Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Doctrinal statements.

I've been thinking a bit about doctrinal statement lately. It is strange to me to think that any group of more than, I don't know, say 2 people can agree on more than, say, 1 thing. And that one thing, after a bit of digging can get a little contentious. There is actually quite debate out there on doctrinal statements, what they should include, what to make of a church that doesn't have one...

So, what are your thoughts on them?
  • Can you boil the essentials down to statements?
  • How do you produce freedom or bondage from them?
  • Can we design them knowing that God is a mystery and while we have his word, we can't fully contain him in that..?
I came across a doctrinal statement from a church I will not name so as not to heap embarrassment on them. It is just a sight to behold.

Behold... (Check out points 4 and 8... there is something amiss here...)

Doctrinal Statement

We believe that the King James Bible is the word of God without error.

We believe all Scripture was given by inspiration of God, and that God also promised to preserve his word. Divine inspiration is of no value to Christians without God's promise of preservation.

We believe that salvation is by grace through faith. Being born again by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ is the only requirement for salvation.

We believe in the eternal security of the believer
(once saved, always saved).

We believe that the unsaved will spend eternity in torment in a literal hell.

We believe that Jesus is God, and that Jesus Christ was begotten by the Holy Ghost of the virgin Mary.

We believe only in the local church and not in a universal church.

We reject the teaching of Calvinism and believe that God wants everyone to be saved.

We are Non-dispensational.

We believe that life begins at conception (fertilization) and reject all forms of abortion including surgical abortion, "morning-after" pills, IVF (In Vitro Fertilization), birth control pills, and all other processes that end life after conception.

We believe that homosexuality is a sin and an abomination which God
punishes with the death penalty.

We oppose worldliness, modernism, formalism, and liberalism.


royzoner said...

I wonder if Doctrinal statements were the pre-steve covey Mission statements of the middle ages.

Steve Oberg said...


Jason_73 said...

I like how they totally believe in eternal security yet reject the teachings of Calvinism.

Terrance Wills said...

This is not intended to attack, just a thought on the homosexuality topic.

Homosensuality is one sin and to be honest, not the biggest thing the church needs to focus on right now (sorry if anyone is an Anglican here) If the church spent as much time focusing on it's own problems, and less time playing kid brother to the world, I think a lot of things would come into focus.

Sorry, I just don't understand how that's a hill to die on in our Christian walk. We all live a life of sin by the very nature of who we are. How is homosexuality any different then spanking your semi over some woman on tv? Sin is sin, it's society's way to categorize sins into a hierarchy so what is normal is ok or not as bad as the abnormal.

Anyhow...now I'm babbling...I'm just frustrated with going over to my Anglican parents house and getting into a debate on gay marriage and womans lib on a weekly basis.

Jason_73 said...

The tricky part is... it is not the way God designed it. Thus, being "missing the mark" which is "sin". That sounds callous, and trust me, I am the last one that wants to come off as some know it all fundy. But, somehow we have to serarate the disdain people have for the act of homosexuality... "it's queer, weird, gross... God hates it cause of that..." and the fact it isn't biblical. Like it or not, God has very strong language toward it in the bible. Now the hard part... You and I both know downloading porn isn't the righteous life God calls us to. My gay friends do not. They have settled for themselves that their acts are holy and acceptable to God. And that idea is being assimilated into the church...Such as with the Anglican and other churches and even into theology that is unbiblical. We have to figure out for ourselves, using some means, the bible for some, other data for others whether or not what I just said is true. If it is, then we need to know where to draw the line and accept or reject homosexuality into our fold. Whether or not to use our democratic voice and vote to approve or come against legislation and culture. It is very nutty.

I understand a very typical response is that because all the wacko right wing nut jobs are mean spirited and legitimately afraid of gay people we should take the opposite approach and just not deal with it. Unfortunately I don't think that is right either. I wish it wasn't one of the big two topics along with abortion (Which I have differing views on) but it is for a reason. Maybe God has it that way, I don't know. My own goal is to love my gay friends and allow God to give me opportunities to share the gospel with them and let God do the rest. I haven't felt lead to approach them in their "sin"... yet. If he does, I hope he gives me the grace to do it from an unjudgemental, but loving heart. We all need to be approached in our sin. And your right sin is sin. It is our response to it that is the key.

David Younghusband said...

Hey Terry,

The sad thing about the homosexual "debate" is that it has nothing to do with homosexuality. It is a debate over biblical authority and whether we see ourselves over or under the scriptures. Additionally, I feel your frustration but we should not minimize the sin of homosexuality because there are other sins, and at the same time we should be just as disgusted at heterosexual sin.

What we should not be concerned about is others outside of the visible church "behaving" so that life goes better (more comfortable) for us, but rather we should let sinners be sinners and the gospel go forward.

David Younghusband said...

I think one thing that the church has always been tempted to cover up is the offensiveness of the cross. And in the past few decades the cross has been coved up because of the unfortunate attitudes of some that have preached it. But the fact remains that the cross is offensive. While on one hand it preaches love and forgiveness, at the same time it preaches to the unrepentant that they are wrong, and that how they live is in opposition to God, and that if they do not acknowledge Jesus' judgment of them on the cross and accept his substitution for them, they will subsequently face an eternity of judgment.

This makes people living in rebellion to God (including unrepentant homosexuals) angry. The question I have is, with all of the warnings that scripture gives that people would hate us for the cross, why are we surprised when they do?

I am almost daily reminded how in many ways I fear other men and women more than I fear God, but I pray that God would change my heart to fear him above all. Not to become some removed fundamentalist but a man that represents an orthodox Biblical faith with love and humility.