Saturday, May 9, 2009

Battling with my Theological bias doctrines

The other day, for the fun of it, I tested myself to see where the doctrines I am in line with today. It has been interesting because the first part of my Christian life, I was Baptist (non-Calvinist) and Anabaptist (somewhat Calvinist) that many of the "minor" doctrines are still within my heart. However, the major doctrines have changed. It took me almost 40 years to change because I was victimized because I grew up in a certain theological system and I become indoctrinated by what I have learned over the years that I have struggled by defending what I have learned and can't seem to let go of it.

However, one thing I have learned over the years relating to the "doctrine of salvation". I have to remember that the Bible does not present faith as simply "mental assent to the facts of the gospel" but rather true saving faith involves repentance from my own sin and a complete trust in the work of Christ to save me from sin and make me righteous. Through the doctrine of Soli Deo gloria: All glory is due to God alone, since salvation is accomplished solely through His will and action—not only the gift of the all-sufficient atonement of Jesus on the cross but also the gift of faith in that atonement, created in the heart of the believer by the Holy Spirit.

The atonement is the work of God from beginning to end. God alone provides the means of salvation through the incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of Christ; through the call of God for all to repent and don't reject; and through the God-given restoration.

One of the major reasons I moved away from Reformed (Calvinist) is the mystery of God's salvation for us. No matter how much knowledge we have in the Mystery of God, we will never fully comprehend God until we die. In Isaiah 55:8-9 God says, "My thoughts are completely different from yours, and my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. We are to judge through, to see through to the truth, to truly evaluate something what what we are hearing is biblical or not. Knowledge of the mystery is having the reality of an experience of knowing God personally and consciously. I have learned through the years that God don't need me but I do know He uses my life. My own faith is not self-effort or anything I can do for God but rather from within that my faith is a gift from the Holy Spirit by the conviction to submit into action. The outcome is not based on my faith or my will but rather God's will for my life as I serve Him on this earth as I serve for Him in heaven. The Spirit is our intercessor, our personal indwelling intercessor interceding according to the will of God. Jesus had said to His disciples, "Whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave" (Matthew 20:26‑27). The life of a local church is made up of spiritual attitudes and spiritual motivations, spiritual graces that come from deep within the community. Its a reminder of this verse in Ephesians 4:4, "There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all."

(100%) 1: Lutheran
(90%) 2: Presbyterian/Reformed
(87%) 3: Congregational/United Church of Christ
(82%) 4: Church of Christ/Campbellite
(80%) 5: Anglican/Episcopal/Church of England
(80%) 6: Methodist/Wesleyan/Nazarene
(77%) 7: Eastern Orthodox
(75%) 8: Baptist (Reformed/Particular/Calvinistic)
(65%) 9: Roman Catholic
(62%) 10: Baptist (non-Calvinistic)/Plymouth Brethren/Fundamentalist
(57%) 11: Pentecostal/Charismatic/Assemblies of God
(50%) 12: Seventh-Day Adventist
(37%) 13: Anabaptist (Mennonite/Quaker etc.)


Toby Welch said...

Interesting article you had. I am currently taking Whitefield Theological Seminary (Reformed/Calvinism Seminary). It is really good stuff to study! Most important is the authority of the Scripture (Sola Scriptura!)we are required to obey and follow it.

Toby Welch

Rod said...

Hey Jim, just found your blog and have poked around a bit. I'll take a risk and make a comment, actually a question. Could you tell me how you know "we will never fully comprehend God until we die"? I'm sure death is a great eye-opener but I'm not so sure death is a "down load of God's mind to my mind allowing full comprehension of all that God is". I think there will always be some mystery about God, even in heaven that we won't "fully" comprehend. What do you think?

Jim said...

When we get into heaven, we will know everything that we needed to know simply because we will be with our Creator. Today, we do know more about God's mystery. In Colossians, Paul explains that when we have a thorough knowledge of Christ, who is the mystery of God, we have everything necessary for life and godliness. We do not need to search for knowledge or truth in any other place.