Beliefs

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Beliefs

Postby Bare_Truth » Wed Jan 01, 2014 1:41 pm

Beliefs are ideas that we hold, but where we may get into problems is when we think our beliefs come from the Bible and are therefore sanctioned by God. Where we get into trouble is when we believe that something is in the Bible but it is not there. There can be two valid ways that something is in the Bible:
-- EXPLICITLY; The Bible may explicitly state something, such as "You shall have no other Gods before me"
-- IMPLICITLY; The intent of the scripture is that Christians should set aside time for group worship on a weekly basis.
(Forgive me please if you disagree with my attempt at acceptable examples, and read on.)

And in those two examples we see the development of a problem. There is little or no basis for equivocation in the first statement, but the second statement while widely or universally accepted is hard to prove from the scriptures. The French revolution almost established a 10 day week as part of the metric system, and a universal secular based calendar has been proposed in the UN that would have certain days during the year that are not part of any week or month. thereby allowing all months to have the same length and leap days would not skew that pattern. So some might argue that these proposed secular calendars could be rationalized as acceptable to Christians, and not a violation of Proper respect for God's instructions in the Scripture.

I do not wish this strip to be devisive, but there is that risk. Rather than devisive, I would hope that it would be illuminating in showing that things we or others believe in the Bible are either solid or speculative. I think that I can more safely express this idea here because one thing along this line that we seem to agree on is:
The Bible nowhere mandates the wearing of clothing at all times in general social interaction
But most of Christendom believes that clothing is required and puts forth the idea that the Bible teaches this, but no one has shown that there is any such explicit and unassailable requirement other than the case of a Priest officiating at the Altar. All other scriptures cited are subject to interpretation, and context, and there are many scriptures to be cited to the contrary.

Ok, let me offer some that I believe can be examples that are not necessarily going to be comfortable to everyone here:

The Bible nowhere mandates that polyginy is not to be practiced.
While it can be shown that having more than one wife can be problematic, and having multiple wives is not required, and there are regulations as to having more than one wife:
-- they can't be sisters - (Lev 18:18 [1])
-- rights of the first born may not be altered based on favoritism toward one wife (Deut 21:15-17 [2])
While it may be shown that this was not the primary plan, it is not shown in scripture to be the exclusive plan and it may be shown to be aided and abetted by God in some cases. While it may create societal problems it can alleviate others.

The Bible nowhere establishes that the trinity is the correct theory of the godhead
While the Bible does speak of the Father and Jesus the son of God, and uses personal pronouns for the Holy Spirit, this does not rule out other concepts of how finite humans might properly characterize the nature of God while at the same time retaining the oneness of God. Yeah, I know that this is a hot one, and at times used as the litmus test of what is or is not a cult. But since it is not explicitly in the Bible it does depend on the limitations of human understanding, and as for the inspiration of any particular person or group of persons.

Now obviously there is a sense of "scripture alone" in how I am presenting these. But I raise these sorts of questions not to be divisive but rather to enhance a sense of tolerance among those who would follow Christ so that we might understand when our beliefs are solid and when we need to be humble enough to remember to not cast stones.

So what I have in mind is a respectful discussion of such points. The topic requires mature and open minds. Frankly I think I have seen more capacity for interdenominational understanding on this board than most anywhere else I have encountered. If this sort of discussion can be "pulled off" without turning rancorous, or having anyone go off "in a huff", and ad hominem problems don't erupt. I thiink it will be to our credit, and it will be illuminating. However, if the strip turns rancorous or divisive, then it ought to be locked :shock: .

Having pronounced the above Caveats, I offer this strip in the interest of seeking a more perfect understanding through understanding the scripture and invite all interested to respectfully submit examples of what is or is not in the scriptures, with the suggestion that perhaps it ought to spawn daughter strips on specific topics.
---------------
[1] Lev 18:
18 Neither shalt thou take a wife to her sister, to vex her, to uncover her nakedness, beside the other in her life time.

[2]
Deut 21:
15 ¶If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated, and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son be hers that was hated:
16 Then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed the firstborn:
17 But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his.
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Re: Beliefs

Postby ezduzit » Wed Jan 01, 2014 2:20 pm

Many good thoughts and I`m sure they will lead to many more posts......

