It also taught me a new word: adiaphorism, which is the discipline of determining what matters of theology and doctrine are critical versus those that are non-critical to salvation.
I love this word. I hate it when we in Christianity try to carve out our own little kingdom and claim that it’s where Jesus really lives. It’s easy to look at denominations and shake our head and accuse them of this, but I also think we in evangelical/non-denominational Christianity are really bad about this. Maybe even worse. Instead of a whole denomination thinking it’s the only one really getting it right, you can find each individual church either outright believing this, or showing through their actions that they believe this.
Christianity was never meant to be an institution, and when it is run that way, it’s a disaster.
Notice that Jesus never said “Hey guys - when I’m gone, Peter’s in charge” or “John is now Vice-Messiah”?
It was that each individual believer would be filled with the Holy Spirit and given a mandate: go and make disciples.
Not disciples of ourselves. There should never be a “church of people who agree with everything you say”. Disciples of Jesus.
The Christianity we have now is full of politics. Being a disciple of Jesus and seeking power and control is simply not compatible. This is exactly what Jesus was trying to communicate when he washed the disciples feet.
The Body of Christ isn’t God’s business, it’s his family. We’ve got to stop allowing pastors and leaders to be CEOs of local franchises, and instead seek fathers.
My point in all this is that there are some truths that are non-negotiable within the Christian faith. Jesus is the Son of God. He died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins. He rose from the dead and will return to judge all people. He is theonly way to God the Father.
Beyond that, is it truly worth arguing and fighting over every viewpoint and detail?
Let us take to heart the words of the 17th century Croatian Archbishop Marco Antonio de Dominis: “Unity in necessary things; liberty in doubtful things; charity in all things”
Rather than continuing to draw lines in the sand, let us seek the ties that bind.