( for parts I and II go to Mettlechurch.com )
If the differing views on what qualifies as acceptable have become so broad as to be no longer coherent as a unified body, how do we define and defend the true heart and spirit of Christianity without offending a great number of Christians? Frankly, we can’t. Nor can we expect to espouse our own beliefs without being offended by the critiques generated against them. The Lord offered different levels of understanding to different people throughout history. Things made clear to one person or group are deeply shrouded to others. Where we get caught up is when we work too hard to interpret what is written in the Bible, or when we think the message meant for us is meant for everyone.
Stand on Solid Ground
No matter how much or how long we study and pray for a full understanding of our place and responsibility as a member of the body of Christ, we will never fully comprehend it. The biggest mistakes generally spawn from an overconfidence in what we think we know. There are many things however, that are undeniable truths of Christianity, which to abandon is to abandon the entirety of Christian faith. Stand firm on the Word of God, whether it’s popular or not. Faith without integrity is no faith at all.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
If you disagree with this, you are not a Christian.
We believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible;
And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten from the Father before all ages, light from light, true God from true God, begotten not made, of one substance with the Father,
through Whom all things came into existence,
Who because of us men and because of our salvation came down from the heavens, and was incarnate from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became man, and was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried, and rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures and ascended to heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father, and will come again with glory to judge living and dead, of Whose kingdom there will be no end;
And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and life-giver, Who proceeds from the Father, Who with the Father and the Son is together worshipped and together glorified, Who spoke through the prophets;
in one holy catholic and apostolic church.
We confess one baptism to the remission of sins; We look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen
Without belief in what the Creed of Nicea proclaims, you are not a Christian. To disagree or debate the basic truth of this statement is to not believe in Christ. It’s far from all encompassing, but it is the core of any Christian’s faith. No, It’s not in the Bible, it doesn’t have to be to be true. It is a foundation statement of what the Bible teaches.
Have some mettle.
Still not sure what you believe? Fine, pray and study, ask questions. Don’t let society prevent you from engaging your faith. Don’t be afraid of what you may find out about God or yourself. If you are wondering, he is calling.
Stand up for what you believe and speak it with confidence. If your beliefs lead you away from the Bible, then go. Don’t expect God to change, don’t think by altering the Bible that the true word of God has changed. If you are sure that gays should marry, or that women should lead churches, go down with your burning ship if you believe it. You think heaven can be found through some other means than Jesus Christ, jump on the express rail to hell. Playing the part of a Christian while remaining convinced you’re saved because you’re such a great person, you will be shown the truth of your pride.
Believe in Jesus Christ and The Word? Hold tight to it, revel in it, pity those who have separated themselves from it. Read the Bible, know what it says and try to understand why. No one has full understanding of the Bible despite the claims of many, but much more of it is direct and to the point than many “experts” would have you believe. If an interpretation gives a piece of scripture a different meaning than the words plainly spell out, it’s wrong. There may be deeper meaning involved and in many cases there is, but something as simple as “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” needs no further interpretation, it
In His Name