First let me say our doctrine should not be based on what is not in the scriptures.......

Second we are "commanded" to gather as Christians for worship , when and how often depends on us .....Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Third........ Only a pastor and deacon has the restriction of "one wife"
1 Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
1 Timothy 3:12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
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Re: Beliefs

Postby bn2bnude » Wed Jan 01, 2014 4:21 pm

ezduzit wrote:Many good thoughts and I`m sure they will lead to many more posts......

I agree, although I think we often don't go far enough when we talk about believe. Too many equate "Believe" with "intellectually ascribe to". One example I've heard before is that I can "believe" a plane will not fall from the sky but until I actually climb on that plane, I don't really believe.

ezduzit wrote:First let me say our doctrine should not be based on what is not in the scriptures.......

I agree but would argue that there are quite a few things as you look at the various church websites "what we believe" that are eisegesis, not exegesis.
ezduzit wrote:Third........ Only a pastor and deacon has the restriction of "one wife"
1 Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
1 Timothy 3:12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
Ez

I might agree.
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Re: Beliefs

Postby pipermac » Wed Jan 01, 2014 4:53 pm

ezduzit wrote:Many good thoughts and I`m sure they will lead to many more posts......

First let me say our doctrine should not be based on what is not in the scriptures.......

Second we are "commanded" to gather as Christians for worship , when and how often depends on us .....Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Third........ Only a pastor and deacon has the restriction of "one wife"
1 Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
1 Timothy 3:12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
Ez


We put EZ!

I believe that it is our society that has put the constraint of one-man/one-woman on marriage, not Scripture. While I have no interest in pursuing a plural-marriage, since I have had enough difficulty staying married to even one woman, I can see some benefits to the arrangement.

My question relates to whether the "husband of one wife" is merely a constraint on how many wives a leader in the church may have, or whether it is a MANDATE that leaders in the church BE MARRIED. It would seem to me that the obligation of the deacon to be "ruling their children and their own houses well" could in no way be fulfilled by a single man, who has no children and no household.

Even though I have know a rare pastor or two who was a "career-single", they were few and far between.

I have struggled with this question for many years, and parted company with a church/denomination (CRC) over their election of women as deacons. While the women that had been elected as deacons in that particular congregation far "out-deaconed" the men, there was no way for them to be "the husband of one wife". I was a deacon along-side of them, so I was well-aware of their deaconate activities. I have since found out that I was not the only one to part company with that denomination, because a dear friend of mine, who was raised in that denomination, also parted company with them over that same issue. She couldn't, in clear conscience, continue to stay in and support a denomination that was departing from the truth of Scripture.

Thoughts?

I am naked and unashamed in Christ!

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1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 14) And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1, 1:14
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Re: Beliefs

Postby prairieboy » Wed Jan 01, 2014 6:11 pm

pipermac wrote:Even though I have know a rare pastor or two who was a "career-single", they were few and far between.


Our Catholic friends will certainly disagree with this.
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Re: Beliefs

Postby pipermac » Wed Jan 01, 2014 6:52 pm

prairieboy wrote:
pipermac wrote:Even though I have know a rare pastor or two who was a "career-single", they were few and far between.


Our Catholic friends will certainly disagree with this.


That would certainly lead me to question whether the Catholic church believes and teaches the truth of Scripture, or the traditions of men. I believe that the answer to that question is that they place a strong emphasis on the traditions of men, and gloss-over the truth of Scripture. Many of their other teachings range from marginally-Scriptural to downright UnScriptural. That was why there was a Protestant Reformation.

I am naked and unashamed in Christ!

Steve :cross:
1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 14) And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1, 1:14
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Re: Beliefs

Postby Bare_Truth » Wed Jan 01, 2014 10:24 pm

ezduzit wrote:First let me say our doctrine should not be based on what is not in the scriptures.......

bn2bnude wrote:... there are quite a few things as you look at the various church websites "what we believe" that are eisegesis, not exegesis.

Congratualtions gentlemen, you are right on top of the problem!

