People are asking me to explain myself when I say “agree to disagree”.
I used to take one verse, cherry pick it, turn it into a club and beat the piss out of someone for not seeing what I see in the verse. You know.. the correct way of interpreting it and then using it as a rule to leave by.
Well, those days are long gone. I have learned that I am allergic to all that type of bullshit out there with denominations breaking up for stupid reasons.
Well, let me try to explain my stance and how I see things, which in itself is debatable and not “THE” way of seeing things… (insert diabolical laugh here)
In a nut shell, “theological” issues can be broken down into three different levels, or “tiers”. So, I see three tiers of doctrine. Let’s call them…
Tier 1 – Primary Realism
Tier 2 – Subsequent Realism
Tier 3 – Remaining Realism
In the primary realism tier, this stage is the one I would define as “doctrine” that is absolutely essential for one to be recognized as part of the Body of Christ. These beliefs are essential to be defined as a Christian. One who has a ticket to the Great Banquet. This stage has a very limited list. It consists of… Christ died. Christ rose. Christ just IS. He is the magnet that holds everything in the universe together.
How he rose, how he died, how he was born, and many of the other doctrines bring us to the tier 2, or what I call subsequent realism.
The second tier “doctrines” are key in bringing the Body of Christ together in gatherings (but I feel do not define who Christ actually IS or what “Christianity” is about. This level is a tad more complex to explain. This level is the doctrinal level that slices apart the Body in many, many ways. But this is the main level where I feel Christians should have respectful disagreements over the differences. This level includes items that are talked about in scripture. Such things as tithing, church structure, modes of baptism, or even the meaning of baptism.
Let’s look at an example about baptism? The bible speaks of baptism in many ways. So, Baptists, for example, do not have to try and “save” their Presbyterian brothers and sisters or tell them they are not “true” or “real” Christians just because they believe in infant baptism. Again, we should have respectful disagreements over these differences as Christians.
The third tier, or the remaining “doctrines” are topics that are up for discussion, but in no way should threaten the fellowship among the gatherers. To me this is areas of old earth/young earth, or eschatology views, or areas of Calvinism versus Arminianism.
They way I see this final level would be like Christ himself showing up on Facebook and saying you have 2 choices, hit “like” if you favor Calvinism or hit “like” if you favor Arminianism. After everyone picks what they “like” they all gather together. I can see Christ showing up and saying “all the Calvinists stand over here”, and “all the Arminians stand over there”. Then with Christ standing in the middle of the two groups getting ready to launch the verdict of who is correct, I think Christ would point to both groups at the same time and say “You are both right”.
In other words. The answer is standing in the middle. No matter where you fall on the spectrum.. Christ is the answer.
(Of course, I might be wrong too on my theory of the three tiers, it is all up for discussion, and in realism no one really knows the truth except Christ who IS truth)
This is what I mean when I say we all need to “agree to disagree” on all these issues and put Christ as the Head of the Body.