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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : The folly of man-made labels (*isms) attached to God's teachings.

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Leo_Grace
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Joined: 2009/6/14
Posts: 703


 The folly of man-made labels (*isms) attached to God's teachings.

This was something I posted in another section that I decided to share here, with some minor edits, because of the sudden upsurge in argumentative posts from professing Christians.

[i]Note: By *isms I mean any belief system derived from Scripture, but appropriated by some men under their own brand or label.[/i]

To all Christians, I would recommend the following:

1. We should all be fully conscious of the fact that Calvinism, Arminianism, and other *isms are all but human designations that do not exist in the Bible -- there is but one God, one Word by which to know God, and one Spirit that illuminates the Word for us.

2. These *isms should not be looked upon with pride as if our *isms reflect some level of wisdom or maturity in Christ. In truth, all these *isms are evidence of lack of maturity in the faith. Regardless of the soundness of doctrine they may espouse, *isms are divisive and tend to fragment the church rather than unite it. These *isms tend to glorify men rather than God. The propagation of *isms runs contrary to the will of God.

3. Whatever doctrines or beliefs you may subscribe to should be based on your own reading of the Word, and not the writings of mere men, or the recommendations of others. Your beliefs must be personal, learned directly from the Word and the Spirit.

4. Our personal doctrines should be shared with other believers in the spirit of humility; to learn from each other, "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another".

5. Doctrines should be presented with no other labels attached to them other than that of the Lord Jesus, the Word of Life, the author and perfecter of our faith.

 2009/11/20 13:39Profile
TaylorOtwell
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Joined: 2006/6/19
Posts: 927
Arkansas

 Re: The folly of man-made labels (*isms) attached to God's teachings.

Leo,

Could you provide us with some Scripture verses to establish your claim to summarize any set of Biblical teachings with a single word that ends in "ism" is wrong?

I'm just curious from which verses you are deriving your argument from.

*Edit* To avoid arguments - PM me if you want.

With care in Christ...


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Taylor Otwell

 2009/11/20 14:04Profile
makrothumia
Member



Joined: 2005/5/19
Posts: 609
Texas

 Re:

Here is one example if I understand your question correctly.

"Calvin -ism" - "Call no man father." To attribute a doctrinal understanding to a man through whom it came rather than the God FROM whom it came.

(not saying that everything Calvin said was actually from God :-)


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Alan and Dina Martin

 2009/11/20 14:33Profile
Leo_Grace
Member



Joined: 2009/6/14
Posts: 703


 Re:

Quote:

TaylorOtwell wrote:
Leo,

Could you provide us with some Scripture verses to establish your claim to summarize any set of Biblical teachings with a single word that ends in "ism" is wrong?

I'm just curious from which verses you are deriving your argument from.

*Edit* To avoid arguments - PM me if you want.

With care in Christ...



Dear Taylor,

When I wrote the above post, I was reflecting on my own personal observations after 24 years as a Christian, and on what we are seeing in this forum. I made no claims that my recommendations are anything more than what they are.

The only "isms" I can find in my NIV Bible are: Judaism, baptism, favoritism and criticism, which are not what I am referring to as *isms.

Nevertheless, there is a passage in the Bible that raises similar concerns:

[i]1Co 1:10-15 I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you.

What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.”
Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul? I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, so no one can say that you were baptized into my name.[/i]

It is God's will that believers be united in mind and thought; and my view is that the promotion of man-made labels within the church works against this will of God

If you disagree with my ideas here, please feel free to say so.

 2009/11/20 14:35Profile
elected
Member



Joined: 2004/11/21
Posts: 362
Tulsa OK

 Re:

Leo_Grace

Quote:
Note: By *isms I mean any belief system derived from Scripture, but appropriated by some men under their own brand or label.



I have come too to conclusions of avoiding "isms".

Many look back to reformation, puritans or evangelical revivals of 18th & 19th century to confirm and check their beliefs and then go to the bible to see if they can support their views.