Those things that are in the scriptures and not explicit must be "rightly divided" often "here a little and there a little" by the process of exegesis. That of course is where many, especially (but not exclusively) the unlearned run amok and end up doing eisegesis instead of exegesis. There are many who would expel and anathematize the lot of us, because they read into the scriptures that we are not to be naked socially. The problem is usually they over reach what the scripture says in a way that suits their preconceived idea of what should be there based on their cultural preferences. They believe that they have done sound exegesis and on that basis they strive to purify the church of "sins", or if necessary purge the "heretical" sinners.

I am pleased that we are off to a good (my opinion) start here. I am wondering what would be a good way for some of the "beliefs" analyzed here to spawn daughter strips. I fear that I have not opened a can of worms here but perhaps a 5 gallon bucket. In the end I think we may have to be tolerant of one another and wait for the resurrection so we can ask, "Did I come close on any of those" or "How many of them did I get turned around"

We may be able to come to a resolution on some of them by looking at what fruit they bear, but we would also have to consider the circumstances. Let me give an example of what I mean.

If we look at the polygamy question and limit ourselves to just polyginy (more than one wife), and we consider the fruit born by the FLDS group, somehow they come up with the idea that you need at least 4 wives to be exalted in heaven. This means that something like 3 men will not have a wife available to them. The evil fruit of this is that a lot of teen boys find themselves excommunicated on flimsy terms and are not suitably educated for survival outside that group. There have been complaints that quite a few of these boys turn up in nearby cities as an underclass trying to survive, and many of them turn to male homosexual prostitution. But the FLDS doctrine goes way beyond "allowing" polyginy and at actually advocates high levels of it.

If then we compare this to the Leverate law (Deut 25:5 [1]) we see a situation where there is an option for the widow. And the scripture does not say that the brother must be unmarried. (that notion is a bit of eisegesis on the part of the Rabbis). This is not an obligation on the part of the Widow as the Muslims contend but it is an obligation (albeit escapable with censure) on the brother, and subsequently other kinsmen. When the woman married she became family to her husband's family and this is a fulfilment of their obligation to her. This Leverite option extends to more than just the immediate brother but to other kinsmen as we see in Ruth 3:11-13, 4:3-7 [2]. This was a protection to a woman who might otherwise find no accepted place in the society.

So depending on how it is carried out, Polyginy as an option. With limited use [3] it can bear good fruit, though it can be argued that it might be less needed today than in biblical times.

Of course, in our contemporary society, remarriage carries no stigma and given the societal level of selfish lust, polyginy would be very prone to abuse, just as men with power often use/abuse women for their own gratification.

Well, as I said I think we are off to a good start.


[1] Deut 15:
5 ¶If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her.
6 And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel.
7 And if the man like not to take his brother's wife, then let his brother's wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband's brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my husband's brother.
8 Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her;
9 Then shall his brother's wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother's house.
10 And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed.
[2]
Ruth 3:
11 And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.
12 And now it is true that I am thy near kinsman: howbeit there is a kinsman nearer than I.
13 Tarry this night, and it shall be in the morning, that if he will perform unto thee the part of a kinsman, well; let him do the kinsman's part: but if he will not do the part of a kinsman to thee, then will I do the part of a kinsman to thee, as the LORD liveth: lie down until the morning.

Ruth 4
3 And he said unto the kinsman, Naomi, that is come again out of the country of Moab, selleth a parcel of land, which was our brother Elimelech's:
4 And I thought to advertise thee, saying, Buy it before the inhabitants, and before the elders of my people. If thou wilt redeem it, redeem it: but if thou wilt not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know: for there is none to redeem it beside thee; and I am after thee. And he said, I will redeem it.
5 Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance.
6 ¶And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it.
7 Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbour: and this was a testimony in Israel.

[3] Deut 17:
15 Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose:......
17 Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.
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Re: Beliefs

Postby bn2bnude » Wed Jan 01, 2014 10:56 pm

pipermac wrote:
prairieboy wrote:
pipermac wrote:Even though I have know a rare pastor or two who was a "career-single", they were few and far between.


Our Catholic friends will certainly disagree with this.


That would certainly lead me to question whether the Catholic church believes and teaches the truth of Scripture, or the traditions of men. I believe that the answer to that question is that they place a strong emphasis on the traditions of men, and gloss-over the truth of Scripture. Many of their other teachings range from marginally-Scriptural to downright UnScriptural. That was why there was a Protestant Reformation.

