"Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water'." (John 7:38)

"Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual." (1Cor. 2:12-13)


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Non-Essentials Of The Faith

Non-essentials are defined as everything outside the fundamental doctrines of Christianity; doctrines established in creeds and agreed upon by the majority of theologians as the foundation of the Christian faith.

Non-essentials are:

-the wide range of Biblical issues that proceed from the continuous enlightenment a believer will experience as they persevere in their own sanctification.

-teachings in scripture by which the complete or definitive meaning is difficult to interpret.

While non-essentials are not pertinent to one's salvation, they are certainly the meat in the diet of a Christian. Unfortunately, there is a tendency in the church to constrain them as one would constrain a poisonous snake. This guarded effort tends to rely more on personal attitude as the church's sanctity and gives the congregation the impression that they need to be more focused on their moral behavior, rather than pursuing a righteousness that comes by faith. The persistent in-house communication of this category called non-essentials, crafted by theologians and widely exercised by leaders, is an errant solution for keeping peace and unity in the church. But it only causes the people to pretend to be Christ-like for a day. The hypocrisy of the church is their overzealous striving for morality. We are not called to be moral, we are called to be humble before God that He may accomplish His nature within us, denying ourselves for the renewing of the mind, wrought by the processes of non-essentials.

Non-essentials are indeed the vital processes of sanctification. This is iron sharpening iron. To exercise caution in addressing non-essentials is to remain unchallenged, refusing to press in to God for the depths of His life for us. We will fail to form a pure and thorough answer for the faith we claim to have and will remain complacent with a mere knowledge about God, rather than pursuing intimacy with Him. See Oswald Chambers devotional, My Utmost For His Highest, July 22 http://utmost.org/sanctification-1/

Non-essentials will always cause confusion, and temptations will be borne of them, but it should encourage us to search God for the wisdom. Unity takes place when leaders help us to realize we are incomplete in our understanding, yet by the assurance and peace of the Holy Spirit, we press on with the company of others, along with a great cloud of witnesses, that reveal we are not going through anything ourselves found uncommon to man. See Oswald Chambers devotional, My Utmost For His Highest, July 23 http://utmost.org/sanctification-2/

Left relatively unaddressed, non-essentials gradually become inessentials, providing a convenient excuse to keep from picking up one's cross and dying to self, thus diminishing the work of sanctification among the members. This results in churches having a form of godliness, yet deprived of the working power of the Holy Spirit.

There are many who are silently hungry for the non-essentials! I'm quite sure, though, it is the numerical majority of complacent church goers, uncomfortable with being exposed by confrontation, that leadership inevitably cowers to. After all, they are vital in sustaining the enormous and unnecessary overhead churches inevitably create for them. Jesus, however, said that he did not come to bring peace, but a sword. (Matthew 10:34)


"And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."
(Matthew 10:38,39)

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