(This post is part of the Holding Up Our Sign series)
First, some idea where I’m headed with all of this.
Basically, I see the issues as dividing into two main areas:
- Theological / doctrinal / Biblical / “beliefs” issues
- Social and lifestyle issues
Clearly, the doctrinal issues are the most critical ones in an absolute sense. No matter what other factors were influencing the situation, we would not attend a church that preached heresy.
Yet the social issues are in many ways not as clearly divided from the theology as we might think.
- We don’t believe that people should dress up for Sunday services to make the church look fashionable. We believe they should do so out of honor and respect for the Almighty Creator of the Universe.
- We don’t believe families should worship together because we don’t want to hassle with volunteers for the nursery. We believe they should do so because the Bible instructs men to be the spiritual head of their families, and instructs parents to train up their children.
- And so on…
Still, it seems most convenient to discuss the issues somewhat separately, as we wend our way through this exploration and explanation. Most of the time when we find ourselves discussing our “fit” at a particular church, it seems like one of those categories is much more in sync than the other.
A good chunk of the theological part of “what we believe” lines up with the beliefs of the Southern Baptist Convention and Independent Fundamentalist Baptist churches.
In most respects, these will be seen to line up with the various versions of a “Baptist Confession of Faith” which are out there (probably best known is the 1687), with the significant discrepancy that such confessions all seem to take a Calvinist approach.
As that will be another whole topic unto itself, suffice it so say for the moment that we are neither Calvinists nor Arminians.
(As a side note, Lifeway found that only 10% of Southern Baptist pastors considered themselves Calvinist, while 85% do not (see the article). (The rest? Well, you know how statistics are!)
A brief post, but one that covers a lot of ground. Let’s stop there for the moment.