As many Christians as there are in the country, there are as many different granular versions of their own personal theology. In my view, the foundational doctrines of the Christian faith are listed under the “Beliefs” section of this website. However, I also hold many secondary views loosely, in areas such as eschatology, predestination, etc. I am certain some of these ancillary views will need correction once I see Him face-to-face.
Basic Biblical Christian Theology
The following is a summary of our Beliefs.
- The Bible, as originally written, is the inerrant Word of God.
- The Trinity is one living God, eternally existent in three persons.
- God created the universe and everything in it. He is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent.
- Jesus Christ is the eternally preexistent Son, fully God and fully man, born of a virgin, and lived a sinless life.
- We are all sinners and can only be saved by accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, and not by works.
- Everyone will be resurrected to eternal life, either in Heaven or in a real and literal Hell.
- We have a responsibility and joy to share the gospel message.
Recently, a pastor sent me a message, respectfully making the point that he agreed with the seven points above. However, he also wanted me to know that he was KJV only and saw that position at the same level of importance in his walk with the Lord.
We live in a divided society. In an earlier article, I suggested that we are no longer divided by political affiliation or by race, etc. Our divisions have reached the level of tribalism in their size and isolation. The point here is that this divisiveness is not limited to the lost. The body of Christ, battered and bloodied by trying to deal with our changing cultural mores, has also become more and more fractured.
All this divisiveness plays into Satan’s hands. The more we exclude others from our high perch of correctness (in our morals, in our theology, in our wokeness), the easier it is for sin and Satan to break us down. When the end-times really starts, there will likely be a cataclysmic event(s) that will solidify all the remaining weak, anemic tribes together under one ruler, one currency, and one religion.
So, responding to the Pastor’s comment on KJV only… as Christians, we need to use the foundational beliefs as a bond between us rather than continue to tenaciously isolate ourselves by placing secondary beliefs on an equal footing. We need to keep the main thing the main thing. Whether one believes in sprinkling or emersion baptism, miracles in evidence today, speaking in tongues, KJV as the only authorized Bible, Predestination or Free Will, pre-tribulation, amillennialism, or even transubstantiation (oh horrors), what really matters is the simple question I have asked more than a hundred pastors while hiring folks to serve in a ministry years ago.
The Only Real Question in Life – Eternity
A childlike question that held an eternal impact. “If you were talking to your son and he asked you, ‘What does it take to get to Heaven’, how would you answer?” Sadly, many Pastors stumbled over the question. Others got so deep in narrow and liturgical theology that even they were not sure what they were saying. But for some, it was an easy question. That was what they did in their church, their neighborhood, their grocery stores, gas stations, and restaurants. It was what made their heart sing. And those were the ones we wanted to hire, to be Christian caregivers. Those were the ones who were not hung up on where one should worship (John 4:19-23), like the Samaritan women at the well. These former pastors were like Jesus, redirecting the conversation back to the main thing. Worshiping the Father in Spirit and in truth.
For those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, there will be plenty of time to discuss all the secondary theological principles that could separate every Christian from every other, every Pastor from his peers, or every tribe from every other tribe, and every denomination from all others. What matters is, “What does it take to get to Heaven?” Once there, we will all have an eternity and a Father with whom to discuss the details. While we await that blessing, we have the Holy Spirit to guide us the remainder of our lives on this earth.
Seven Points of Basic BC Theology
In my view, the seven points above, detailed below, form the base of who we are in Christ:
The Bible – We must believe it is inerrant and written by God in its original form. Further, we hold in our hands a version that is 99.9% of the original. If we don’t acknowledge that then we will invariability allow our sin and selfish nature to drift into those areas where we wish to do or be something God considers wrong (Eph 4:14).
The Trinity – If we think there is a God in Heaven but Jesus is was just a good moral teacher or the Holy Spirit is somehow disconnected from God, we will be setting aside what God teaches in His Word. We also run the risk of drawing on the “feelings of Jesus” in our lives and placing those above Scripture and the Holy Spirit’s convictions.
God made the Universe – If we believe in the big bang and macro-evolution, it takes God out of a position of omnipotence. If God is not all-powerful, all-knowing, and everywhere, He is not Supreme. Therefore, we can hide from Him and assume He does not know everything so His decisions can be challenged.
Jesus – For Christ to die for our sins, He had to be without sin according to inerrant Scripture. Jesus is before all things (Col 1:17). God and Jesus are considered equals (John 10:30, John 5:18). Finally, for Jesus to be the substitution for our sins, He also needed to be fully man as well as fully God.
Sinners Saved by Grace – Of course, this is the watershed issue that builds from the points above. Our good deeds spring from our love of what the Lord has done for us, in saving us through grace, not by our own works, so no one can boast (Eph 2:9). Further, we not only need to accept Christ on a personal basis as our eternal Savior (1 John 4:14); we also need to regard Him as our supreme Lord (Mat 6:24, Romans 10:9).
Resurrection – We need to agree that there is eternal life after death. Those who are saved have the assurance that Heaven awaits (2 Tim 4:18, Eph 4:30). Those who are lost will not disappear from existence. Sadly, Hell is a real place of eternal punishment (Mat 10:28, 25:41).
Share the Gospel – God calls us to do many things while we are being sanctified. The most important one is to share His truth with a lost and dying world. The greatest commandment God presents to us, is to love Him and love our neighbor (Mat 22:37). The greatest expression of that love for those who might be our closest friend or our worst enemy (Mat 5:43-48), is to tell them about Jesus Christ. The knowledge of Christ is the only thing we can share that has eternal consequences.
As born-again believers living as exiles in a post-Christian world, let’s keep the main thing, the main thing. Let’s come together with common ground as we battle with our Lord, against the true enemy, Satan. We all know the end of the story. But while we are left on this earth, “What kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives.” (2 Pet 3:11)