Essential Doctrines

This post was taken off the Baptism of Infants thread after it went hopelessly off topic.

The discussion turned from the ambiguity of Scriptural directives on the topic to the matter of disagreement between the denominations about what is essential.

Who are you to say they are not Christian! They say they are, and they say they have the HS.

I have met quite a few here. Probably another good topic for fresh thread. :smiley:

This is very interesting. I am curious to learn where Scripture says that these are “essential” and baptism is not.

The essential doctrines of Christianity are contained in the Nicene Creed.

An essential doctrine is one everyone in heaven that died during the church age must affirm (or at least not deny). If there are two folks in heaven that died during the church age that disagreed on a given doctrine, that doctrine is not essential.

As far as what is essential and what is not, well I for one am not going to touch it with a 10 foot pole. I once read a blog that could be classified as very intelligent reformed Protestant, and they polled their readers as to what doctrines were essential and what were not. Needless to say, there was considerable disagreement on some of them (including some on the list here).

Actually this has sort of piqued my interest.

Another article I read defines essential for justification. But he goes on to say, that does not mean that everyone must believe this in order to be justified. What it does mean is that nobody is justified unless this is true,

To this author, any religious group that denies one of these doctrines can not call itself Christian. This does not mean that one can inside one of these groups and spend eternity with God.

The original proponent of this list was theologian Norman Geisler, a name I am familiar with.

Who are you to say they are not Christian! They say they are, and they say they have the HS.

I can say I am the Queen of Romania. Does that make me so?

This sounds like a nice rule. Where did you get it?

Do you chat with them often?

Well, you just touched it twice above! Looks like you are ready for the pole vault. :smiley:

Yes. this is one reason that we do not determine what is “essential” by using arbitrary extrabiblical criteria as you have done here, and majority rule. :wink:

I am glad. It is rather piquing when a person who claims that the Bible is the final authority adopts non-biblical doctrines such as you this.

Well, I have a news flash for you, NotTooSmart. God can justify anyone He wants, however He likes. He is not bound by human perceptions of what is “essential”.

And where does this author get his authority?

Yes. He came up with it 1900 years after the Apostles defined what was “necessary” and departed from their teaching. I had several of his textbooks in seminary.

If My Father wills He can turn rocks into the descendants of Abraham (pbuh).

That is different. You see, kc has 'the mind of Christ", therefore, he is in a position to judge these things. :smiley:

Actually this is my own definition. But it is based on the meaning of the word “essential”.

You don’t need to be sarcastic you know. Honestly. If you want to make Catholicism attractive, you and others here should cut the put downs and insults.

No, I don’t speak with people in heaven often.

I don’t do gymnnastics,.

All that I have done is put the definition of the word “essential” with doctrine. If you want to redefine “essential” go ahead.

You are assuming that is what I believe.

I am not arguing this, althoughj “I have a news flash for you” is still a put down,.

Per Catholicism he has no authority because he is a Protestant…

I have decided that if I am to stay on these forums, that I will not remain in any threads where there are put-downs, sarcasm, condescension, and the like.

You wanted an explanation. I tried to the best of my limited ability to give you one.

I don’t need to put up with this.

Therefore I am leaving this thread. Talk with somebody else.

The Bible - well, the NT - does not say of any doctrine that it is essential - because the NT is not a theology text-book, even though it contains theology. Of any ranking of beliefs there is no trace; so it’s not possible to say “Doctrine X is is more important than doctrine Y, & is essential, whereas Y is not”.

The idea that the Nicene-Constantinopolitan understanding of God is essential doctrine is post-Biblical, and is one of several possible understandings of unity and plurality in God; but it is not derived directly and unproblematically from the texts. Several of the groups that came to be branded unorthodox - such as the Adoptionists & Quartodecimans & Ebionites & others - were closer to the texts than what prevailed as orthodox doctrine. Likewise, it is not at all clear that Paul was right in his Christology - we do not know what the other Apostles (who had known Jesus in this life, which Paul it seems did not) thought on the matter. Jesus may be a Divine being of some kind - that Paul thought so, & that the writer to the Hebrews thought so, tells what they thought; not what any other Christians thought.

The idea that the Bible can be used to provide essential doctrine is a mirage. It’s obviously true until one looks outside the Bible, and finds how the texts were used. In this world, there is no escape from what is uncertain, unreliable or temporary; “here we have no abiding city…” - why should doctrine, or anything Churchly, be exempt from this state of being temporary, incompletely seen, perishable ?

