Thursday, July 16, 2009

Do we keep the distinctives, or not?

Historically the Missionary Church has been distinguished by certain key doctrines, including the pre-trib view of the rapture, the Wesleyan view of sanctification (crisis experience subsequent to salvation and sinless perfection), and Arminianism.

The question is, do we keep these distinctives, or not?

Writing from our 20th biennial General Conference, it would seem that we as a denomination are moving away from requiring the pre-trib view and the sinless perfection view.

On the other hand, we just affirmed a change in our article of faith on sanctification, but it still maintained the crisis view.

And we are currently maintaining our affirmation of Arminianism, and of our distinctives cited above, this is the one we are most strongly affirming, because it is currently in our core affirmations (for pastors to eventually sign annually). (See previous post.)

I understand wanting to preserve our distinctives and our heritage, but I do not think it is a worthy goal. These are secondary doctrines in my book (as opposed to the primary, non-negotiable doctrines, like the Trinity, salvation by grace through faith, and the 2nd Advent).

Let's rally around the primary doctrines and get on with ministry. Let's discuss the secondary doctrines and sharpen one another, but let's not exclude brothers in Christ because they hold a different interpretation of Scripture that is still within the realm of orthodoxy.

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