"In Essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In all things, love"

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by steaver, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. steaver

    steaver
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    How would you classify your own treasured beliefs about subjects such as OSAS, TULIP, Rapture Timing, Etc?

    And please explain your classifications. :wavey:
     
  2. Dr. Walter

    Dr. Walter
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    This is a difficult question to answer. The difficulty lies in providing scripture sufficiently explicit to support your selections. There must be unity in regard to the Biblical essentials or "the faith once delivered."

    1. The Non-negotiables: Whatever the Bible explicitly or implicitly demands to be non-negotiable must be regarded as absolutely essential and beyond compromise.

    Examples of non-negotiables are passages like Galatians 1:8-9; Luke 13:3,6; Jn. 3:6; etc.

    2. The Unique Game-Changers: Whatever is essential to distinguish New Testament Christianity from other world religions and from predicted apostate Christianity must be regarded as absolutely essential and beyond compromise.

    Examples are the Triune Nature of God, the virgin birth, incarnation and absolute humanity and deity of Jesus Christ, etc.

    3. The Preservers: Whatever doctrine and practice necessary to preserve the above two principles must be regarded as essential and beyond compromise.

    Examples are the inspiration and final authority of scriptures (2 Tim. 3:16-27; 2 Pet. 1:19-21; Isa. 8:20); The great commission characteristics (Mt. 28:19-20) and the nature and character of the New Testament congregation.
     
  3. steaver

    steaver
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    Thank you brother Walter! Good counsel :thumbs:
     
  4. 12strings

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    Am I right to assume OSAS is "once saved always saved?

    I would classify Essentials to be Salvation by grace through Faith in Christ, Who Jesus is. (these are things that helps us determine if someone is a chrsitian or not)

    A Second teir level would be those things that are important, but not required for salvation: Baptism of beleivers, church government... (these are things that would usually require 2 different churches to exist... I don't believe all presbyterians are unsaved, but a Baptist who believes in congregational rule would be VERY frustrated in a presbyterian church.

    a third level would be things that christians can disagree on and remain in fellowship at the same church:
    -Tulip, OSAS. (Others might put these up higher, but I know we have all ranges of beliefs on these issues held by godly members of our church)
    -Rapture/Eschotalogy views - Not something worth separating over...AT ALL!
    (I'm not saying these things are not important and don't affect the way we live out our faith, but Christians can legitimatly disagree and remain in fellowship)

    Now, There are parts of The TULIP discussion that start to creep up and touch on essentials...to give some examples on both sides:
    -One who denies that he is fallen at all, and so has no need of God's salvation, or who thinks he can work his way.
    -One who denies that we should share the gospel because God knows who will believe.
    -One who believes that they get saved and unsaved several times a day based on their sin and repentance probably does not understand the gospel.
     
  5. Dr. Walter

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    I would agree with you that it is not required for anyone to believe in the doctrine of OSAS to be saved. However, we are talking about "doctrines" that are essential to salvation and the DOCTRINE of OSAS is essential for anyone to be saved as OSAS simply means justification by grace alone through faith in Christ alone without any basis upon your personal works but wholly upon the personal works of Christ in your place. That is the basis of OSAS and as a doctrine it is more essential to salvation than any other doctrine in God's word as it is in reality the essence and underlying foundation of the "good news" of the gospel.

    Hence, you can be saved without understanding it or embracing it as a doctrine but you cannot be saved without it and so it is doctrinally essential to salvation. You cannot compromise OSAS without compromising the very heart of the gospel itself.
     
    #5 Dr. Walter, Oct 4, 2011
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  6. Dr. Walter

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    There are different levels of essential doctrine. There is a level that deals with salvation alone or what is essential for one to be saved. However, there are essentials in regard to the level of proper service. This distinction is not acknowledged by the majority of professed Christians because they confuse it with their essentials to be saved.

    Baptism is essential to proper service under the New Covenant as it is the FIRST step of obedience. Those who do not submit to baptism or just got wet by having water sprinkled or poured upon them are in disobedience to God and have no right to church membership, partaking of the supper, etc.


    Therefore as a "doctrine" it is essential and cannot be compromised as it is inseparably connected with the proper view of salvation and service and many other things are contingent upon a proper view of it.

    Hence, Baptism is the FIRST ESSENTIAL to proper service and without it there is no basis to form a congregation of Christ, no basis to observe the Lord's supper and no basis to be called a "church of Christ" in the New Testament sense.

    Hence, it is VITALLY ESSENTIAL for proper service to God under the New Covenant and stands first after conversion to the gospel. Hence, it cannot be compromised without a domino effect that compromises the true nature of a New Testament congregation, proper candidates for observing the Lord's Supper, ordinantion, etc.

    There is no such thing in the New Testament as congregations of unbaptized believers.

    P.S. I read your post again and I think that is what you mean by a second "teir"! Not that you do not believe baptism is essential but it is not on the same level with salvation. Sorry about misunderstanding you.
     
    #6 Dr. Walter, Oct 4, 2011
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  7. Dr. Walter

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    "in all things love"

    Yes, but not "sloppy agape." Love is inseparable from a committment to what is right and doing what is right - it is an act of the will not merely a consequence of the emotions.

    Gentleness is called for those who are sincerely wrong and patience is required for room to learn and grow. You can tell when you are dealing with a sincere and objective person who simply errs.

    Rebuke is love for those who do not receive gentle correction. Sharp rebuke is love for those who will not respond to rebuke.

    Disfellowship is love for those who are hardened in their errors and will not turn from them and/or who sit in the seat of the scorner and attempt to teach others their pernicious ways.


    "in non-essentials liberty"

    There are issues that those who otherwise are sound in essentials for salvation and service but who differ about relatively non-essentials. Usually, it is about those texts or things that are unclear or ambiguous that do not affect the gospel or any other essential doctrine in God's word. For example, differences about who authored the book of Hebrews or feet washing whether it is a custom or a symbolic ordinance, women's headcovering whether it is the hair or an additional covering to the hair, etc. Things that are not clearly stated/defined or that scriptures place no emphatic emphasis upon.
     
    #7 Dr. Walter, Oct 4, 2011
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  8. 12strings

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    So would you see presbyterians (who baptize infants as well as adults who come to faith later in life) as having... "no basis to form a congregation of Christ, no basis to observe the Lord's supper and no basis to be called a "church of Christ" in the New Testament sense." ?
     
  9. Dr. Walter

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    Can you find any example of such in the New Testament? Can you find where church membership preceded baptism in the New Testament? Can you find any example where unbaptized persons observed the Lord's Supper or were ordained or were part of those who ordained others in the New Testament?

    In contrast, Can you find baptism as a commandment in the New Testament?
     

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