Sunday, December 17, 2006

In my own theology I'm Reformed, that means I believe in the absolute sovereignty of God, I believe in election and predestination and I hold to what is known a Covenant theology. While this is my theology, in the last several months my family and I have worshipped at churches associated with the ECUSA, Southern Baptist Church, Presbyterian (PCA) and Roman Catholic Church. I also have a growing interest Apostolic Succession (I don't know where I will fall on that topic, but it does interest me).

My theology is Reformed (solidly so), but I count all who adhere to the Apostle's and Nicean Creeds (implicitly or explicitly) as brothers and sisters in Christ.

I can not compromise or deny my particular Christian beliefs or theology, but that does not mean that I can not embrace other Christians as members of the one Body of Jesus Christ. The medieval Church had unity with great theological diversity. That unity was rent asunder by Catholics and Protestants alike.

We need to begin working toward unity (catholicity) again. This does not mean compromise, but it does mean charity and love for the brethren and the Church of Jesus Christ.

Desiderius Erasmus, in a 1523 letter, listed a number of the items then in dispute between Lutherans and Roman Catholics. After mentioning several important theological areas of conflict between the parties, he writes, "These things used to be argued to and forth by scholastic theologians. If I were a judge I would not dare to condmn a man to death for taking a stand on any of these issues; nor would I be willing to suffer death for them myself."

I do not agree with all that Erasmus says, but I agree with him that the issues that then split the Western Church had been debated for a number of centuries within the Medieval church, without the explosion and fragmentation that took place in the 16th century. I do believe there are theological truths worth dying for (but none worth killing for). The truths, expressed in the Nicene and Apostles Creeds, are worth dying for. They express the outer limits to the Christian faith. Those outside the doctrines of these Creeds are outside the faith, but to those who are within their boundries, I believe, should be given the benefit of the doubt and (until proven otherwise) we should consider them brethren in the faith. That is MHO.

Coram Deo,

No comments: