Let’s start discussing an important topic here: Doctrine

I think that most people find this particular topic to be pedantic, boring, and unnecessary, but I experienced the lesson of its importance full force through the last 10 years or so. It is so easy to fall into theological traps, gravitate towards “arguments” based on emotional pleas rather than sound logic and scripture, and to let the wind blow you where your heart is inclined. Years ago, for me, I took a slight detour into what I would consider “progressive Christianity”.

I’ve stated in many of my videos, and often in my writing, that once you perform an intellectual break (logically referred to as a “non-sequitur”), there are infinite possible outcomes or locations that you could follow and logical destinations you might arrive upon. The downside of this is that addressing them specifically is definitionally impossible, and what’s worse, the pathways that were taken to arrive at any particular intellectual conclusion are informed and supported by the infinite forms that “intellectual break” could possibly lead to. This is why I won’t bother to try to define “progressive Christianity”, despite my leveraging the term.

So, it seems reasonable to ask: So, why even bother addressing this?

I find myself often giving up on so many things when I hit perceived walls, but am learning to more rapidly change my approach, perspective, and, most importantly, trust that in all things there is always a way out. We have been provided access, although fallen access, to the wisdom and intellectual tools God has imbued into this world. And as long as we walk in His truth, we will never be lost. What this empowers me to realize is that, more often than not, that wall that I hit is a real wall, from where I’m standing, but nothing but an illusion from another spot if I humble myself and walk to the new location. This is one of those places.

Who says we have to address every single person’s individual perspective on any given question, problem, issue, etc? We can do something incredibly simple: Get back to the roots of Truth. We create a behavioral and intellectual pattern to, rather than dissecting each individual vantage point, enable others to foundationally approach their own issues by referring them to Authority. It’s much easier, where a source of definitions exists, to define what something is/should be according to that source that creates the words and the definitions all must conform to.

If you have never asked yourself this question, I challenge you to seriously consider it as deeply as you can: How do I know what a Christian is and should be?

It sounds like such a simple thing, but take that question seriously. If you answered the question without quoting scripture directly, you’re at best correct by a fluke, but treading on dangerous territory. Scripture must be the Authority to which your doctrine and affirmations conform. Not to reference scripture directly is indicative of a wildly pervasive problem in our current society: idolization. We are all guilty of this in some ways or another, but it’s a habit we need to purge. We have lost the perspective that is required on what scripture is intended to be: Revelation. The Revelation of the Truth God has deemed critical for us to receive. And when grappling with our comprehension of anything in life, but most importantly theological truths, God’s Revelation of how things works must be paramount. Anything short is correct by luck and most likely idolatry.

So why do I say all this just to begin talking about doctrinal affirmations? Well, to start, because most Christians are split on some point or another, and, in my opinion, that’s alright for some things (maybe even most). And with that said, that means I’m acknowledging up-front that what I say not everyone will agree with. So I want to find common ground before we even start dividing so that we can rest in union before we get into difficult theological issues.

So, to start:

  • The question for me is NEVER: Can God do this? There is nothing God can not do. He has no limits besides those He has set upon Himself as definitions of His character according to His Revelation. And even those are volitional on His behalf, not requirements or obligations we can thrust upon Him. He can do whatever, any way, for any reason, without recompense or consideration or judgment from anyone should He so choose.
  • The question is rather: What does God SAY He does?, Who does God say He is?, How does God say a thing works? You will never hear from me an objection that is not informed by God’s Revelation of His character. If I say, “God can’t do {x},” it will never be because I believe He is incapable from logic, my definition of morality, or anything of the sort, but rather because, like in Hebrews 6:18, God has declared He is no liar and is incapable of lying. Therefore, any logical framework that enables Him to be a liar is by definition false as refuted by the Revelation of His character.
  • What does that mean for this?: Everything here is subject to change as derived by knowledge of Revelation. I am no perfect theologian, and as I spend more time in prayer, study, experience, and living, my knowledge and “systematic” approach to theology will grow according to scripture. These will all be my thoughts. I will do my best to state those I feel most definitively about, those I am less studied on, and anything in between to the best of my ability

These are only my affirmations as the author of this article, and I will do my best to maintain this list as my life and knowledge in the LORD grows. They don’t represent my father, necessarily, and I pray you receive them knowing that if I’m wrong, I want to know what’s right but nothing but scripture and the peace granted through the Holy Spirit will change my mind.

On to doctrine:

  • One God: Father, Son (Jesus of Nazareth), Holy Spirit (Trinity)
  • The Father: Maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.
  • One Lord – Jesus Christ: The only Son of God, begotten from the Father before all ages, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made; of the same essence as the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven; he became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary, and was made human. He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate; he suffered and was buried. The third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again with glory to judge the living and the dead. His kingdom will never end. The Way, the Truth, and The Life. No one may come to the Father except through Him.
  • The Holy Spirit: The Lord, the giver of life. He proceeds from the Father and the Son, and with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified. He spoke through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church (but not in the RCC way). We affirm one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look forward to the resurrection of the dead, and to life in the world to come.
  • The Bible: The Authoritative Word of God. His Revelation. The thing to which all doctrine, beliefs, definitions, titles, and Truths must be reconciled. “Inerrant” in the sense of the message, preservation of Truth, communication of the Spiritual requirements, expectations, and commands of the LORD as inspired by the Holy Spirit. Without accepting the Bible as the Authority over your Walk, each man is subject to the deceptions of His heart, creating idols made in their own image, to which all should instead be conformed to the Revelation given through God’s Word, Who’s Truth culminated in the death, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus.
  • Hell: This one won’t be worded as fancy because it is a topic where my current belief/understanding has been driven by a combination of scripture (without intensive study on the subject) and the peace, removal of fear, and the uplifting of a spirit of confusion that the traditional doctrine places upon my spirit. God is not the author of confusion but of peace (1 Cor 14:33). My spirit finds no peace in the eternal torment of the traditional doctrine of Hell, but I will be the first to admit this: My spirit does not drive what is true. So for now, based on the combination of a lack of spiritual peace, the confusion the traditional doctrine yields in me, and the understanding which I have in scripture for the time being, I would label myself an annihilationist. I believe that to still be an “effectually” eternal punishment, a righteous judgment, and a punishment for sin that is “infinite” as is the crime relative to a Holy and Righteous God. This is one where it isn’t, “Can God do this?”, but rather, “Does this mesh with what He has said about Himself?”
  • Justification: “Grace alone through Faith alone.” This feels a little bit “forced” sometimes, but I think the point must be driven home that grace is what saves us as a free gift of Salvation which is only available through the willingly submissive sacrifice of Christ as willed by the Father and the method by which we are allowed to access that gift, as free creatures, is through the exercising of our Faith in that sacrifice. This is yet another, “What DOES God do?” not, “CAN God do it that way?” Works and character are fruits of Salvation. Faith is a requirement, and not a work that can be credited to the individual, God has set into His method of Salvation. We must choose to believe and trust Him, and only then does His grace save us, as He has revealed through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Works may take no part in your Salvation or it is counted as due and not a free gift of grace, and faith is definitionally not a work that anyone may boast in. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
  • The Church: This one is a difficult thing to pin down, but I do have some general opinions that I think I should still refine with deeper study and scriptural support. I can only say one or two things that I believe for relative certainty: The Catholic Church’s opinion on “The Church” is undoubtedly wrong, and the Church seems to almost certainly be the entire body of “believers”, those who embody Romans 10:8-13


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