Friday, October 28, 2011

BQOTD + Fall '11 Blog Bible Study Week 7

Day 42 of Beth Moore's book discusses Acts 19:1-7, wherein Paul encounters a group of believers who says they hadn't heard of the Holy Spirit, nor received it when they were baptized by John. Paul then has them re-baptized in the name of Christ, and they begin speaking in tongues. This verse is definitely divisive among Christians at times, and Beth Moore posed the question, "What do you do with those knotty doctrinal questions, ones with outspoken proponents on either side? How do you deal with things you don't understand?"

I thought this was a really interesting question that totally appealed to my nerdy inner Sociologist. I often feel like we as a society speak about "Christians" in general--and while our core beliefs are (usually) the same, there are over 38,000 different denominations of other words, there are a lot of different beliefs that all reside under the umbrella of Christianity. I tried to find a chart that compared what some of the larger denominations believe in terms of baptism, the rapture, whether or not salvation can be lost, and some other "hot button" issues just for the sake of comparison, but I had a heck of a time finding anything...

To me, the "knotty doctrinal issues" don't tend to get me super worked up. Justin and I go to a different church for Bible Study because our church didn't offer a Bible Study for young married couples at the time that we started going. The church we go to for Bible Study has different beliefs than our own in terms of communion, baptism, and some of that, but it just doesn't bother either of us, because we don't consider those things matters of salvation. Both churches believe that Jesus is the son of the triune God and that he died on the cross to pay for our sins. We both believe that it's by grace, through faith that we're saved. To Justin and I, that's the major thing, not whether a  person is dunked or sprinkled during baptism. And actually, I think it's been a good thing for us to participate in a church with a different denomination, because it's made me/us really research what the Lutheran church believes in terms of all those "hot button" issues--something I *thought* I knew, but I actually didn't.

So, for today's Burning Question of the Day, I'm curious:

BQOTD: If you identify yourself as being Christian, do you also identify with a particular denomination as well? Just for the purposes of this discussion, we'll consider "non-denominational" churches a "denomination" as well.  Do you feel like you have a good grasp of what your church believes in terms of "hot-button" issues such as baptism, communion, abortion, the rapture, etc? 

As always, I'm not asking because I have any desire to "convert" you to the Lutheran faith. You should know by now that that's not how I roll. I'm just curious how we all approach our individual faiths! 


  1. I was raised Southern Baptist and we still attend a Southern Baptist church. I do have a good grasp of their views on the big issues and I line up with a lot of the beliefs. Like you, the big thing for me is the church being Christ centered - the rest is just extras. But I still like to be at a church that I line up with theologically because then I don't feel the need to question every little thing that's said.

    There is one big theological difference between my beliefs and the Southern Baptist belief, but it's one that many denominations believe, not just SB. To be brief, most theology takes the point of view that God is a god of judgement as much as He is of mercy and he punishes his children when they sin. I do not agree with that - while I do think God is a god of both judgement and mercy, I think his judgement is reserved for his enemies, not his children. There's a lot more to go along with that, but I'll just keep it short and sweet. :)

    Great question!

  2. Great discussion!

    We were raised in an Assembly of God church, then went to a Nazarene church during my teen years. I honestly prefer non-denominational churches because I feel they are a lot less "legalistic"... but currently we do attend a Nazarene church. Not because I necessarily agree with everything, but because I love the church, the people, and the way God shows up every Sunday. :)


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