Welcome to Apologists for Christ

Home | Debates | Classic Quotes | Rodney's Reflections | Controversial Issues | Cults | insights | Movie and Game Reviews | Music Reviews | Articles | Why Greasy Theologian? | Links | Yo Nick!

By Nick P.

The words of Joseph Smith. (No. I don't accept him as a prophet of God at all but I'm using his words to make a point.)

My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)--and which I should join.

I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: "they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof."

There has been much talk throughout the church of unity. Let's all unite together. I think unity is important but sometimes I wonder if we might be missing the real point of what Christ asked us to have when he prayed that we would have unity.

I got this tonight when in a chat and seeing the Harry Potter debate. Now I have my own opinion but I thought the whole thing was pointless. It occurred to me that in about 10 years the debate would be gone and there would be some new issue. One of my professors said today that the switch to contemporary music from hymnals will be gone one day and a whole new division will take its place.

I saw many of my fellow Christians firing their shots at me some and have seen it because I am an intellectual. I am not emotional and I have been told to get saved numerous times. Such remarks, I'll be fully honest, hurt. The church is the only organization, it has been said, that kills its own wounded. I would add that if our own aren't wounded, often we like to wound them.

Frankly, in many cases, I've reached the point where I'm just tired of it. How many times have we heard a debate on peripherals instead of hearing further extension on the essentials? Some churches today seem to think it's more important that you have "Sound doctrine" than that you come to a deeper understanding of what the Trinity is.

Don't get me wrong. Sound doctrine is important because that is something we can always go back to but what is sound doctrine? Agreement on the peripherals or the essentials? I personally don't think Christ ever meant for us to agree fully on the peripherals but just the essentials.

I read of Paul and Peter in Galatians 2. They had differences and Paul denounced Peter but apparently, this shows that God didn't call people who believed everything exactly. Think about it. If he had, the gospels would have not had that much variety. There are differences in the gospels but none are contradictory. However, they all do contain the essential doctrines within them.

Peter said that Paul wrote some things that were hard to understand. Apparently, if these two had had perfect agreement on the peripherals, Peter would not have had a hard time understanding Paul. There was not some deep secret bond of theology I suspect. These were both just honest men who loved Jesus and united on that.

I think many of our debates today are very useless frankly. Baptism. Here's become my response as of yet. Just do it. One preacher I know put it this way. He said that while he didn't believe it was essential, he did think you're sinning if you don't do it. That's a great response. It's so simple. Just do it and you don't need to worry.

Paul was willing to undergo a ritual of cleansing to win over the Jews and appease them. Many churches believe in sprinkling and I honestly think they're saved Christians just as well who will be in Heaven. But is that issue worth dividing over? Is it too hard to get dunked if it'll bring peace to your brethren?

What about losing salvation? Well I personally don't think it can be done but here's a better idea. Live a good life that honors God and you won't have to worry about that. It's really that simple.

And the eschatology debate on the rapture? Listen friends. I have no belief in a rapture but it hasn't been divisive to the people I'm often with and worship with. It's a fun issue to discuss but it's not something I consider worth dividing over.

Calvinism? Well I don't believe in it but if the Calvinists are really right, then it doesn't make much difference because I was predestined to not believe in it. Is it really that big a deal to divide over?

Age of the Earth? I've seen Bible-believing Christians that hold to inerrancy and infallability on both sides. I hold to the old-earth side but I know many who don't. However, I do know that both sides say God did it and both sides deny evolution and both sides believe in a literal Adam and Eve.

Friends. My bottom line is instead of seeing what divides us, let's see what unites us. Now naturally those of us who hold to essential Christian doctrine will not accept those like Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses but geez. Are all Christians that disagree with us in danger of hellfire and heretics?

Jonathan Edwards said "In essentials, unity, in non-essentials, liberty, in all things, charity." Have we really built up on unity? I know many times we've stressed the non-essentials but we've neglected the essentials. When Jesus told us to unite, I don't think he meant "You have to agree on every single issue with every single Christian." He meant we are to unite on the essentials and do the will of Christ to fulfill the great commission.

One thing that shows this is the Lord's Supper. I personally have my own views on how often it should be held but the Lord's Supper is where we all unite. The Church of Christ joins the Anglican. The Calvinist joins the Arminian. The pre-tribber joins the post-tribber. The Old-Earther joins the Young-Earther.

Now can you imagine what Christ would think if we all gathered at that table and over the body of Christ we started squabbling over what is non-essential? These things are fine for discussion but not for division. We've divided too long over non-essentials when EVERY denomination agrees on the essentials.

Friends. We might as well get used to loving each other and getting along with each other. We're gonna be stuck with each other in Heaven after all. Let's learn to love and work together now.

Email the author at ApologiaNick@yahoo.com