Tuesday, March 15, 2011

30 things that thrill me - Day 5

Doctrinal disagreements discussions.

I enjoyed chatting with Soren this morning. We had a wide-ranging, spirited discussion about topics of concern in the Restoration Movement. The role of women. Is baptism necessary for salvation? Are Standard Publishing, Orchard Group, and CDF forming a triumvirate that is planning to take over the world?

Good stuff.

It has been interesting to see how Mike and I have changed over the years. When we were younger, we were a bit more fired up, I think. Mike remembers a confrontation I initiated after he preached at The Northmen the first time. (I was right, by the way.) Over time I think we have both softened some - not necessarily in our doctrine, but certainly in our dogmatism.

The thing is, I think Mike is right. Baptism is necessary for salvation - at least as necessary as repentance, or confessing the name of Jesus Christ, or as believing in Jesus or persevering to the end. Then again, when I talk with - we would call them - "denominational friends," they're quite sure that they're right; all I have to do to be saved is believe.

The folks at Willow Creek Community Church have women elders; so do a handful of Christian Churches. Some would say that, while the Ephesus Christian Church didn't allow their women to "speak or have authority over a man" that the church in Rome went another direction and permitted women to lead. Lately, I lean a little more toward Rome; Soren leans more toward Ephesus.

Some people run from even a hint of conflict. When the theological claws come out, they hide under the bed with the other scaredy-cats. And that's okay. Conflict, especially the church variety, can be particularly virulent if unrestrained. A little bit now and then, though, is a good thing, I think. It reminds us that doctrine matters. It matters because God matters, God's Word matters, and how we respond to it matters.

So, in spite of our occasional friendly needling about the 5% of issues where we might differ, I thank God - not just for where we agree - but for the whole 100%.


Soren said...

Amen Frank! As iron sharpens iron...

Jon Lanier said...

As someone who teaches at Great Lakes, it scares me that you fall more toward Rome than you do Ephesus. You fall more towards doctrine of men rather than the doctrine of God.

No wonder our Bible Colleges...oh sorry Christian Universities are producing wishy washy candidates for ministry.