Promise Land Bible Church
Apologetics
 
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This Apologetics page is to help us understanding other beliefs and religious systems of the world that we might be able to be a light, to those who are in darkness.

 
An explanation of this Doctrine Grid can be found in the MP3 Sermon Download section, under the 062012 Marks of a Cult Part 1, Wednesday Night Message.

Doctrine Grid



     Following is a proposed chart that offers a layout of biblical orthodoxy.  It is designed to help categorize various doctrines into levels of importance.  I admit that some of these are debatable and I do not claim absolute correctness on all points -- only the essentials.  This chart is a suggestion.

C H R I S T I A N     D O C T R I N E

RELIGIOUS GROUPS

 IMPORTANCE

 SUBJECT

Groups denying these:
Mormons - 3,4,5
Jehovah's Witnesses - 1,2,3
Roman Catholicism - 3
Christian Science - 1,2,3,4
Christadelphians - 1,3

Primary Essentials
Stated specifically in scripture that these cannot be denied and still be a Christian.  They deal with the nature of God, the atonement, and its method of salvation applied to the believer.  Denial of any Primary essential constitutes lack of regeneration, lack of salvation.  Note:  Regeneration means the believer is indwelt by God, changed, and enabled to understand spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:15)

1.     Jesus is both God and man (John 1:1,14; 8:24; Col. 2:9; 1 John 4:1-4).

2.     Jesus rose from the dead physically (John 2:19-21; 1 Cor. 15:14).

3.     Salvation is by grace through faith (Rom. 5:1; Eph. 2:8-9; Gal. 3:1-2; 5:1-4).

4.     The gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus according to the scriptures (1 Cor. 15:1-4; Gal. 1:8-9).

5.     There is only one God (Exodus 20:3; Isaiah 43:10; 44:6,8)

Comments:  Denial of any of the above doctrines is stated in scripture constitutes being non-Christian.

Groups denying these:
Oneness Pentecostal - 6
Mormonism - 6, 7?
Jehovah's Witnesses - 6
Christadelphians - 6

Secondary Essentials
Not stated in scripture as essential, but are derivatively essential since they deal with accurately describing the true God and they are based, in part, on the Primary Essentials. Denial strongly suggests lack of regeneration.

6.     God exists as a Trinity of persons:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (See Trinity)

  1. Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary (nature of incarnation)

8. Jesus is the only way to God the Father (John 14:6).

Comments:  God is a Trinity and though a person may not understand or initially affirm the Trinity doctrine upon regeneration, he will eventually come to accept it since it is a biblically true revelation describing the true God.  Jesus was born of a virgin which is essential when defending the two natures of Jesus:  divine and human.  If Jesus were not born of a virgin, then His patronage would be in doubt as well as His divine nature.  Without a divine nature, Jesus would not be able to atone for the sins of the world.

Most Groups affirm:
Moral integrity, marriage fidelity, inerrancy, etc.
Mormonism denies 11, 12.
ICOC denies 12

Primary Non-Essentials
(1 John 2:4) Can be denied and still be Christian.  Yet, denial would bring into question a person's regeneration since acceptance of these show the work of regeneration of the heart

9.     Moral integrity (Exodus 20:1-17)

10.  Fidelity in marriage in heterosexual relationships

11.  The condemnation of homosexuality.

12.  Inerrancy of the Bible

13. Baptism is not necessary for salvation (Acts 10:44-48)

Comments:  The fruit of the indwelling Spirit of God is agreement in word and deed with the scriptures.  The Primary Non-Essentials are those teachings that the Bible does not declare as essential to salvation; however, to affirm otherwise is evidence of lack of regeneration since they are the fruit of the regenerate mind and heart.

Denomination Division
Denominational difference often result due to these issues.

Secondary Non-Essentials
Any of them can be denied, or affirmed, and regeneration is not in question.

14.  Predestination, election, limited atonement, and free will.

15.  Communion every week, monthly, or quarterly, etc.

16.  Saturday or Sunday Worship.

17.  Pre, mid, post trib rapture.

18.  Premill, Amill, Postmill., preterism.

19.  Continuation or cessation of the charismatic gifts

20.  Baptism for adults or infants.

21.          Musical Instruments in chruch

Comments:  The subjects above whether affirmed or denied have no bearing on the status of a person before God.  They are opinions, various positions held.  Unfortunately, it is in these non essentials that many denominational differences result. 

Liberal interpretation problem
Examples of bad biblical interpretations

Christian Heresies
These do not contradict the essentials, but do contradict non essential teachings. 

23.  Universalism

24.  Open Theism

25.  Annihilationism

26.  Possession of Christians by demons

27.  Christians are to be healthy and wealthy by the fact of being Christians.

28. Women pastors and elders

Comments:  Affirming the doctrines in this grey section are signs of significant lack of understanding of biblical theology.  Nevertheless, believing them does not negate salvation.