Today I learned that there are various levels of beliefs for Christianity. Christians tend to distinguish between four common types of beliefs associated with Christianity or religion. The levels of Christian beliefs are “essential, denominational, church, and personal.”
Essential beliefs are first on the list because they are non-negotiable and required by God. Good deeds alone do not make a person a Christian. A Christian is a person who is baptized, born again, accepts The Lord as Savior, and believes Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose from the grave, and is coming back again. “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.” (John 3:7 ESV)
Additionally, it is essential for Christians to know and understand that we are saved by God’s grace and mercy, not by good works. Beliefs essential for Christians also include believing and accepting God’s written and spoken Word spiritual food and essential doctrine.
Believers must also have faith in God, follow His commandments, and study to show thyself approve. “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” Titus 3:5 (ESV) Having an ability to love unconditional, forgive and show compassion to others is evidence of true Christianity.
In Matthew 18:20, the Word says “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Where we gather and how we gather has more to do with denominations than the Gospel of Jesus Christ or essential doctrine. [Over the centuries, Christianity has divided into numerous denominations.
Each denomination has its own distinctive beliefs or practices, but they are generally considered a branch of mainstream Christianity if they agree on core doctrines like the divinity of Jesus Christ and the authority of the Bible.] “Christian Denominations.” ReligionFacts.com. 10 Nov. 2015. Web. Accessed 30 Aug. 2016. www.religionfacts.com/christianity/branches
While it is possible to be Christian and not be part of particular domination, most Christians do identify with a denomination. However, within the last century, we have seen an uprising of churches claiming non-denominational status.
The interesting thing about many of them is most of their members are affiliated with denominations and often exhibit worship habits, or practices representative of those denominations. What is important is, it is not necessary to be part of a denomination in order to receive salvation and serve God.
Some denominations are viewed by some as cults because many of their practices have nothing to do with the Gospel of Jesus Christ or leading souls to Christ. A large percentage of denominations practice rituals that are biblically unsupported or recognized as God-breathed and for that reason, can be considered nonessential.
Modern-day churches have become inundated with nonessential beliefs and practices. In fact, there are some who believe there is an urgency to get back to basics, true doctrine, and sound worship. Gone are the days where people went to church to receive the sheer unadulterated Word. It seems that in some cases pandering to the people takes precedence over preaching to them.
Tithing, or taking in money seems to overshadow Christian worship in many religious institutions these days. Making church members believe prosperity is associated with worshipping God is not essential to Christianity. While tithing is important, and most churches still advocate tithing 10%, of one’s earnings; many churches urge members to give considerably more and do it aggressively.
Obviously pressuring God’s people to give money is not essential doctrine as it may be, much of what was considered essential to worship twenty years ago is no longer viewed as necessary. Perhaps the church errored when it began to alter traditional belief systems. broken people.
Matters of personal liberty include matters like dictating what people can and cannot wear to church, who sits in what seats and when church services should be held. It seems that some churches get out of their comfort zone for the wrong reasons. They choose to exert energy becoming bolder about confronting church members on nonessential issues. Christians should know “saving souls is the most essential and important responsibility that a servant of God has.
Churches are charged by God to intentionally encourage, inspire and lead people to God, in ways becoming to Christ. In some ways, the church has become an enemy to people in need of salvation, because it burdens them with nonessential activities.
God’s Word is essential, as are His instructions and desires for us. Laurens wrote: [in its conviction that the philosophy and history of culture must join, support, complete and maybe even turn around phenomenology when dealing with the difficult task of determining what exactly would be ‘left’ of the ‘theological’ in our time.] Laurens, ten Kate (2008)
It is possible to promote Christian harmony without compromising one’s personal beliefs when essential and nonessential beliefs are properly categorized. Confusing essential beliefs with nonessential beliefs can lead to undesired outcomes. The best way to avoid disharmony brought on by advocating nonessential beliefs, as if they were essential, is to differentiate between the two and refrain from forcing nonessential beliefs upon others.
Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, Vol. 23, No. 4, August 2003, 321-330 DOI: 10.1177/0270467603256085 Copyright 2003 Sage Publications
Christian Denominations. ReligionFacts.com. 10 Nov. 2015. Web. Accessed 30 Aug. 2016. http://www.religionfacts.com/christianity/branches
Kate, Laurens (2008). Intimate Distance: Rethinking the Untough God in Christianity. Sophia, 47(3), 327-343