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Friday, January 05, 2007

Why do you believe...?

Note: 1/7/07 The article below should reference the Doctrine of the Church at Rome and not Corinth.

Those of you who read here know I find Denominationalism to be a bad alternative for Church discipline. I am now becoming more and more convinced it is also one of the greatest deterrents to doctrinal purity, which I also find to be the greatest cause for division among believers. I had to withdraw from discussion on my previous article in order to examine my belief and subsequent attitude toward doctrinal purity with respect to division in the body of Christ. I am still considering my understanding and studying this topic and I would appreciate having your thoughts here and your prayers.

“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.”
Romans 16:17-18 (KJV)
I know I am simple but the above verse seems to me to be very easy to understand and requires only that we know the doctrine taught to the Church at Corinth in order to comply. My primary concern is that many today would define the term “doctrine” as meaning “my system of theology” allowing them to justify denominational divisions.

Why do you believe you know the doctrine learned by the Corinthians?

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38 Comments:

Blogger Kc said...

At present I believe the Bible and in particular the NT, contains that doctrine and anything we might teach as doctrine, or “Truth” outside of that should be considered divisive and offensive. I don’t think it vital to have a full understanding of the scripture to know when you hear false doctrine. It simply is not in the scripture. Likewise I don’t find it necessary to understand why God required a sacrifice for our sin, only the knowledge that He did. How much understanding is required in order to "do the truth"?

I don’t think it contrary to study theology by any means, but to teach it as doctrine might well be a grave error.

1/05/2007 05:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When you consider all the things to which scripture refers as "abomination," it seems clear to my mind that denominationalism should be at the head of that list. One needs to look no further than the fruit borne from it. Strife, divisions, hatred, intolerance, dilution of the message of Christ and yes, doctrinal ambiguity are all manifestations of the Church's inability to carry out the Prime Directive (Love God, love each other).

Likewise, Augustine of Hippo, in book one of "On Christian Doctrine," rightly asserts that any man who claims to understand the Scriptures, but does not interpret them to reflect love and charity, does not really understand them (Keep this thought in the back of your mind, because, at some later point, I'm going to make the claim that behaving in love is infinitely more important than understanding everything correctly, even for the most seasoned Christian).

Let me reiterate the need for definitions, lest our assumptions hijack this outstanding topic. I can see that it will be very easy to get sidetracked by discussing specific issues and devolve our discussion into a debate on a particular doctrine.

What are the sound doctrines upon which we all agree and, for the purposes of our discussion, how can we insulate them from our theologies? For instance, scripture speaks to the doctrine of predestination, but my understanding of it differs dramatically from someone else's.

Similarly, the doctrine of the Trinity is fairly well accepted across many denominational lines. I grew up believing it (because I was told to, not because I had ANY understanding of it). But today, I don't really have an opinion on the whole "one, yet three, yet one" mystery. I don't see why having three separate beings, being of one mind and acting in complete unity is all that dangerous to traditional dogma. But would my ambivalence to this doctrine qualify me as one to be avoided?

I think this will be an awesome discussion, and I hope I can devote sufficient time to do it justice, but it's going to be supremely difficult to step outside our theologies in order to do it right. I don't think most people can even make the distinction.

1/05/2007 08:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Timothy said...

Had a wonderful reply... but google/blogger ate it... :(

1/05/2007 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger Mrs Zeke said...

"I know I am simple but the above verse seems to me to be very easy to understand and requires only that we know the doctrine taught to the Church at Corinth in order to comply. My primary concern is that many today would define the term “doctrine” as meaning “my system of theology” allowing them to justify denominational divisions."

This wonderful creative human race would like all doctrines to be what they want. So enter the denomination. Enter the ones over there with the "right" understanding and the ones over here with the "right" understanding. The ones above with the "right" understanding and the ones below with the "right" understanding.

There is so much "right" there is no wrong. Does anyone ask there belief to be faithful to God or do they ask there belief to be something they can relate to? So in the end is our effort to be separate and right really about wanting our faith to bend to us instead of bending, breaking, growing to more understanding of the faith.

If I dare say because of my believed doctrine I understand God what a stupid fool I am.
Romans 16:17-18 could be talking about the Trinity and anyone not in agreement with this...or?

