I’m nailing my theses to the door of the American Church. Now, I don’t have ninety-five here to list out like Martin Luther but I have a few, four to be exact. My theses are a proclamation, in which I believe, should be the foundational doctrine of acceptance. Meaning, as long as any church abides by these statements of faith, we ought to put away our differences and welcome them into the fold of God.
Too often we find bickering and fighting amongst the Church. There are quite literally churches that share a plot of land and never communicate with one another.
Why is it that the Church has a unity problem?
We have a problem because our adversary, Satan, knows there is power in numbers. When Christ was in the Garden of Gethsemane, he prayed that we, the believers, would be one, as he and the Father are one. Yet, his flock who claims to love Him has a hard time loving one another.
There is a denominational divide in the Body that is tearing it apart. One church holds to the practices of baptism by submersion while another does not. One church disregards speaking in tongues while another affirms it. It’s not the denominational doctrine that creates a Christian, but the Spirit of the living God. This same Spirit courses through our souls and connects every believer, it is the world that desires to sever this bond.
I know this might be hard to believe, but there are Spirit-filled, Jesus-loving believers from all denominational backgrounds. I hope you’re sitting down, I dare say even Catholics. I will go onto to say if you would like a dose of Catholic theology, I often listen to The Catholic Talk Show. I’m not Catholic, nor do I endorse some of their theology, but I cannot dismiss their love for God. You see it is not adhering to doctrinal dogma’s that saves a soul, but the blood of Christ.
With that being said; what are my theses on foundational doctrine?
1. The Blood of Christ, Christ the Mediator
There’s only one name under heaven in which Mankind can be saved, Christ Jesus. A congregation must believe that Christ is the only mediator between God and Man. They must believe that the only payment for sin is the blood of Christ. The acceptance of this sacrifice and repentance is essential for a fellowship with God.
2. The Word of God is infallible
One major red-flag is when any congregation believes the Bible is fallible. The belief that Scripture is fallible is unacceptable in the Christian faith. This theology is most often found in the progressive church, who are wolves in sheep clothing. Any Spirit-filled congregation understands the Bible is Spirit-breathed. Adhering to this ideology weeds out any congregation that excuses sin, such as homosexuality, abortion, etc by removing or down-playing the Holy Cannons as manmade or “man-flawed” documents.
3. Acceptance of the Gospel
This runs along with thesis number one; holding to the Gospel. Christ came to save sinners; he died, was resurrected by the Spirit of God and is coming again for his Church. All who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.
4. The Trinity
Holding to the doctrine of the Trinity is crucial. God the Father, God the Son, God the Spirit, three in one. The departure of this doctrine can be found in many cults. To deny Christ’s deity is heresy.
These main pillars of the faith should be the binding force that holds the Body together. I don’t want to underplay doctrinal differences. It is important to discuss different dogmas and interpretations of Scripture. However, Christians tear one another apart when they feel that their doctrinal values are threatened. It’s not that we can’t have doctrinal differences, it’s that we need to find a way to work together despite them.
The idea is to tear these walls down. Knock on the door of the church next door, hold a monthly picnic with them. Figure out how the churches in your area can work together on how to serve the community. These are just some ice-breaker ideas, let’s use our imagination. Discover the church down the street find out what they’re about’ you might just find the same Spirit filling your church is filling theirs.
I know this is a far-cry from Luther’s theses, none-the-less I feel if the Church were to abide by them, we would all be more unified. So, in the words of the late Ronald Regan,
“Tear down this wall!”