I just have to step in to tell you that pole vaulting is a track and field event. Gymnasts vault, too, but not with a pole. :smiley:

Good-bye cruel world posts are childish. If you post something here, expect to be asked to defend your position. If you can’t do that, maybe another site is better for you.

By His will may YHWH bless and guide you and people treat you with greater kindness

As I explained to you several times in that thread, I’m not the one who says they’re not Christians.

I have met quite a few here.

Then why can’t you name any?

Well, while I do hope to have the mind of Christ and while the Bible does say that we can judge these things, again, you’re implying that I’m the one who declared them to not be Christians, which is not true.

I take it you’ve never read 2 John, because 2 John tells us that rejecting the deity of Christ will damn a man to Hell.

great! It is refreshing to see someone taking responsibility for making themselves their own standard of what is essential in the Christian faith. I rarely encounter this level of integrity among “bible christians”. :thumbsup:

Most “bible christians” deny the possibility of such interaction. I am glad that you have accepted that it is possible.

You do plenty of gymnastics. You just don’t see them that way. For example, the opening line of this post, where you admit that you have become the standard of what is essential, is a form of gymnastics.

No, thanks. That is a bit above my pay grade. Jesus committed the faith to the Apostles personally, making them understand all that was essential. they committed it to the Church. I receive it from them. I do not “redefine” anymore - I used to while I was living in rebellion.

Yes, of course! Please correct me wherever necessary. For example, I assumed that you did not believe in the communion of saints, and the ability of believers to interact with those who have gone on before us in faith.

I will grant you that it does reflect a condescending tone. However, you did not respond to the content. God can save whoever He wants, however He likes. He is not bound by your home made list of "essential doctrines’.

Right, but that is not what I asked. I asked you where you thought he got his authority.

Hmmm. Good luck with that! I think the Catholic Living section is a little less contentious. If you are that sensitive, you are not ready to be here.

Yes, you did. And I responded that Norman Geisler, though a good read, does not have the authority from the Apostles to define essential doctrines. It was not my intention to hurt your feelings.

Yes, you did. They do not meet your criteria for what defines Christian.

How would that further the topic? I actually had several come to mind when I was writing that. But, basically what you demand is a reflection of your refusal to accept my testimony.

Can you please explain this?

I find this argument from non-Catholics about “essential” doctrines to be so puzzling. Clearly, Scripture does not offer us any indication of what is essential, so it’s peculiar that this is something bible-Christians proclaim.

From another thread, I’ll repost:

Here’s what I learned from another Protestant in another thread just a few months ago about what’s considered “essential” by Protestants.

  1. Jesus is both God and man (John 1:1,14; 8:24; Col. 2:9; 1 John 4:1-4).
  2. Jesus rose from the dead physically (John 2:19-21; 1 Cor. 15:14).
  3. Salvation is by grace through faith (Rom. 5:1; Eph. 2:8-9; Gal. 3:1-2; 5:1-4).
  4. The gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus according to the scriptures (1 Cor. 15:1-4; Gal. 1:8-9).
  5. There is only one God (Exodus 20:3; Isaiah 43:10; 44:6,8)
  6. God exists as a Trinity of persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (1 John 5:7)
  7. Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary (nature of incarnation)
  8. Jesus is the only way to God the Father (John 14:6)."

But, wait!! Here’s another completely different list of essentials!

Those essentials were written by Matt Slick of CARM, the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry. The CARM web site states that CARN exists to defend the Christian faith by analyzing religions such as Islam, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormonism, Roman Catholicism, Universalism, Wicca, etc., and comparing them to the Bible. They give (at least) these scriptural references. Certainly these essentials are lacking per Catholic dogma.

Primary Essentials:

Diety of Christ – John 8:24, John 8:58 + Exodus 3:14.
Salvation by Grace – Gal 5:4, Eph 2:8-9
Resurrection of Christ – 1 Cor 15:14, 1 Cor 15:17
Gospel – Gal 1:8-9, 1 Cor 15:1-4
Monotheism – Exodus 20:3, Isaiah 43:10, 44:6,8, Exodus 20:3-6

Secondary Essentials:

Salvation – John 14:6
Trinity – John 3:16, John 5:26, 1 John 4:10, John 14:26, 15:26, Isaiah 44:24, Gal 3:13, Rom 15:16
Incarnation through Virgin Birth – Matt 1:23, John 8:24


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