Just last night my family attended a neighborhood potluck. We met many young couples our age. It was a great experience, but very discouraging for me. We met several people who had been raised in Baptist or baptistic churches and now attend various non-denominational churches here in our town. Most of the non-denom churches in town are really right on about the gospel, and I praise God for the growth they are experiencing. I don’t know, though, that they are teaching their people good doctrine and helping them to have spiritual depth. Most also have very generic names without any real description of what they believe. I’ve struggled with this and sometimes think “why don’t we all just lose the labels so that we can be more attractive?” (I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, by the way.)
Then, this morning I was talking on the phone to a neighbor who goes to the Christian Reformed church here in town. She’s really searching God’s Word and starting to question her church doctrine. She said, “Amy, I think I need to talk to you sometime about baptism. I was baptized as a baby, but I think I need to be baptized again. ” We had a good talk about covenant theology, baptism, etc. She’s in a difficult position because, in order to switch to a different church, her husband would also have to change what he believes on some things. She is concerned about raising her kids to practice exactly what the Bible says. I do not know what will become of this, but I was encouraged to think that I have been given the opportunity to think through the practical implications of Bible doctrine and to live like I believe. How refreshing and freeing to be able to attend a church that teaches what I believe. And, for today, I’m glad Heather knew that I attended a “baptist” church because she knew who to come to when she had questions. She trusted I would search the Scriptures with her to help her come to the truth. Praise God.

3 thoughts on “Labels”

  1. Dr. Schmidt talked about something this morning. He said “there are no non-essentials in scripture.” His point was when we make everything “non-essential” we are talking short hand. What we really mean is, this issue may not be clear so I may disagree with you and it’s uncertain that we’ll know who is right so I will call this non-essential to fellowship. When I forget that step I tend to act like there are multiple interpretations for scripture. Really there is only one. But in fellowship with others I may make some issues non-essential to fellowship because of a lack of exegetical certainty. I hope we remember that the scripture does say something, even if we maintain a healthy level of uncertainty on certain interpretations.

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