Question from a Site Viewer
I have a friend who is a dispensationalist. I have a friend who is a Calvinist. I have a friend who supports Arminianism. They all bash each other and argue all the time about their different Christian beliefs. I have my own beliefs as well and at times feel called to defend myself. But it gets old. We aren’t bringing anyone into the kingdom with our constant arguing.
Sometimes we overstate our differences to the detriment of the body of Christ. I am reminded of John Spurgeon, the great English preacher who also accepted a more Calvinistic view of God’s plan and viewed Arminianism as being theologically wrong. He wrote in his autobiography of John Wesley whom he viewed as being Arminian: “Most atrocious things have been spoken about the character and spiritual condition of John Wesley, the modern prince of Arminians. I can only say concerning him that, while I detest many of the doctrines that he preached, yet for the man himself I have a reverence second to no Wesleyan; and if there were wanted two apostles to be added to the number of the twelve, I do not believe that there could be found two men more fit to be so added than George Whitfield and John Wesley.” There is value in holding to what one believes with charity and humility, understanding that God has seen fit to work equally in those who may disagree with us on these issues of systematic theology. The central core of Christian truth is centered on the person and work of Jesus Christ. All true Christians hold to that center, whether they may be classified as dispensational, or covenant, or Orthodox, or Catholic, or something else. Those in whom God the Holy Spirit is pleased to indwell are our brothers and sisters whom we are called to love. And I am reminded that we all are on a journey searching for the truth found in God’s word. None of us have our theology completely right. When we listen only to those who think like we do, we tend to reinforce not only our own truths but also our own errors. But when we understand the grace of God in using even us, we gain charity towards those whom God uses who may hold slightly different beliefs. The bottom line for Christians is that we are a people who seek to please the same Lord Jesus. Our fellowship is around Him (1 John 1:3).
There are great Christians who believe in dispensationalism. There are great Christians who believe in covenant theology. There are great Christians who believe in . . . I think you get the idea. God has used and will continue to use them all. I urge care to avoid disparaging those whom God has called to be His own. This does not mean that we cannot assert what we see God as teaching us, but we should hold truth with humility.
a fellow servant,