Christian Life 

So what are the secondary issues?

In the context of evangelical divisions there are increasing calls for 'unity' and the side-lining of 'secondary issues'. But what are these secondary issues?


Core DoctrinesWhat are your groupings 'secondary issues'?

Each denomination and grouping has some type of creedal/doctrinal statement. It is most likely that these serve a purpose; and should perhaps be retained.

However in the call to the biblical unity which Christ prayed for there are no doubt issues which groups of individuals (denominations/organisations) are prepared to hold lightly for the purposes of a greater and stronger fellowship with those in other expressions of the body of Christ which is the wider church.

In order to assist all who desire a greater 'togetherness' amongst those who are steadfast for Truth, you are invited to indicate below using the 'Add Your Response" facility what you feel are the secondary issues within your own grouping.

If you are not a logged-on site member, please give your Christian name and the name/title of the grouping (denomination/organisation) to which you belong.

In order to avoid needless repitition of doctrines which most would see as 'fundamentals' which are 'non-negotiable' the follow is a set of creedal believes used by one pan-church Christian organisation. (Not to suggest that even these are set in 'tablets of stone', but rather to give a starting point of 'givens' that do not need much discussion.)

Basic Christian beliefs

  • The inspiration, inerrancy and infallibility of God's word, the Bible, as originally given. The holy scripture is both vital and clear, and all Christians must submit to its supreme authority and sufficiency, both individually and corporately, in every matter of belief and conduct.
  • The existence of one eternal and immutable God, the Holy Trinity, Creator and Lord of the universe who, in the unity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit - three Persons who are the same in substance, and equal in power and glory - governs all things according to his will, and is accomplishing his purposes in the world and in the church.
  • The inherent value of all human beings, made by God in his own image, and their sinfulness and guilt since the fall of Adam. This has rendered them subject to God's wrath and condemnation, and has resulted in their alienation from him, from one another and from his creation.
  • The essential, absolute and eternal deity of the Lord Jesus Christ; his conception by Mary of the Holy Spirit; his virgin birth; his real but sinless humanity; his voluntary humiliation and obedience, culminating in his death as a sacrifice for sin; his bodily resurrection from the dead on the third day; his ascension into heaven; his continuing ministry as Prophet, Priest and King; and his coming again in power and glory.
  • Salvation from the guilt, penalty and all consequences of sin solely through the work of Jesus Christ - his perfect obedience, penal substitutionary death, bodily resurrection and exaltation as Lord. He alone is truly God and truly man, and therefore the only mediator between God and humanity, uniquely able to save completely those who come to God through him. There is salvation through no other person, creed, process or power.
  • The justification of sinners entirely through the imputation of Christ's righteousness to them and of the guilt and penalty of their sin to him. It is appropriated by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
  • The necessity and sufficiency of the work of the Holy Spirit for the individual's new birth to repentance and faith, union with Christ and growth to maturity, and for the church's continuous renewal in truth, unity, wisdom, faith, holiness, love, power and mission
  • The universal church, the body of which Christ is the head, to which all God's people belong. Its existence reveals God's ultimate purpose to bring everything together under Christ. It is made visible both in local congregations and in the wider communion of those who profess the true faith. It comprises a people called to declare the praise of the God who saved them, to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints, and to proclaim the gracious offer of salvation to those who are lost.
  • The unity of the body of Christ, as expressed within and between local churches by mutual love, care, encouragement and corporate action. True fellowship between churches exists only where they are faithful to the apostolic gospel.
  • The personal and visible return in glory of the Lord Jesus Christ, in order to raise the dead and bring salvation and judgement to final completion. He will grant eternal life to those who have believed the gospel, and consign those who have not to everlasting punishment in hell. God will then fully establish his kingdom in new heavens and a new earth, from which evil and evildoers, suffering and death will be excluded, and in which he will be glorified forever.

To leave your list of secondary issues, hit the 'Add Your Response' button below.

Christians Together, 25/05/2011

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Nicolas T. (Guest) 05/07/2011 21:37
This is a very useful exercise for us, as we so often pretend that Bible believing Christians all believe the same thing automatically. I think it even breeds a kind of self righteousness among us. We need the humbling that this exercise brings!
But what is # 19 about? Pls tell me what is the issue concerning #19. "Strangers in church."
Peter Carr 06/07/2011 12:40
Nicolas, I am glad that you asked, because the list is meant to stimulate debate/discussion. No 19 can be viewed in at least 3 ways;

1. Some Christians and there poor attitudes to 'outsiders' who visit a church.

2. A certain denomination where you need to get a letter of approval before being allowed to take communion!!

3. On a USA Christian forum recently I came across thinking from several who were posting, that church only exists for the redeemed!!
Ian Mackenzie (Guest) 06/07/2011 15:14
"On a USA Christian forum recently I came across thinking from several who were posting, that church only exists for the redeemed!!"

Indeed that statement clarification. The redeemed ARE the church (body of Christ). Non-redeemed are not the church; and should never be considered to be or confused with the church.
Peter Carr 06/07/2011 16:16
Sorry, Ian I am referring in my post to church buildings.
Ian Mackenzie (Guest) 06/07/2011 16:56
"Sorry, Ian I am referring in my post to church buildings."

And this is a v good example of where the confusion comes in. We invite unbelievers (essentially heathen) into church (buildings) where they are then treated as part of the church (body).
Church buildings (for Christian services at least) should be used for believers only which is perhaps what the American brothers were saying - with good reason.
If we want to have an evangelistic outreach then that's fine, but that's not 'church'. Outreach and worship/prayer/teaching should not be confused. The first should essentially bge done outside of the building, the other within it.
Otherwise you have an unholy mix, and all hte problms that we see today.

Peter Carr 06/07/2011 17:54
Ian, I suspect that you and I will differ in our definition of church. I prefer the Lord's approach!!

"Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Ian Mackenzie (Guest) 06/07/2011 18:26
"Ian, I suspect that you and I will differ in our definition of church. I prefer the Lord's approach!!"

TP, My definition of the church is taken from the Bible: it is the body of believers in Christ and God's word never refers to the church as bein buildings.

The Great Commission (which you quote) relates to the task of outreach. We 'go' to the (heathan) nations; we don't drag them into the church (buildings) nor believe that they are part of the church (body).

Im not Brethren nor do I believe everything that the3y teach, but at least they have the distincton between the world and the church right.
Tartan Paint (Guest) 06/07/2011 19:37
Ian, thank you but;

1. I have a good grasp of what the 'church' is thank you. Which could not possibly be discussed adequately on this thread.

2. Only the Lord has a perfect theology, so let us not get into a theological bun fight!
Editor 06/07/2011 19:47
If it helps to know, it is hoped over the coming weeks to explore some of what we mean by some of the terms that we commonly use and whether or not the practices within the church (whatever the definition of the word) are supportable from the Bible.
Tartan Paint (Guest) 06/07/2011 20:20
Thanks ed
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Christians Together in the Highlands and Islands > Christian Life > So what are the secondary issues?