Christ says come through me to the Father. He does not say come from the church here or there or above or below to me then to the Father.
John says if you have hate for your brother then you have no love of Christ in you, and how many hate because of denomination?
Paul says without love you have nothing, do we express love to each other when we question because of small issue's?
If we do not express love then how then can we say we have love?

Why have a set belief? I am not talking about God, Jesus, the principles and laws I am talking about to dance or not, to get a tat or not, can gay's be saved or not...the stuff that seems to really fire up denomination division.

Not real issues like changing the words of the Bible, using the Bible to beat into submission, Changing Christ from one who came in love, honor and compassion into one filled with rage, curses and no mercy are things there is never an excuse for but the junk... is junk. We are all blessed it is deeper then that for God otherwise none have hope.

Be loved

1/05/2007 01:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When you guys figure out what the 'real' truth is, the one all those denominations have diluted, please write a book about it and send me a copy - I'd really like to read it. Then we could teach others about it and start having meetings; maybe erect a building where we and all those we can convince can come to proclaim and teach the 'truth'. You know, we'll be a regular denomination in no time!

... Wait...

1/05/2007 02:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seriously though, isn't it obvious that you are already developing a systematic theology whether you like it or not?

1/05/2007 02:58:00 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

I assume the doctrine you are talking about is Paul's teaching on salvation. If not please correct me.

But even if it is not, if I look at the verse you quoted in Romans carefully, it seems to me that the reasons denominations were started was because people didn't follow Pauls words here and avoid these people. And i assume the "simple" or unsuspecting were led astray and followed these deceivers because of their "good works"(sound familiar) and "fair" or flattering speech.

But here is the rub, especially in the American churches. We are several generations into this "learned" denominational mess and people from each denomination are trying to do exactly what this verse is telling them to do but with their own interpetation or doctrine. IOW everyone is thinking they are defending the "simple" from other denomination's "good works" and flattering speech.

I've said it once and hundred times, our problem, me especially, is we have all eaten from the tree of knowledge of good and evil and we think we know what is good and evil in our minds. Only God is good and that is plain to see, not only because Jesus told the rich young ruler this, but because of history's testimony to mankinds rule over this earth apart from God.

1/05/2007 05:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It has crossed my mind that in the story of the NT church, the church everyone strives to get back to, disciples very quickly began to veer off in tangents and break fellowship. In fact, it seems to me that the entire NT after the Gospel is entirely dedicated to urging the churches to unity and warning of divisiveness.

I always take Jesus' teachings to be THE DOCTRINE. There are so many stories in the OT that are full of truth, wisdom and warning, but not necessarily the example to imitate. Is it wrong to consider that the story of the NT Church is not the example to follow - but the story of how men went astray?

I am not saying that is what I believe - but it is a uneducated thought I am considering.

1/05/2007 06:30:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

You guys are such a blessing to me. Thanks to everyone for participating. Pastor I hope you find time to give it another try. ;-)

Brandon, I too envy Dorsey’s rare gift but sarcasm doesn’t work at all for me either (grin), though I do read you loud and clear. ;-)

Both you and Adam have pointed out how theology and philosophy are fluid in our lives. As individuals we use them as tools in both relating, and relating with the truth and we alter them as our perspective changes and our understanding grows. The truth does not change, only our perspective, but it often has a drastic affect on our philosophy and/or theology. If we relate the Gospel through our own systems of theology then our message will be inconsistent even though His message is not. Can we then honestly say we teach the truth?

We, as the Church, should have a consistent message and what I am suggesting here is that we repent from trusting in our own understanding and vain philosophy and trust only in the power of His word. We should teach “all things whatsoever” Christ commanded without the trappings of our individual interpretations as filtered through our own systems of theology. I suspect that for most of us the best way to accomplish this is to honestly examine our own presuppositions and determine to presuppose only those things taught by Christ and His apostles. This approach would also leave believers free to develop a full understanding of important theological constructs that are presently imposed on them without any understanding. How can anyone come to an understanding of something they are not even allowed to question (i.e. Dorsey’s thoughts on the Trinity)?

Given my suggestion above the question that remains unanswered is the one I that I ask in my post. How do we know the doctrine of Christ and His apostles? Again I say only through the scripture, whether fully understood or not, and there is no cause for division beyond that caused by those who accept the scripture for doctrine and those who do not. All determinations then become internal to the body, through proper discipline, and not through denominational division and strife.