I am naked and unashamed in Christ!

Steve :cross:


Steve,

While I understand you believe what you believe, our Catholic friends would (and in the past have) said similar things about what each and every one of us believe. In this case, I'd sooner criticize our protestant camp of ignoring Paul's exhortation to stay single to better work for God.

When it comes to our beliefs, we all live in fragile proverbial glass houses.
Last edited by bn2bnude on Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Beliefs

Postby bn2bnude » Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:08 pm

Bare_Truth wrote:I am pleased that we are off to a good (my opinion) start here. I am wondering what would be a good way for some of the "beliefs" analyzed here to spawn daughter strips. I fear that I have not opened a can of worms here but perhaps a 5 gallon bucket. In the end I think we may have to be tolerant of one another and wait for the resurrection so we can ask, "Did I come close on any of those" or "How many of them did I get turned around"


I'm in unless the discussion takes on the tenor of some of our previous conversations.

For instance, once we start accusing this group or that group of not really being believers, I'll back out.

We need to remember that we are not a denomination here where its members have vowed to uphold a particular set of tenants. We need to treat everyone, even those we disagree with with love and respect. We all live in theological glass houses.
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. (Rom 8:1 NLT)



If I speak with the tongues of men and angels but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. (1 Cor 13:1)
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Re: Beliefs

Postby bn2bnude » Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:18 pm

Bare_Truth wrote:If we look at the polygamy question and limit ourselves to just polyginy (more than one wife), and we consider the fruit born by the FLDS group, somehow they come up with the idea that you need at least 4 wives to be exalted in heaven. This means that something like 3 men will not have a wife available to them. The evil fruit of this is that a lot of teen boys find themselves excommunicated on flimsy terms and are not suitably educated for survival outside that group. There have been complaints that quite a few of these boys turn up in nearby cities as an underclass trying to survive, and many of them turn to male homosexual prostitution. But the FLDS doctrine goes way beyond "allowing" polyginy and at actually advocates high levels of it.


There are some who have suggested that God's allowing polygamy was more a matter of accommodating the needs and the culture.

The needs, in this case would be:
  1. Procreation - more wives typically meant more children.
  2. Caring for widows of child bearing age. Providing for the widows family.
  3. Keeping the Israelite clans pure.
As EZ pointed out. Other than a couple of statements about Adam & Eve which Paul wrote, there isn't much of a discussion of multiple wives outside church leadership.
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If I speak with the tongues of men and angels but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. (1 Cor 13:1)
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Re: Beliefs

Postby Bare_Truth » Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:43 pm

bn2bnude wrote:I'm in unless the discussion takes on the tenor of some of our previous conversations.

For instance, once we start accusing this group or that group of not really being believers, I'll back out.

We need to remember that we are not a denomination here where its members have vowed to uphold a particular set of tenants. We need to treat everyone, even those we disagree with with love and respect. We all live in theological glass houses.


Your are on target with a key concern I had in trying to frame the opening post. If we can work this right we could come away with a better understanding of the reasons for our different viewpoints. My hope is that we can reason together for understanding one another without condemning anyone. I would hope we can do this for understanding and not division.
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Re: Beliefs

Postby jasenj1 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 12:23 am

I'm not going to jump in too deep here because I think the topic of polygamy is not within the scope of this forum; it's tangentially related to themes naturism brings up, but not directly related.

The Church loves orthodoxy. Making sure everyone knows "the rules" and abides by them. There are lots of Scriptures warning about false teachings, not getting ensnared by the world's ways, and such. We tend to gloss over the Scriptures telling us to respect each other, give grace and forgiveness to each other, live at peace with each other, and generally cut each other a lot of slack - as God has cut us a mile of slack through His Son.

Pick a doctrine and there are denominations and parts of the Church that disagree with great sincerity and ferocity: how & when baptism should be done, speaking in tongues, the role of women, etc., etc. The history of the Church is filled with splits over doctrines. The cessationism vs continuationism/charismatic schism is one that I've recently been entertained by.

The problem is what God requires is really very simple but, just like the Pharisees Jesus rebuked, the Church loves to heap expectations, conventions, and rules on top of Scripture. God will forgive us even of that (I'm pretty sure. :)).

