Thought for the Day On Doctrine and Theology

I have been contemplating the nature of Christian denominationalism, and it seems to me there are better ways to handle disagreements over doctrine and theology.

Before jumping to label someone a “heretic,” let us remember that even the fathers of the faith had disagreements over fundamental issues. Peter and Paul almost came to blows (probably more than once). How did they deal with this stuff?

They got together at a little meeting we now call the Jerusalem Council and decided issues that effect the Gentile church still today. Not only are the results of that meeting memorialized in scripture, so is the fight.

So, it’s okay to fight over doctrine, theology, how to worship, alcohol or juice, or the color of the carpeting, but we should come together, reach an acceptable resolution, and proceed accordingly.

I think God would honor the results.

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  1. #1 by Jim Dempsey on May 14, 2009 - 9:20 am

    I think God has a different plan – to a degree – for all of us. Alcohol won’t send you to hell. Smoking won’t send you to hell. NOT accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior WILL send you to hell. I know that alcohol, tobacco, or anything that I put before God, Himself is a sin for me. Anything that interferes with my spiritual relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is a sin for me, and I have to eliminate them from my life. I also know that God didn’t put me here to judge others. Just myself and my relationship with Him. And; I have to remove any obstacles that might prevent me from spreading His truth to lost and dying souls.

  2. #2 by petermlopez on May 14, 2009 - 9:52 am

    Jim, my brother, welcome, and I couldn’t agree with you more. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you will come back often.

  3. #3 by Pastor Nathan on May 15, 2009 - 6:15 am

    Great words. I would go one step farther and say that there is no reason to argue, especially if, as Jim mentioned above, that it is not the difference of heaven or hell. I have friends who believe in divine healing and others who do not. Who cares? We are still friends and brothers. I have friends who feel you have to have feet washing with communion and, of course, others who do not believe that. Who cares? Thank you

  4. #4 by petermlopez on May 15, 2009 - 9:20 am

    Well said. I wouldn’t go quite so far as to say, “Who cares?” because I do care about what people believe. Not so much because I want to change their minds, but because I want them to know the Jesus I know, and, if they know something I don’t, I want to learn. So, I wouldn’t quite go so far in that direction, although I don’t think that’s what you really intended to do. And I think I really agree with you, with this little qualifier.

  5. #5 by wilma on May 18, 2009 - 7:36 pm

    The older I get the more I am coming to believe that we need not argue over anything except “Is Jesus the Son of God, come in the flesh, died for my sins, risen from the dead and sitteth at the right hand of God Almighty”. I want to know your interputation of all scripture…I want to discuss, disect it, toss it around but if we don’t agree when all is said and done…that is God’s problem. As Oswald Chambers said in my devotional today… “If you want to be of use to God, get rightly related to Jesus Christ and He will make you of use unconsciously every minute you live. My job is to pay attention to the “Source”. If we can introduce others to “the source” God will take care of the rest. I just need to “believe” on Jesus.

  6. #6 by petermlopez on May 19, 2009 - 9:07 am

    Wilma, I agree. When Lori and I were in California, we heard a pastor preaching on church splitting and breaking covenant, and that the result is illegitimate children. It was really a great message, I was just trying to continue the thought that minor stuff need not cause us to split. We should be able to work that kind of stuff out.

  7. #7 by wilma on May 19, 2009 - 1:37 pm

    Peter I so agree. We are all so different. Personalities…likes…dislikes. I love Ruben and Jimmy….but I don’t like their loud music. It is just not my preference. I don’t really call that worship. To me worship is quiet, reverent, listening…but that is me. Apparently others can worship to a loud bass sound. I think I am just old. It seems the older crowd is just not into that. LOL We have to make room for differences. We are not all the hand. not all the foot. not all the mouth. not all the eye. But we need all to function correctly. Have you read “Girl Meets God”. It was an eyeopener on a lot of things to me. We have such a narrow “western” view of God. We need to open our minds and pray God will protect us. Thanks for the thoughts

  8. #8 by wilma on May 19, 2009 - 1:38 pm

    I also meant to say…I wanted to hear Kennedy but the music was so loud I couldn’t hear her. maybe another day. LOL

    • #9 by petermlopez on May 19, 2009 - 3:09 pm

      We were able to hear her whenever they played the two songs where the women echoed the men. She sounded really good. But, Lori also commented that the bass was turned up too loudly, so I don’t think it has anything to do with you being too old.

  9. #10 by Lorin Lopez on May 19, 2009 - 6:01 pm

    Hey Wilma,
    so sorry you missed the last few songs. You could hear Kennedy good and she sang so beautifully. I couldn’t believe it was her. I kept looking back at Robyn saying “is that Kennendy.” I’m so glad we came. ………And I believe that worship is not just singing to the Lord. I believe you can worship Him by using the gifts He has given you. Writing, painting, dancing, teaching, and even cutting hair :). For whatever you do, do it for His glory and for His name to be lifted up. Love you.

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