In 1937, the famous Lutheran Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer said “if Jesus Himself — alone with His word — could come in our midst at sermon time,” a significantly large group would “reject” His message on doctrinal grounds. Have we gotten to the place where denominational doctrine has become more important than the very words of Jesus?
Another question to go along with yours is "Whether we have come to a place were personal interpretation has supplanted sound doctrine?"
Love you my brother-in-Christ!
But how can one be sure of the TRUE interpretation. Everyone seem to have so many different views?
Can one be sure at all?
Oh yes, so those who can't agree on loosing salvation or not, baptism, etc, must all be very proud people...
There is one truth. On the top of Salvation, for ex., either you are assured it, or not. Both sides CAN'T be right. So which side is lacking humility?
Hi Amanda. I think you are not entirely correct in saying that "Those who believe they can lose salvation are trustung in themselves to stay true to God and one day hear Him say, Well done, thou good and faithful servant. It gives a sense of pride and achievement. The other side is trusting in Christ alone both to save them and toÂ keep them saved."
There are some of us who do not believe in eternal salvation who do not trust in ourselves, in our flesh, in our thoughts, in our emotions, in our actions... for His thoughts are not our thoughts, His ways are not our ways. It is a constant fight and war against the flesh, thoughts and emotions to submit to the Spirit of God. Not to mention the continuous onslaught, accusations and manipulations of the enemies of our souls (both in the spirit and in the flesh) always coming against us. To me, one of the keys to staying true and victorious entails constant introspection to see if I am in right standing with God, His Word, His Spirit, His Light, and His Truth at any given time. This is both humbling and sincere, and allows me the chance to hear the Holy Spirit telling me where to adjust myself and allowing Him to / letting Him help me.
I would guess that while many who believe in eternal security apply the same / similar to what I have described above, there are those who are very carnal / in the flesh and have much confidence in their own thoughts/belief of eternal security, especially having been taught such (eternal security) in their Church/es, and display more pride and arrogance in their views than those who do not believe in eternal security.
Depending on each individual, people from either side display either humility yet with firm conviction, or pride and arrogance.
In the flesh, who hasn't been guilty of this? But we confess, repent, move on and trust God for change and humility. But if the pride and arrogance are foundational/generational issues, which in all probability are then also compounded by demonic powers and/or curses, this then requires intensive attention and deliverance. This might not be a popular view / might even be a view considered to be works based, but I know what I am talking about. Being an Indian, and having much witchcraft and idolatry coming down my family line from my father's side and my mother's side, has given me many problems in my life, marriage, ministry, finances, and children's lives. These problems required much fasting and prayer and years for their power to break from our lives, and some areas are still God's work in progress.
This is my short answer to your question... and another topic altogether... :-)
Hi Amanda. Foundational issues are not just generational curses. Foundational issues are much more than that, but I do not want to go into too many details in this discussion. I do know that the stubborn and deep-rooted problems in my life, my wife's life and my children's lives up to this day are because of specific foundational issues we were born into, specific to the families we are born into. I speak not just from Bible knowledge, but from personal experience and the teaching of the Holy Spirit as we go along. Yes, the spirit is made new, but what still remains in the flesh and soul (thoughts, emotions, mind, heart)? I mean, if the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit indwells us, then sickness would by default have to leave. But many problems, not just health issues, still remain, linked to foundational issues. Does God want us to remain bound by these things? My conviction: No! We can be healed and fully delivered from them, and start a new family line with the promises and benefits of God's Word replacing the "old" things.
The scriptures leading up to Romans 8:1 show that Paul experienced issues even while saved and Holy Spirit filled:
14We know that the Law is spiritual; but I am a creature of the flesh [carnal, unspiritual], having been sold into slavery under [the control of] sin.
15For I do not understand my own actions [I am baffled, bewildered]. I do not practice or accomplish what I wish, but I do the very thing that I loathe [[b]which my moral instinct condemns].
16Now if I do [habitually] what is contrary to my desire, [that means that] I acknowledge and agree that the Law is good (morally excellent) and that I take sides with it.
17However, it is no longer I who do the deed, but the sin [principle] which is at home in me and has possession of me.
18For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot perform it. [I have the intention and urge to do what is right, but no power to carry it out.]
19For I fail to practice the good deeds I desire to do, but the evil deeds that I do not desire to do are what I am [ever] doing.
20Now if I do what I do not desire to do, it is no longer I doing it [it is not myself that acts], but the sin [principle] which dwells within me [[c]fixed and operating in my soul].
21So I find it to be a law (rule of action of my being) that when I want to do what is right and good, evil is ever present with me and I am subject to its insistent demands.