1/06/2007 06:13:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

For most of us, the attitude seems to be: "If everybody would just believe like I do, we'd be a perfect church."

I have always wondered why Jesus prayed the prayer recorded in John 17 in which He asked the Father to make us one.

Did, or will, His prayer be answered?

Do we have a role in seeing to its answer?

1/06/2007 09:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the question of the age.

1/06/2007 09:48:00 AM  
Anonymous sofyst said...

When first reading this post, and then Kc's comment and then Dorsey's, I had within me the desire to find the common denominator between us all. I thought that surely if we could find this 'Corinthian Doctrine' or the basic sum of our faith, and adhere to this whole heartedly, never letting our other opinions on other doctrines deter us from recognizing that we are all brothers in Christ, then we truly could mimick the the Christian ideal.

I think both Dorsey and I would agree that 'predestination' is taught within Scripture. However, when we say 'predestination', we both mean different things. But all that is crap when you consider that both Dorsey and I believe that Jesus is God (let us say this is the common denominator). The fact that we both believe Jesus is God is reason enough for us to be able to call each other brother and to recognize that our differing opinions on what 'predestination' means is no different than our differing opinions on what beer is better (MEXICAN!).

But I am then pulled back by the arguments of Brandon (and normally my own). The minute we begin to find that common denominator, and develop some creed that we think is basic to all of Christiandom, or what makes us brothers, we begin to start the process of 'Denominationalism' (this shall be the name of this process). EVEN if we adopted some of the first creeds (like the Apostle's) and said that this is what we would do, we have only bypassed an initial step (developing a creed) and yet have nonetheless began the Denominational process...

So, I then grab my hair and begin to scream.

I am of the opinion that the lack of Denominationalism would be an ideal, just as the lack of sin would be, but both are 'ideals' that cannot be realized within this world until Jesus comes. Perhaps it would be better that Denominations not exist, but given the vast amount of impurity within the church, perhaps they are necessary. Perhaps they are required given we are in a postfall society.

1/06/2007 09:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

kc said,
If we relate the Gospel through our own systems of theology then our message will be inconsistent even though His message is not. Can we then honestly say we teach the truth?

The point of my previous comment was precisely that we cannot escape the systematization(?) of our beliefs. To read scripture is to attempt to understand what is written. You are effectively saying, "I think the bible teaches we shouldn't interpret it." Which is a Catch 22, since you are already interpreting it in order to make that assertion.

I don't really see the problem with you and I holding varying beliefs about what the scriptures teach, as long as we love one another. I don't think it can be called 'not teaching the truth' either for us to communicate the gospel thru our own understandings. I'm teaching the only truth I know to the best of my ability. Since it is not I who saves but god, I can preach and teach my understanding of the gospel with confidence knowing that god will call and god will save even if I unintentionally misrepresent the scripture in some facet of my theology/gospel.

Error is unavoidable, but I challenge you to share with me a gospel free from systemization and, in theory, any error.

1/06/2007 05:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The fact that we both believe Jesus is God is reason enough for us to be able to call each other brother and to recognize that our differing opinions on what 'predestination' means is no different than our differing opinions on what beer is better (MEXICAN!)."

Personally, I think the beer question is far more important than the predestination issue. And I'll assume that your response is a result of you living in the middle of nowhere. If, someday you decide that you do, indeed, want some hair on your chest, I shall introduce you to some Belgian Trappist ales, made by God's own servants, that will set you free, indeed.

Seriously, Adam is very correct that these differences need not (and in our case, DO not) divide us. But in pondering his comment, I'm struck by another question. Once we find that common denominator, is it possible to let it be just that--a commonality, and not the foundation for a creed? Do we need to build on it? I don't discount the idea that some degree of systemization is inevitable, but I certainly am not prepared to rely on it as a means to approach truth.

Still thinking...

Oh, I also have a question about this post, Kc. The scripture you used was from Romans. Did you mean to ask about the doctrine taught to the Corinthians, or should it be the doctrine given the Romans?

1/06/2007 07:10:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Dorsey, how can I effectively discuss this issue if you intend to confuse us with the facts!? ;-)

Seriously, I apologize for my error. I had originally started this post with both the verse from Romans and 1st Corinthians 1:10 then removed reference to the latter at the last minute.

