As Iron Sharpens Iron

An ongoing and online discussion between: an Orthodox informed Ecumaniac without a denominational home, an ordained Baptist youth pastor with an open mind, a Calvinist worship leader/seminarian with a staggering vocabulary and ability to make a point, and a cradle Catholic with a love/hate relationship to Rome.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

As Iron Sharpens Iron

Proverbs 27:17 (CEV)
Just as iron sharpens iron, friends sharpen the minds of each other.

Around 1500 AD, a significant schism occurred in the Christian Church. Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses on the door of the church in Wittenburg and thus started what is known as the Protestant Reformation. Since then, there has been a steady fragmentation of the Christian church that has resulted in the founding of hundreds of Christian denominations. Many of these denominations differ very little in what they believe, but there are some widely divergent beliefs among Protestant congregations and between Protestant churches and the Catholic and Orthodox churches.

My brother and I embody that difference. I am a Baptist student pastor. I'll let him describe himself in his posting. We were raised in the Presbyterian church and were members of Baptist, Methodist, and non-denoiminational churches. In my own life, this has caused me to not feel any particular loyalty to any one denomination, but to be more concerned about studying Scripture for myself and coming to my own conclusions about what it says. I happen to be Southern Baptist because I agree with most of their doctrines and they do the best job of any denomination in evangelising the world. We may fall short in other areas, but we do that very, very well.

What my brother and I have chosen to do is have an ongoing discussion about the similarities and differences of what we believe. I believe that by discussing these things, we become stronger...as iron sharpen iron. I am not nearly so arrogant to believe that everything that I believe is correct. I know that when I get to heaven, I will find things that I was wrong about. In fact, that will be true of every Christian and every denomination.

More to come...

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