I believe im justified by faith and saved by grace but this it does not make me a lutheran.

I believe in the sovereighnity of God and that im elected and predestined to be in the image of the Son of God but that does not make me a calvinist.

I believe in discipleship but that does not make me anabaptist.

I believe the only way to be sanctified is by faith in Jesus but that does not make me wesleyan.

I believe in the divine principles and spiritual laws for revival but that does not make me a follower of Finney.

I believe in the immanent second comming of the Lord and in the millenium reign of Christ as King on earth but that does not make me a plymounth brethren.

I believe in a full gosple and that we are called to make disciples of all nations but that does not make me a follower of A.B.Simpson.

I believe that we should show compassion to the poor and preach the gosple to the poor but that does not make me a salvationist or follower of William Booth.

I believe in the NT divine pattern of the local church government and in the plurality of elders and deacons but that doesnt not make me a follower of Watchmen Nee.

I believe in the deeper and higher christian life but that does not make me a follower of holiness movement or keswick movement.

I believe in all the spiritual gifts of the Spirit but that does not make me charismatic.

I believe in the christology of the gosple and that Christ should be my life but that does not make me a follower of Austin Sparks.

I believe in all these things and know them to be true, because i find them in my bible. I see on the shoulders of the giants and im greatful to God for the lesser lights we have in the church of God but Jesus is The Great Light and his Word the Standard of our faith and practice.

And still im convinced that there is more light to be shed on our hearts and revealed from the Word of God. Who can exhaust the Word of God or the knowledge of God in Christ? We know in part.

Just few reflections.

***edited***


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Redi

 2009/11/20 17:35Profile
TaylorOtwell
Member



Joined: 2006/6/19
Posts: 927
Arkansas

 Re:

Brother Leo,

Thank you for the gracious response. I'll consider and meditate on your thoughts.

With care in Christ...


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Taylor Otwell

 2009/11/20 20:47Profile
ADisciple
Member



Joined: 2007/2/3
Posts: 835
Alberta, Canada

 Re: The folly of man-made labels (*isms) attached to God's teachings.

That's a good word, Leo.

And Alan, what you said about calling no man father... Very good.

We are children of Light Himself... not some man.

I liked what Redi shared as well.

It seems we (as God's people) have a ways to go to come to this kind of unity, in which we are flowing together in an unceasing, ever-increasing stream of living truth instead of insistently laying claim to our own little puddle.


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Allan Halton

 2009/11/20 22:52Profile
jimp
Member



Joined: 2005/6/18
Posts: 1481


 Re:

hi, thank you all for a sane and Godly approach to this subject... my hebrews professor asked a great question one day...can a traffic light be green and red at the same time? they are always green and red at the same time but it depends on how you approach them...none of us have all the answers but we answer all the questions...humble us o Lord...jimp

 2009/11/21 3:23Profile
twayneb
Member



Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 1941
Joplin, Missouri

 Re:

Leo,

God had me spend quite a bit of time in the first three chapters of 1 Cor. a few years back. Amen to your post. Men such as Calvin, Luther, Wesley, Apollos, Cephas, and on the list goes have been called of God to minister to the body of Christ and are to be esteemed and respected as a man respects an elder in the faith. The fact that God used them does not mean they were infallible. These men were right about much, and wrong about much as well. To allow God to use their teachings to challenge us and to open our eyes to, perhaps, formerly unconsidered areas of the word of God is greatly beneficial and part of God's design for their ministry. To fall into lock step with their doctrinal stance and say, "I am a Calvanist, I am an Armenian, I am a (fill in the blank)in my opinion placed us in the category of being carnal and walking as men. I truly believe it God's desire that we all come into unity of doctrine (1 Cor. 1:10). Possible? I believe I see it happening in the body more and more. But it only comes as we esteem the word of God greater than our own ideas about the word of God and are willing to have our minds changed by the word of God no matter how offensive the change seems to our sense of tradition.

Travis


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Travis

 2009/11/21 17:46Profile





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