1/07/2007 03:55:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Adam, are we brethren by agreement in our understanding or by virtue of our birth and heritage? ;-)

Brandon, I am not saying there is no system or that we shouldn’t strive to comprehend it. I am saying that there is only one system and we cannot comprehend it through Systematic Theology. We may well relate to the truth with these systems but these systems are not the truth and should never be presented as such. They are only one tool used by men to try and relate the truth but the truth, as related to men, can only be found in the doctrines of Christ and His apostles. Denominationalism is one consequence of these systems of theology masquerading as those doctrines.

“Error is unavoidable, but I challenge you to share with me a gospel free from systemization and, in theory, any error.”

I honestly don’t intend to be sarcastic with this remark but isn’t this akin to saying that the evil we do is justified by virtue of it’s existence? I accept that none of us will be perfected in this life but I refuse to accept imperfection and must therefore strive for perfection in this life. The Gospel message is perfect and we should strive to present it accordingly. We cannot do this when we shroud it in systems that are rife with “unavoidable error”. I say let these issues be resolved in the Church, not before it.

1/07/2007 06:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Adam, are we brethren by agreement in our understanding or by virtue of our birth and heritage? ;-)

I would say both, but one necessarily is derived from the other.

How could we have the same birth and heritage if we did not first agree in understanding?

If I believed in Jesus for salvation, and you believed in Buddha to save you, we would not have the same birth and heritage, would we?

1/07/2007 12:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dorsey, the belgian drunkard, said,

Once we find that common denominator, is it possible to let it be just that--a commonality, and not the foundation for a creed? Do we need to build on it?

I think this a good question, and I think it is the reason we do have denominations. I don't think denominations or seperation came about because of a desire to find a commonality between Christians, but rather the necessary need of humans to 'systematize' (as I tried to assert above).

I think that the evidence of this is given by the existence of the Apostle's Creed (whether this was given by the Apostle's or not, I don't think relevant).

All Christians at that time agreed upon this as a foundational denominator of agreement between them all.

But humans are fickle and necessarily need to think and to ponder (or at least some do, some are capable of complacency and are able to dwell upon the simple - they are simple minded). So, you get some thinkers together to agree upon a common creed and they will eventually start arguing about the meaning of the creed or the necessary outcome of the creed.

If they are able to settle their differences, or to realize that their disagreements CAN be worked out without division, or if they can understand that their differences and disagreements are superfluous to the commonality that they hold, THEN they will remain as one body of fellowship.

However, when they begin to let these superfluous disagreements divide, they will seperate because of their unreconciable differences.

You see I don't think the desire of some to systematize or to think upon the 'common creed' and to delve into its implications are bad. Only when those thinkings bring about division. But even then, the thinking or pondering was not bad, but it was the immaturity of the ponderer that proved fatal.

Systematic Theology, or Theology in general is not bad, but when placed in the hands of the immature we see that it produces great division.

1/07/2007 12:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kc, it seems to me that you are attempting to 'throw out the baby with the bathwater' (to use a cliche).

It is not that thinking, or systematizing, is wrong. It is when it is not done in love.

EVERYONE should strive to think deeper and more clearly about the Scriptures, and this is done through 'systematizing' or attempting to comprehend how it all fits together.

The person that is able to look to all the Scripture that says there is one God, and likewise look to the Scripture that says three different persons are called God, and yet NOT attempt to resolve this difficulty in their head is a very very strange person. We do not consider people who can live with illogical difficulties and not be perplexed as great thinkers or sages, we rather think of them as being ludicrous and insane (they are the people that have no problem thinking that they are a glass of orange juice that can talk...).

Understand?

But when people attempt to work through these difficulties with each other, in love (as we do here), and sharpen the iron of each other, THAT is when we behave as Christians.

You cannot look at the people who do this without love and therefore argue and bicker as reason to not 'systematize'.

1/07/2007 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger Mrs Zeke said...

Well I am ludicrous and insane then :)
but
I am glad I am not a great thinker or sage cause knowing me that would make me prideful and arrogant which considering how far God has brought me that fall would be painful indeed!

I am off to go play with some shiny things and go ponder the very simple things of creation, like how much I am loved cause why else would there be so many beautiful colors!