IMHO, far better minds than ours have wrestled with these issues for a few thousand years and we still don't have peace within the Body.

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Re: Beliefs

Postby jochanaan » Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:15 am

Often it's the things we don't talk about that end up running our lives. For example, if we refuse to examine the Biblical evidence regarding polygamy (in specific), it is easy to fall into conventional thinking and ignore some clear examples of polygamy that God not only allowed but seemed to have made a blessing. King David's polygamy is the best example. His second recorded wife is Abigail (see I Samuel 25), who is described as both beautiful, virtuous and intelligent. And while Bath-Sheba's first child with David died, their second was Solomon, who became the greatest Israelite king (at least in power and influence; David was in many ways the greatest of them all). There is also Jacob's two wives and two concubines, the mothers of Israel's 12 tribes.

Regarding worship, the Sabbath is described as a time of "holy convocation" or "sacred assembly". (Leviticus 23:3) Yet I think we sometimes reverse God's reasoning in this. We think that "God commanded it, so He must want it" or some such; yet Jesus said, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath." Our gathering together (on the Sabbath or at other times) is not to give something to God; it's so that we may grow closer to Him and others who follow Him and thus receive help and strength and comfort. And it doesn't have to be a formal gathering! Some of the best, most Spirit-filled times I've had have been in small, informal groups with no ordained "pastor" nor any connection to an organized Christian denomination--just folks who love the LORD. :D
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Re: Beliefs

Postby Petros » Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:29 am

Interersting that this so far has evaded the reaction roused by my recent post.

A couple qauick ponts here:

We may distinguish

A. Clear, unambiguous scriptural pronouncements and commandments [Jesus was crucified and rose, thou shalt have no othe God]

B.Unclear, debatable, contradictory scriptural pronouncements and commandments [I will mention here only "this is how you divorce" / "God hates divorce"

C. Pronouncements and precepts which are not explicit in the scriptures but may reasonbly be deduced - and may be debated- let me instance transubstatiation.

D. Pronouncements and precepts which arise or vanish if one assumes a differentr authoritative text. The reading of "scripture is inspired" is a splendid example.

In addition, since clerical celibacy has been raised - We do NOT find in scripture anything that says that a Christian institution may not estavlishg bylaws above and beyond what sits in scripture. If one congregation says its clergy MUST be married, and another, for what seemsd good ands sufficient reasons, says its cledrgy must NOT be married, or if one insists that communion must use leavened bread, another insisting on unleavened, or one wants wine, another demanding unfermented grape juice, this is simply local option. Note that the Catholic policy on celibacy can hardly rest on theology when Eastern rite priests may be married.
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Re: Beliefs

Postby bn2bnude » Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:55 am

Petros wrote:In addition, since clerical celibacy has been raised - We do NOT find in scripture anything that says that a Christian institution may not estavlishg bylaws above and beyond what sits in scripture. If one congregation says its clergy MUST be married, and another, for what seemsd good ands sufficient reasons, says its cledrgy must NOT be married, or if one insists that communion must use leavened bread, another insisting on unleavened, or one wants wine, another demanding unfermented grape juice, this is simply local option. Note that the Catholic policy on celibacy can hardly rest on theology when Eastern rite priests may be married.


I've heard a back story on the whole celibate priest doctrine as well as the eat fish on Friday. Assuming the stories I've heard are true, the doctrine was certainly an extrapolation of what is in Scriptures. That doesn't, in my book, condemn the doctrine, however.

Here are some Protestant doctrine I think are worth examining as I'm not convinced the narrative of scripture and the doctrine held in churches match up):
  • Nudity and the Bible
  • Penal Substitutionary Atonement (there are at least 10 different views held by churches throughout the ages)
  • Hell (at least 3 different views that are sustainable in Scripture)
  • "Born Again" salvation (our view comes more from Wesley/Moody than Scripture?)
  • "Once Saved Always Saved" (see Born Again)
  • Age of accountability
  • Baptism (sprinkling vs immersion)
  • End Times (at least 4 major categories of views here and each category has several views within)
  • Inerrancy/Infallibility of Scripture
I realize there are strips for some of these already.
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