What is essential?

In all of our talk about essentials, it often may be overlooked that their must be a place of understanding, and determining, what is essential. As a point of study I would encourage you to read this article by Dr. John MacArthur, of Grace Community Church.

I am closing on my new house this week, not to mention painting, packing, moving, etc. So, I may take a while to do so but I’ll try to both keep up with your comments, and add a new post offering commentary on MacArthur’s article soon.

Happy reading!

Micah is a husband to Tracy & a daddy to Grace, Kessed & Haddon. He’s Senior Pastor at Brainerd Baptist Church in Chattanooga, TN. Most of all, he’s a debtor to grace.

5 thoughts on “What is essential?

  1. I. All Fundamental Articles of Faith Must Be Drawn from the Scriptures

    First, if a doctrine is truly fundamental, it must have its origin in Scripture, not tradition, papal decrees, or some other source of authority.

    All of the evidence that the authors of the IMB policies that I’ve seen on Wade’s and Marty’s blogs falls short of this.

    III. Everything Essential to Saving Faith Is Fundamental

    Third, a doctrine must be regarded as fundamental if eternal life depends on it.

    Both sides on the IMB policies issue in my opinion are in agreement that these policies are not essential for salvation.

    But what are we to do with this understanding? First of all, we should resist any temptation to wield these doctrines like a judge’s gavel that consigns multitudes to eternal doom. We must not set ourselves up as judges of other people’s eternal fate.

    All of the name calling and personal attacks that have occurred lately in the blogosphere run contrary to this statement. Both sides, while passionate about their position, need to resist the urge to wield the gavel of believing that their position is the only correct one, while condemning the other side.

    Sorry for the long comment, but I wanted to share what stood out to me in the article. Congrats on the new home purchase, and may your move be easy and safe.

  2. Loved the MacArthur reference. Love MacArthur. I don’t know that there is much of anything he has written that I don’t like.

    I don’t want to use your blog to hype my own, but I wrote a post tonight about something similar, but dealing with the issue of a much bigger tent of inclusion than many people would feel comfortable with.

    If you have time while packing boxes, signing your name a thousand times, and writing insane numbers of checks to people you don’t know, I would count it an honor for you to check it out and let me know what you think.

  3. Is it possible that “Essential” should be put into context? I think it is. What’s essential is dependent on your goal in a transaction.

    Witnessing: that’s a pretty short list. Try to get an unsaved “seeker” to agree on the virgin birth, the status of unknown tongues as a gift today, whether wine is ok with dinner, under what circumstances a baptism is or is not sufficient .. those are things the lost person cannot comprehend.

    Discipling: another set comes into play when the idea is to enhance someone’s walk with Jesus. To get them into a place where they can grow in the Lord.

    Training (of missionaries, teachers, pastors, etc): a larger set of essentials comes into play.

    The bare essentials: Romans 10:9-10. Everyting beyond that depends on who and why.

  4. This appears to me to be a good guide for deciding what are “tier-one doctrines.” With the big exception of his (mis)interpretation of 1 Cor. 13.8-12, I’ve always liked MacArthur. I wonder if he has any advice for distinguishing between “tier-two” and “tier-three”? Maybe not, since he is non-denominational.

  5. David, I agree wholeheartedly with you. I would like to hear his thoughts on tier 2 & 3 but my guess is that he would possibly be a bit more strict than we might enjoy. I may be wrong, however.

Leave a Reply