Be loved, you are, insane or sage.
I try, God does

1/07/2007 01:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mrs Zeke, I hope you did not take offense to my statement. Truth be told, there are times when I wish that I was able to dwell only upon the simple. I cannot tell you how many nights I have stayed awake, unable to think, because I cannot resolve a conflict within my mind. Some philosophical matter perplexes me and I cannot sleep or think on anything else until that is resolved.

I tell this to some friends of mine and they say I'm stupid and shouldn't worry about such meaningless things. These issues are impractical to them (which in reality they are impractical) and therefore should not be my concern.

However, not all of us are built as practical beings, I am not. I am more theoretical. The practicalities of life such as eating and sleeping or making friends do not always come naturally to peopel like I. Sometimes I wish these things did, but I am joyous for who God has made me.

I hope you don't think I was positing one as better than the other. I think them both necessary. The practical and simple people need the thinkers to engage them and to not allow them to become lazy and complacent. The thinkers need the practical people to pull them from the clouds every once in a while and to make them go to bed...

1/07/2007 01:33:00 PM  
Blogger Mrs Zeke said...

My Dear Sofyst I have much more respect for you then to think I know your motives and also to assume your motives bad. I was being my normal silly but also serious way. Thank you for clarifying just in case that's awesome!

I have been on overload so long that the dwelling on the simple is the only thing I can do. I spent so many years writing apologetics, study, dwelling on deep matters that I frankly burnt my thinking matter up it fell out my ear:)
Life being what it is and the things we have had to deal with as of late I no longer have the luxury of wrapping my head around such things right now.

"However, not all of us are built as practical beings, I am not. I am more theoretical. The practicalities of life such as eating and sleeping or making friends do not always come naturally to people like I. Sometimes I wish these things did, but I am joyous for who God has made me."

I understand this our baby well not so much a baby at 19 but she is very much like you in this sense. She is an artist to the core and loves God and all she wants to do in honor Him. She is not as outward as you and I would say almost a complete recluse because she will not make a move unless she has a understanding it is ok with God. Us lesser beings in the house attempt to push her but she won't have it.

Practical is not what anyone who knows me would say..... but I can see why you would. You see I worry that in our efforts to understand as wonderful as the reason those efforts are there we forget the places in between. The places that keep us honest and not wrapped in ourselves to much. That comes from me because when I am in my own head to much I become so myopic I loose the bigger picture. That view in my mind is very important. In the end for me its not practical it is simple. I want to live my eternity in Heaven more then anything wonderful I have on earth and I want to see people I know and people I love there to. Heck everyone would be cool. That is not in my power, but no matter what I strive to do if God does not want it done it does not matter.

You all here on this blog get into some talks that to me sound like blah blah blah blah. I don't mean that flippant I mean you all are doing your thing and its cool, I love to see your minds in action. It is not what God has bestowed on me any longer for now, for this time. So I am really very cool with being insane as long as I don't have to wear matching fuchsia jumpsuits.

Sofyst you were prayerfully and wonderfully made just how you are and that is exactly how you are to be at this time and maybe forever. Just like our baby may sit in her loft paint her pictures, write her songs, poems and stories and ponder if every move she makes is pleasing to God, now, for a time and maybe forever. It is what He created. I accept it I don't ponder it because God has not given me direction or the energy to do so.

Plus I need you all to be pondering in public so I can come and check if my brain still works :)

You are loved brother, simple or not and I am thankful for you as you are

1/07/2007 02:56:00 PM  
Blogger curious servant said...

Interesting discussion. Not sure how to weigh in on it, but I have enjoyed reading through what these folks have had to say.

1/07/2007 07:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made a comment, and this stupid google/blogger merger messed it up...I don't remember what I said.

1/07/2007 10:11:00 PM  
Blogger Mrs Zeke said...

You were gonna say I love Dorsey huh?

Be loved you are

1/07/2007 11:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you blame him?

1/07/2007 11:41:00 PM  
Blogger Mrs Zeke said...

For loving you no way! that's easy...
hahaha your easy :)

be loved

1/07/2007 11:45:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Adam, you ask;

“How could we have the same birth and heritage if we did not first agree in understanding?”

I would say that by the grace of God through faith in Christ Jesus we are born in to the family of God by virtue of the spirit birth. I know we agree that this is often accomplished by God in spite of any present understanding.

