line of division that is not nearly as high of a fence as truly exists. Please do not try to bring hyper-Calvinism or semi- Pelagianism into this conversation. Those folks are clearly taking steps away from the fence and will, if not careful, completely leave the yard and/or neighborhood of acceptable Christianity. The word neighbor implies proximity. One who lives near or next to another. A person, place, or thing adjacent to or located near another.The wall that separates and protects Christian doctrine from the worlds false religions should not be brought into our towns. Yes, there are fences in the neighborhood of Christianity, but we are still a neighborhood (a group of people living adjacent or near to each other). I do not believe we should continue to let certain theological constructs be as decisive as they have been. The fence that runs between me and my neighbors house does not divide us. The fence merely keeps some of our items separate. His children
The trash from his birthday party
The fences are not the problem in the neighborhood; its their size and style. We should keep our fences (theological property lines) low, so that we do not loose sight of our extended family. We should also maintain gates so as not to bar and prevent fellowship. Let us respect each others property lines; for each has the right to raise his family on the foundations God reveals to him through His Word. Perhaps this analogy is a bit over simplified, it obviously breaks down in some areas, but I believe it works to show that differing opinions do not have to be as decisive and/or extreme as some would have us believe.
Doctrine is certainly very important; however, if you and I are in a cave hiding from the anti-Christ or some other persecutor of the saints, our concerns will not be doctrinal. We are at war and we must fight together until we see His face.
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