The title of this series comes from the opening verses of the New Testament book of Jude. My tribe, the Christian Churches/Churches of Christ have, in the past (and still in certain segments), really liked to contend. Sometimes we’ve liked to contend about things that really aren’t worth contending about (musical instruments in church buildings, anyone?).
Part of the deal about this whole essentials vs. nonessentials issue is drawing the line in the sand. What issues are, as the old schoolers say, tests of fellowship? What issues are deal breakers–if we don’t agree on them, then we cannot and will not hang out and work together? There are some issues that are universal for all times and places. The person and work of Jesus, for example, is the ultimate deal breaker (just read 1 John, and you’ll definitely see this to be true). That’s why we don’t fellowship with the Mormons and the Jehovah’s Witnesses–they have distorted the person and work of Jesus. There have been, however, issues that we’ve drawn a line in the sand that, looking back, we really shouldn’t have. Like I mentioned earlier, in the Christian Churches/Churches of Christ, music has been a deal breaker. Music caused an actual split in our movement back in 1906 (that was the officially recognized date–the schizm occured much earlier). Straight up–that was retarded. It short circuited the fastest growning Christian movement in the history of our country.
So the question up for discussion today is this: what issues are deal breakers for you? What issues do you draw a line in the sand over?
Let’s get it started–and don’t just give a list. Tell why these issues are deal breakers for you.