“If I believed in Jesus for salvation, and you believed in Buddha to save you, we would not have the same birth and heritage, would we?”

No. We may be of the family of men in the flesh but we become part of the family of God through the spirit birth.

Please understand I am not trying to condemn the use of Systematic Theology though I do condemn the way it is primarily used. We have all agreed that it is love that should bind and distinguish us as believers but instead we allow our creeds and confessions to make that distinction and bind us apart form each other. We demand their preeminence and refuse fellowship with others based soley on their authority when we assemble. Isn’t this identical to the Roman error? For that matter, isn’t it Pharasitical?

I am proposing that we give Christ the preeminence and recognize the authority of His doctrines over these systems and no longer define fellowship as an agreement in understanding but as the willingness to work together to resolve our differences.

1/08/2007 05:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am proposing that we give Christ the preeminence and recognize the authority of His doctrines over these systems and no longer define fellowship as an agreement in understanding but as the willingness to work together to resolve our differences.

AH! but don't see the idea you are proposing? How can we be willing to work together to resolve our differences, if we do not first know what our differences are? And how can we know what our differences are, if we do not first 'state' them, or at least find out our similarities?

What if we defined fellowship as an agreement in understanding of the doctrines of Christ?

But the question would arise, what are the doctrines of Christ? That is the task we must do. And I think as Brandon pointed out, the minute we begin to do so, we practice 'theology'.

1/08/2007 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Adam, what I question is not so much what we do but when, where and how we do it. Do we state our differences and resolve them over time as we study, serve and pray together or must these things be determined before prayer, study and service together is even possible? Do we practice theology by hurling public insults like enemies tossing hand-grenades across denominational lines or assembled together as brothers and sisters in Christ with patient love and longsuffering?

1/08/2007 12:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that it can be both ways, but necessarily must be a stating at first.

For how am I to serve, study and pray with someone as a brother, if in fact I do not know they are a brother? Am I to invite someone to sit down with me in Christian fellowship and prayer and worship, only to find out in an hour, when it is his turn to pray, that he addresses God as 'Allah'?

I don't think that perfect agreement must be had, or that all disagreements must be worked out right at first, but I do believe there is a limited number of things that must be agreed upon.

Do we practice theology by hurling public insults like enemies tossing hand-grenades across denominational lines or assembled together as brothers and sisters in Christ with patient love and longsuffering?

I think you know my answer to this, and I think my above statement still applies...

1/08/2007 02:16:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Would you require more than a profession that Jesus Christ is the Son of God? Should we require agreement on an authoritative source before fellowship?

1/08/2007 03:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What if Kc's statement were revised to "I am proposing that we give Christ the preeminence and recognize the authority of His doctrines over these systems and no longer define fellowship as an agreement in understanding but as the willingness to work together in spite of the differences we might discover among us."

1/08/2007 06:01:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Dorsey, I think that revision reflects a more perfect attitude toward our honest differences, meaning those things that make us uniquely individual but I can see that “differences” was a poor choice of word for the attitude I’m trying to convey. I think for that I should revise it to say, ”…as the willingness to work together to resolve our disputes”.

I have 1 Corinthians 1:10 in mind:

”Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”

1/09/2007 03:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Might "speak the same thing" mean love and compassion? What if this verse means that we should go and help the poor instead of nitpicking over doctrine?

Obviously, I don't mean to say that doctrine isn't important. But how often do you suppose intellectual endeavor becomes a convenient distraction from doing the hard part of the gospel?

1/09/2007 09:27:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Dorse, isn't helping the poor part of the doctrine of Christ and His apostles? ;-)

1/10/2007 02:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You betcha, but you wouldn't know it from looking at most of the congregations with which I'm familiar. It pains me to wonder how many people in those congregations don't even know how significant a part of the gospel compassion is.

1/10/2007 08:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since moving from Texas to New England, transferring to a church of the same denomination, I have had trouble tagging the difference between to two churches.

Dorsey's comment gave me the "Ah-ha!" experience I needed. The church here places compassion before conversion. One sees evangelizing as "How can we get more people to come to church?", the other as "How can we help change lives?" It seems very similar on the outside, but feels very different on the inside.

The church here is also more mature - both physically and spiritually.

Would you say that immature doctrine is a natural thing to go through - or leave behind as described in Romans 16?

1/11/2007 08:42:00 AM  

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