Unity, Liberty, and Charity – Getting Along with Those Who Differ

People place the category of “essential” onto doctrines which are “non-essential”, therefore putting too much weight onto those doctrines which are in reality “non-essential.”  What then is the difference between what is “essential” and “non-essential?”  This is a problem for sure, and throughout history has caused mess after mess after mess.  Question: What are we to do about these differences?  GOOD QUESTION!  That is why the next few days will go to answering these very issues.

This is really important to me because of one truth in my life.  I live in the realm of theology everyday – this causes me to think about and define exactly where I stand theologically (which in turn causes me to define where I don’t stand as well) on all kinds of theological issues under the sun.  Because of this, I often find myself dealing with disagreement.  People disagree with me, and I disagree with other people quite often in my world.  How do I deal with this?

In a way it is simple and in another way it hard to do, but a quote (that many people attribute to many authors wrongly) has guided me throughout my discussions with those whom I disagree with.  “In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity.” (Rupertus Meldenius) Isn’t this great?  But issues remain.  What are essentials?  What are non-essentials?  Stay tuned…

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