Disclaimer: About This Blog

THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Clarification: What is essential?

OK. My wife has given me some feedback on my previous post. So I'll add more to try to clarify.

I'm sorry if my post came across to simplistic. As if the only thing we need to agree on is love and unity. I believe love and unity are essentials that are often overlooked. But they are not the only essentials. There are many things all Christ followers do agree on. And many things we disagree about.

So to clarify my point, allow me to ask a bigger question:

What is essential to being a Christ follower?

How about some of theses (in no particular order):

1) Agree that Jesus is Lord
2) Agree that Jesus is God
3) Agree that Jesus became a man
4) Agree that Jesus saves
5) Live a life full of God's Love
6) Live in unity with God's family
7) Live guided by the Holy Spirit
8) Make other disciples of Jesus
9) Pray to God/Jesus
10) Care for the poor

Or these easy ones:

10) Agree that God is all powerful
11) Agree that Luke wrote Acts
12) Agree that Adam was a man
13) Agree that Noah built an Ark
14) Agree that God knows all things

Are some of these essentials?

15) Agree that we should never pray to saints
16) Agree that salvation is by faith alone
17) Agree that Christians should never smoke, drink or dance or hang out with those who do.
18) Agree that KJV is the best translation
19) The gospel that we should be preaching is the gospel of the kingdom that Jesus and His disciples preached
20) The Trin­ity
21) Agree that God loves sinners
22) Agree that God will torture sinners for eternity in a conscious state.
23) Agree that believers should attend a weekly service under the leadership of an ordained minister.
24) Agree that TULIP sums up the gospel.
25) Agree that NT believers should give a tithe to a local church.
26) Agree that infants should be baptized

How can we determine what is an essential?

If something is clearly truth (from my point of view), can I simply claim it is an essential and conclude those who disagree with me are not really saved. I'm pretty sure I'll never find anyone who agrees with me on everything.

What if someone doesn't value unity or love.... I am certain those are essentials... what do I do?

I suspect the ones that are simple, the ones that have massive Scriptural support, are likely the ones that are essential.

Or is it less about agreeing to a list of beliefs, and more about following our Lord?

Maybe I don't need to know with certainty who all is in and who is out?

Thoughts? Do you think I've missed any big essentials? Is it dangerous to make such a list?


Lysa said...

does unity mean that we all must all think alike?

Jonathan said...

Hi Lysa,

Consider a family, or any place of work. Does everyone need to think alike for things to work out OK? Differences make things interesting and challenging, but it is normal to have differences.

But sometimes within the family of God we have a hard time dealing with differences.

But no, I don't think so. What do you think?

Lysa said...

I agree with you Jon! I've been following your blog for almost a year now and it is apparent that the Lord has us both on very similar journeys.

The question I posted was one that Holy Spirit had asked me. In my journey to overcome being a pharisee (in the past), He revealed to me how my idea of unity was based upon the fact that my perception of a unified Body was one where everyone thought the same; more specifically, thought like me! EEK!

He pulled me out (literally) of my "Church setting" and placed me on a new path; a path of liberation - freedom (which is what Jesus intended from the beginning anyway). :)

Thank you for your openness and willingness to share. You raise some very good, thought provoking points and I am thankful that I "stumbled" across your blog one day.

Contine in blessing!