In theological circles today there is considerable division over various points of doctrine. All serious Christians acknowledge that doctrine is the lifeblood of the faith. To not know who we worship, why, or even how would leave us no less blind than the masses that are here today and gone tomorrow. Our faith in Christ is no mindless assent without definable content, lacking stable ground upon which to stand. The Rock of our faith is rich and vibrant, calling us to worship in humble submission to the Great and Sovereign God of history who has shed His love abroad in our hearts. Our kinship is not an earthly one and can never be dissolved.

    As in all families, there is disagreement. No point of doctrine is too small or too obscure to evade the eyes of the Body and to be squabbled over. From the forms and offices of the Church, the powers and purposes of the sacraments, all the way to the very mind of God Himself, we all have gleaned our answers from the Scriptures and come to the conclusions that we hold sacred and dear to ourselves.

    We are men of Sovereign and Free Grace, preachers and teachers of men in the truth of the purposeful and sure mercies of God. The best example that I see of this in the Sovereign Grace community is the debate over the order of decrees, and it is the perfect example to display the appropriate way we ought to love each other.

    It is a haughty spirit that causes one to say 'High Calvinist' when referring to his view of God's decree (unless it be tongue in cheek amongst the brothers). The infralapsarian does not make God "reactionary" by supposing God's election is subsequent to his decree of the Fall. They acknowledge God is the cause of the Fall, would that make him reactionary towards Himself? The supralapsarian does not make God a rank fatalist by ordering the decree of reprobation before the Fall. The supra sees God's decree as ordered by His logic and not emotion, but in no way silences the love and mercy of God.

    These are common in our day and age. Bickering and name calling at our brothers who simply seek to understand the mysterious truths of scripture in a deeper way. Both acknowledge the perspicuity of Scripture, but there are many deep doctrines that are plumbed from depths not so clearly defined. As we give grace to ourselves in trying to understand these truths, may we give the same to others and acknowledge that our brothers are no more heretics for trying to learn then we are.

    Ought we not to seek our brotherhood in the truth of grace before anything else? Have we learned nothing from the generations that drowned and burned each other over modes of baptism? Shall we then excommunicate the children who sing hymns their Arminian friends teach them in school? Have our hearts become calloused against our brothers? I recall a parable of Christ where a servant is forgiven a tremendous debt, and yet he abuses his brother over a meager sum. Christ's application here was that the servant was expected to have his heart melted by the compassion of his master and to then give that grace, and more, to his fellows.

    So let us go forward ever more in grace and continue to plumb the depths of God's glorious Word! May we be humbled even more by the truth He has shown us and endeavor to use the tools given us to communicate that truth to others, with grace and love abounding to one another. Jesus tells us that by our love they shall know us. Let them know us all the more.

Topics: Churchianity Neo-Gnosticism
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