A conversation I had the other night, a good and productive conversation, got me to thinking about something. It got me to thinking about disagreements on doctrines in the Bible. And, I just wanted to let all of you know that I believe that it’s okay to disagree on minor issues; on the finer points of theology. In fact, I’d bet you a Krispy Kreme doughnut that none of us, Baptists, agree on every point of doctrine and theology, and that’s okay. We don’t have to agree on every jot and tittle. We can still love each other, and worship together, and fellowship with each other, and serve God together; even if we disagree on the minor, finer points of theology.
Now, on the main things, we must agree. On the main truths of the Bible, we must believe the same. On those things that are clearly spelled out in the Bible, there must be conformity. We must all surrender and yield our hearts and minds to the foundational truths of the Christian faith. We must all believe the fundamentals of the faith. Things like the virgin birth; the atoning death of Jesus; salvation by grace thru faith; the Trinity of God; etc. These are the things that would mean whether we’re even truly a Christian, or not. If someone denied the foundational truths of Christianity, then I wouldn’t even consider them to be a true Believer. But, those people that do hold to the main doctrines of the faith, I call my brother, or sister in Christ; even though they may not be Southern Baptist.
And, as Baptists, we must agree to the doctrinal distinctives which we hold dear; that we believe the Bible clearly teaches; in order to really be considered a Baptist Church. There are things that we must believe; doctrines that make us a Baptist Church. Theology that makes us a Baptist kind of Christian. Things like Believers baptism by immersion; the Lord’s Supper being a symbolic act; once saved, always saved; congregational polity, or governance; etc. If a Church can’t even agree to the BFM2K, is it really a Baptist Church? Is it really a Church that holds to what we consider to be the clear teachings of the Bible? that holds to the doctrines that would make us consider them a good, sound church? I would contend that churches must…in the least…hold to the BFM2K, in order to considered a cooperatiing, Southern Baptist Church.
But, on many, many other things, we can disagree on them all day long; and still worship and serve God together. My friends, there are many, many, finer points of doctrine that we can not see eye to eye on, and it’s okay. We can just have fun trying to convince the other fella that we’re right! Lol. But, these minor things should not cause separation, nor should they cause us to divide. They should not cause strife, nor should they be the source of contention. On the finer points of the major doctrines, we should allow for freedom; even while not agreeing with the other person. Amen? Amen!