It is fashionable in modern Evangelical churches to make creeds and statements that are much more “loose” than those of the great denominations of the past. Many of these new “creeds” are crafted in vague terms to allow for people to remain within a church or association without truly believing the gospel.
But “Why?” you might ask; “Why would any group want to do that?”
The “Majors and Minors” Bull-Crap Statement
The popular defense of this practice is to recite the well-worn phrase, “We will major on the major’s and minor on the minor’s“. Or, to be put it in practical terms, to only focus on the bare essentials; (while basically ignoring the rest).
I have listened to this meaningless “major’s and minor’s” phrase repeated by both Mainline denominational pastors and Evangelicals alike.
Generally this is spoken by those who have already entered into some form of association which has compromised their doctrinal soundness.
And, in order to appear more enlightened, more tolerant, more thoughtful, more noble and more broadminded, they claim that they do not wish to be bogged down by the non-essentials.
What they are really saying is that doctrinal soundness is less important to them than the outward show of unity and harmony.
However, sound doctrine does not cause disunity.
But false doctrine does cause disunity.
At least we hope that it does!
In contrast, good doctrine promotes unity. In fact, we are promised unity when we follow the word of God faithfully. (Ephesians 4:13, Acts 2:42, I Timothy 4:6)
A lack of true, biblical unity is caused because of sin. Primarily the sins of unbelief and disobedience to the Word of God.
The only true unity comes through truth.
It is not “love” that makes unity. Because a love that is based on false or weak doctrine is not really love. Regardless of how it feels or the outward appearance of harmony.
To truly understand this, consider where love comes from. How do we truly develop love? How is it created within us?
Where Does Love Truly Come From?
The church as a whole has a real problem understanding love? Because it has been brainwashed into thinking about love in humanistic terms.
The world considers love to be a gentle, open, accepting, sweet, tolerant feeling and action toward others. In modern practice, it is more of a feeling or of having a non-judgmental spirit than anything else.
In a nutshell, it is about being nice. As opposed to being negative and critical.
But, biblically, love is a lot tougher than that. Love is linked to the character and person of Christ. In fact, Christ is the single and only source of true love.
As the hymn goes, “O Christ He is the Fountain, the deep, sweet well of love! The streams on earth I’ve tasted, more deep I’ll drink above. There to an ocean fullness His mercy doth expand, And glory, glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.” (The Sands of Time are Sinking; Words by Anne R. Cousin, 1857)
Any other definition or practice of love outside of that created by the Spirit of Christ within us is only a faint expression of true love.
And Christ does not deal with us outside of the parameters of His word. Specifically the written words of God.
So true love must flow out of a relationship to Christ as Savior as well as out of obedience to His word. As a branch connected to the vine, we can only produce love, a fruit of the Spirit, as we abide in Christ.
In other words, it is His truth that defines love. Because Christ is Truth. And when we love Him, we keep His words and walk in truth.
Out of that abiding, He will produce the fruit of love within us; which is a love for not only Christ but also for others.
The Narrow Way
All of this is said to underscore that standing on the essentials of the Gospel is not a bad thing. It is not a limiting or unnecessarily exclusivist thing. It is not unloving or intolerant to make much of what God has said we must believe.
And, consequently, it is NOT loving to create some minimalist gospel in order to get more people to make a decision for Christ. To make it easier than Christ intended it to be.
We are NOT in the volume business! Our job is to do what Christ said. No more; and No less. And neither to add to His word; nor to take away from it.
Jesus said, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. ” (Matthew 7:13-14).
This is a sobering thought. That in the end, out of all the population of the world from the beginning of history, only a few will find salvation.
Only a few. That is staggering and heartbreaking!
No Soul Left Behind
Every true, loving Christian fervently desires that as many as truly want to trust Christ will hear His Word and come to Him. And we desire that our lives will help people to come to Him and walk with Him.
And, frankly, I believe that is exactly the way God has designed His plan of salvation.
So that whosoever will may come.
So that any soul, wherever he or she may be, can come to Christ if they truly desire Him.
But that is entirely different than the soul simply looking for a better deal. Or to create a fire escape at the last minute. Or to create a get-out-of-judgment-free card.
The world is filled with people like that. Who don’t truly want forgiveness from their sins and fellowship with Christ. They just want an escape from judgment.
One of the first components of salvation is that of which Christ spoke, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)
In another place He said, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24)
So, you see, God wants truth in the “inward parts” of our being. He wants us to come to Him sincerely and in accordance to His word.
“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. ” (John 6:37)