22For I endorse and delight in the Law of God in my inmost self [with my new nature].(D)
23But I discern in my bodily members [[d]in the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh] a different law (rule of action) at war against the law of my mind (my reason) and making me a prisoner to the law of sin that dwells in my bodily organs [[e]in the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh].
24O unhappy and pitiable and wretched man that I am! Who will release and deliver me from [the shackles of] this body of death?
25O thank God! [He will!] through Jesus Christ (the Anointed One) our Lord! So then indeed I, of myself with the mind and heart, serve the Law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
So Paul knew he had issues, but also that deliverance would come through Jesus Christ. Many ignore the delivering work of Jesus Christ in our lives, and our part to acknowledge it, co-operate with it and what our part is to do. This a huge deception of the devil, who would have us ignore this aspect of our Christian walk. I see Christians all the time, content to just sit with their problems and say, "Oh, I trust in God, He will see me through, He will heal me, He will provide", and ignore the war and fight that Paul instructs us to be involved in. The true root of many problems manifesting in the physical realm are spiritual in nature.
Your question, which side is lacking humility? is a valid question.... We may not know for sure, but we can look at the fruit in a persons life. We can look at their character. If any one person or denomination claims to have all the answers and everything 100% I would be very wary of that particular person or denomination. The church of Christ is the body made up of all believers... Different denominations have different strengths, and each one has weaknesses. The true church (or the invisible church) will be scattered throughout these different denominations.
I don't agree with everything my Pastor at church teaches.. he tells us to study for ourselves. But, I do agree with most of what he teaches.. and most importantly, He always points to Christ. Jesus is at the centre of it all..and He must remain at the centre of it all. He is the cornerstone..the rock. He is the foundation. Everything must point back to Him, and everything is about Him and for Him. If the centre of the teaching is Jesus Christ, then the building is on a secure foundation. If ever a church or belief is built on anything other than Jesus Christ, then it will not stand because it will have no foundation. The Holy Spirit testifies of Him and points to Him in all things.
There are many factors one must take into point.
First of all, there isn't any one denomination who has all of the correct answers. We are all fallible, and capable of making mistakes. ...and we all do make mistakes.
Secondly, people are at different points in their journey with the Lord and their closeness to Him. A person may not be assured of their salvation because perhaps they have gone through a difficult time and their faith has taken a knock--it may be under attack. We can't see the full picture of a persons life, but the Lord can, and He knows exactly where they are and why they are there. We are called to show compassion and mercy and Love to others. Jesus wants us to get involved in eachothers lives for encouragement, prayer and true fellowship. We are to be intimately connected in the lives of other believers and encourage eachother daily to speak of the things the Lord is doing in our lives. ..this involves prayer and fellowship and study. It's not a 'works' salvation..it's just something a believer does..it's a natural response to belonging to the Lord.
Next, people are indoctrinated as they grow up, and since we know that no denomination has all the correct answers, they may have been taught wrongly.
Christendom (all denominations) is made up of the visible church and the invisible church. The visible church are all the people who claim to be believers..but they may not be true believers. When the time comes Jesus will separate the sheep from the goats...until that time comes, the visible church (who and what we see) will contain both believers and non-believers. The invisible church is the church only God can see who truly are His. This is made up of only believers.
The point I'm making is that these differences occur for many different reasons, and we will not fully understand it this side of heaven.
Which side is lacking humility? Only God knows a persons heart. I'm certain that each person still struggles with pride to some degree. But we each must seek the Lord and study..and ask the Lord to show us where we are wrong. He will shine His Light and the Holy Spirit will teach us as we ask Him. There are differences, there will continue to be differences, and we won't fully understand them until we are home with the Lord.
Can we be sure of a true interpretation? Yes.. The Holy Spirit teaches us and leads. I can't explain how He does it, that part is a mystery to me.. but i do know that He does. This learning can come in stages as a child of God matures. Sometimes it takes many trials, or other things in a persons life for someone to be assured of their salvation. For other people, it is easier to be assured.
Humility is recognizing that we still have a lot to learn... prayer, study and true fellowship will bring us to a deeper faith and relationship with our Lord.
The Lord continually brings me to a place to show me that I have ALOT to learn...and i by no means 'have arrived.'
"The Holy Spirit teaches us and leads. I can't explain how He does it, that part is a mystery to me.. but i do know that He does."
Thanks for the kind words.
Beautiful song - sweetly broken, wholly surrendered... words to live by...
>>Jesus or Denominational Doctrine?
Denominational doctrine is perfectly fine if it aligns to what Jesus taught if it doesn’t and its in secondary issues that we differ, we continue in unity of the Spirit.