Must We All Agree?
Is it important that Christians agree on everything? Isn't unity an essential characteristic of the Church? This humorous cartoon highlights a trend in church history to disagree. It is true that far more effort has been put towards theological disagreements than that of theological agreements. But we must ask the question: is it important that we all agree? I believe that the answer is yes and no. We must agree on the essential dogma of the Christian faith while specific doctrines should be debated. Dogma refers to the non-negotiables of any given faith. Christians believe that, "Jesus Christ is the son of God." This belief is fundamental for the the rest of Christianity. Without it your faith is not Christian at all. At this level of theology you will find that most denominations of Christianity agree. You may be surprised to find the level of concurrence with the Catholic church as well (I speak of Christianity and Catholicism as one might refer to Protestants and Catholics because of where I grew up). We find division on the level of Christian doctrine. The larger body of Christ holds a variety of views concerning theological doctrine. How do we respond to the statement that, "Jesus Christ is the son of God?" Take one step up the latter and you will find matters of conscience, strategy and style. It dosent take too long for us to go from a united cord to frayed strands.
Each and every one of us is capable of having a personal relationship with Christ. This relationship takes place within the context of the greater body of believers which takes place within an even greater context of local, regional and global culture. Factor in sub-cultures, nationalism, families of origin, and economics; you will soon uncover a diverse image of those saved by grace.
This diversity can be an invaluable asset. God creates us as unique individuals. Each tell a different story but come to Christ the same: broken by sin. We are also saved in the same way: through the grace of Jesus Christ. Though we are baptized into one body we are each different. The ways in which we disagree help to broaden our view of Christ and understand the colorful picture that is the Church. However, we must protect the fundamental truths of Christianity and understand the foundations of our faith.