Sjolander Road Fellowship




Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

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evangelical Basis

9/15/12

 

Evangelical Christianity is based on the premise of only one correct interpretation of the Bible, at least as it relates to the critical doctrinal points. Of course, this caveat only adds to the challenge, because now we must determine what the critical parts are in addition to deriving the right interpretation thereof.

 

As usually understood, this right interpretation involves knowing what must be believed and what must be done. The evangelical insistence that one must believe correctly has caused the generation of multiple creeds and statements of faith among the various denomination and independent churches. Most such lists of beliefs usually don't differentiate between critical and non critical beliefs, so one must assume that everything is considered critical.

 

The one true interpretation concept underlies the entire history of the evangelical church. Debate over what comprises the divine truth is all about interpretive methods. Different approaches provide different truths and result in different churches. The indictment of God and His attempt at revelation which these differences entail seems lost on many who embrace the one truth idea. Why can't God communicate that truth effectively? Is He incapable or just indifferent to effectiveness? It does no good to blame the confusion on wishful thinking or false teachers. God is still in control, working all out in accordance with His Will (Ephesians 1:11).

 

When we accept that right beliefs are a part of the salvation requirements, then it follows that the salvation process must include a recitation of those beliefs. For instance, if belief in a literal fire burning hell is essential, then the teacher must confirm that the convert knows what he or she is being saved from. You may have noticed that many sermons don't make that clear. The so called "sinners prayer" doesn't either. Nor does it mention the virgin birth, the trinity, or the future second coming.

 

Some want to clarify by saying that these other essential doctrinal points come to be understood later, after a period of Christian growth. That would be fine as long as their understanding is not deemed to be essential to salvation. If the individual can become saved without knowing these elements, then how can they become essential down the road? It just doesn't compute.    

 

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