Limits of Ecumenism

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by JohnB, Feb 27, 2006.

  1. JohnB

    JohnB
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    What are the limits of ecumenism?

    For example, most here would probably see the Roman Catholic church as apostate, despite
    the RCC being orthodox in much, but not all of it theology.( Trinitarian, believing in the inerrancy of scripture, the deity of Christ, his miracles, His resurrection, his death to pay for our sins)

    Like the RCC, a lot of Protestant churches hold to a mixture of orthodox theology an false doctrines.

    A (not comprehensive)list of examples:

    Church of Christ - Baptism for salvation & conditional salvation
    Methodist - conditional salvation
    Presbyterians - infant baptism & Calvinism
    Lutherans - consubstantiation & infant baptism
    Oneness Pentecostals- non-trinitarian

    My point is this - most protestants have no problem condemning the RC church. Yet they are willing to overlook the false doctrines of other protestants.

    On what basis should we decide which doctrines are cause for seperation?
    In short, if I wouldn't worship with a Catholic, why should I worship with a Presbyterian?

    (And please don't say "the Bible." I take that as a given. All the protestant groups above would say the same thing...and come to different conclusions!)
     
  2. StraightAndNarrow

    StraightAndNarrow
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    If I believe that a sincere adherent of another denomination will be saved based on their beliefs I will join with them against the world. How can we reject those whom Christ will accept?
     
  3. Johnv

    Johnv
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    When it comes to people of different faiths, I will work with people whom I work with, associate with people whom I associate with, and pray with people I whom I pray with. I will let the Holy Spirit do the rest.
     
  4. Humblesmith

    Humblesmith
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    The bible makes two very clear distinctions: The things that we are commanded to divide over, and the things we are commanded not to divide over. Personally, I think we can safely add a third:

    1. Essential doctrines: such as in 1 Cor. 15 where we're told that if Christ be not raised, we're still in our sins and our faith is in vain. Essential doctrines are those that impact the nature of God, Christ, and salvation. They include things such as: virgin birth, deity of Christ, monotheism, salvation by grace through faith, etc. Wrong here, and you're not Christian.

    2. Aberrant (not "essential" but very important doctrines). If you're wrong here, you might be a Christian, but I'm going to break fellowship with you. Abberrant is hard to discern, but would include things like issues involving baptism and communion. If a church is wrong here, I wouldn't join, but they might still be Christian.

    3. Non-essentials: In Romans 14, we're told to not divide over things such as diet and the keeping of days, even if someone is wrong about them.


    Non-essentials: this list is is virtually infinite, and includes the things like pastors' wearing robes, the name of the church, and the things in Rom. 14 (diet and sabbath-keeping).

    A fourth category could be made for graduates of Texas A&M and certain northern universities........ :D

    Interestingly, due to our fallen human nature, most church splits are over non-essentials.
     
  5. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea
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    JohnB wrote,

    Whether a doctrine is true or false depends upon the denomination that you belong to.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Humblesmith

    Humblesmith
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    Whether a doctrine is true or false depends upon the denomination that you belong to.

    [​IMG]
    [/QUOTE]


    This sentence that I've quoted.......is it true for everyone, or just you?
    If it's true for everyone, then you've given me a universal doctrine that is true for everyone.

    If it's only true for you, then other people can have a doctrine that is true for everyone.

    Either that, or you were making humor, and I'm WAY too serious. [​IMG]
     
  7. Joseph_Botwinick

    Joseph_Botwinick
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    If I can't say the Bible, then there are no limits. Accept any and all heresy.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  8. rbell

    rbell
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    I have noticed sometimes in SBC circles that there are attempts to dialogue with other Christian circles, but not toward the more liberal wing of Baptist life (the CBF in particular). Sometimes we fight more with folks we're closer to theologically.

    Humble, I like your classificatons (I'm still digesting them). I bet that the "aberrant" stuff is what really gets people sideways. I mean, division over the carpet color is just stupid and it's Satan winning the battle. Non-division over essential matters means you no longer have a functioning body of Christ, but a self-help group instead. That stuff in the middle can get pretty squirrely, though...
     
  9. Johnv

    Johnv
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    It's called unrighteous pride. I'm amused at how when a SBC church works with a local Jewish congregation on a community event, nothing is said. But when a SBC church works with, say, Calvary Chapel, all Hades braeaks loose!!!
     
  10. saturneptune

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    Of course, John B, you know you are taking your life in your own hands by adding Calvinism on your life of other denominations. [​IMG]
     
  11. JohnB

    JohnB
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    Saturnuptune -

    And I didn't even mention amillenialism and covenant theology!
     
  12. Brother James

    Brother James
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    You've got to have a lot of grace brother. There is a lot of false doctrine among Baptist. Like dispensationalism and Arminianism.
     
  13. JohnB

    JohnB
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    James,

    I understand. My question is, what makes one doctrine an intramural debate and another doctrine a cause for seperation? Where is the line?

    I think most fundamentalist baptists would agree that the RCC is an apostate church. I doubt that many Baptist pastors would share a conference platform with a RCC bishop. But many would have no problem sharing a platform with Moethodists, Lutherans or Presbyterians.
     
  14. Pete Richert

    Pete Richert
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    I will work with anyone who has had their heart of stone removed and replaced with a heart of flesh, who sins are not counted agaist them, who is a new creation by God's power. I believe all of those whom God has drawn to himself will, "confess with [their] mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in [thier] heart that God has raised Him from the dead".
     
  15. Brother James

    Brother James
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    I draw the line at anyone who believes in salvation by works or denies one of the fundamentals of the faith.
     

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