Premillenialism or Amillennialism? Speaking in toungues or cessation of charismata? Pre, Mid, or Post tribulation rapture? Baptism by immersion or sprinkling? Predestination or free will?
I have friends… all believers… all conservative… who all pray to the same God, read the same Bible, and are led of the same Holy Spirit, BUT they believe different things on the same topics. What I don’t understand is how one can be right (They all think they are right by the way!) and the other wrong given the first sentence of this paragraph?
One Christian who loves Jesus… studies their Bible diligently… prays to God for revelation… is led of the Holy Spirit… YET they reject a particular belief while another friend can be described the same way and holds a conflicting doctrinal belief. One of them HAS to be right and the other HAS to be wrong (At least in the way we think). It is impossible for there to be two contradictory beliefs on one subject and BOTH be right. RIGHT??
Maybe that’s why Romans 14:5b was written… “Let every man be fully convinced in his own mind.”
Just a thought… a random musing in the middle of the summer.
I like this question. You’re absolutely right, too.
Part (but only part) of the problem is the unspoken assumptions we bring to the questions we face. I remember being in Australia (I spent four years there); I was listening to a heated discussion on the question of whether the Anglican Church (a rather conservative body there) shoul dordain women priests. It dawned on the group of six or eight people that they had an American sitting there just listening. Aussies think we’re arrogant, right about everything. They asked my opinion to see what I’d say. I told them I didn’t believe in women priests. While they were gather rocks to stone me with (metaphorically, of course), I point out that I was a Baptist, and that I didn’t really believe in men,/I> priests, either.
There are things I’m sure about. Absolutely beyond-a-doubt sure about. Most are included in the Apostle’s Creed or some similar document.
I have an opinion on the Premillenialism or Amillennialism question. It would profit no one for me to share it here. One of my favorite issues is summed up in an essay I once wrote entitled “Should Christians Kill People – and If So, When.” It looked at the history of Christian positions on war. I drew the conclusion that the New Testament doesn’t really address the issue in enough detail for me to teach emphatically on it. Those who teach on it from the Old Testament tell us more about their view of the relationship between the testaments than about war.
The “Free Will or Predestination” discussion is especially fun. You have to get people to agree on what both terms mean (no small task). Then my answer is that they both seem to be true. If you ask me how that can be, I’d say that I have no idea.
I like Martin Luther’s idea of the three lights. I have co-worker who seem like nice people but they are unredeemed see the world only by the light of nature. Ii have a better understand of the world (usually) than they do because I see by the light of God’s Grace. One day I’ll see by the light of Glory (and probably understand, in that light, how free will and predestination can both be true.
In the mean time, distinguishing between what we must believe and what we can disagree on nurtures thought and promotes the sort of diversity that allows people with our limitations in this life to edify each other and function in a community blessed with a variety of gifts…
I look to Philippians 2:11-13… especially the 12th verse;
And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 12Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
That is why the focus in our home is Jesus and all the other jazz can fall by the wayside unless God places it in our path. 🙂