Part Nine of Nine: Non-essentials
In the essential doctrines, there must be unity. In the non-essentials, there must be liberty, and in all things, there must be love . If we do not believe in just one or any part of these tenets, we step outside the pale of orthodoxy in the Christian faith.
There are some ecumenical voices today that are trying to unite all religious organizations. I do understand their heart, but that teaching and movement is dangerous. Now we are to love everybody but we don’t accept their doctrines. There is only one truth and to be in unity with any other philosophy is not in God’s plan, for unity without truth is not only wrong biblically, but dangerous. Truth comes before unity. In other words, truth trumps unity. The Bible says in John 14:6, “. . .I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” But again, in the non-essentials, there must be liberty with no consternation, schism, or division.
v1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. [Romans 14:1 KJV]
Who is weak? It’s not what you think. It’s not that one Christian drinks carouses, with maybe, lets fly with a cuss word or two, and another one doesn’t. Now are those things a bad witness to Christ, not to speak of what it’s doing to the individual? No doubt, but here’s how Paul, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, defines weak.
v2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.
v3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. [Romans 14:2, 3 KJV]
Like Monk used to say, “Here’s the thing. . .” the idea of eating meat or not was a big thing in Christ’s day. To make a long story short, it had to do with whether or not they had sacrificed the meat to Pagan gods. (This is a teaching all by itself.) Anyway, this was and still is a non-essential. Bottom line is God accepts both, NOT just the one or the other. Go figure. 🙂 People can get very protective of their doctrinal issues, when actually; there are only five essential doctrines and a few secondary essentials that can make us step outside the pale of orthodoxy.
Finally, in everything, there must be love. Love trumps liberty. The crux of what this number nine blog is all about is to accept one another with love and with no disputations or consternation in any of the non-essentials. Do not put a stumbling in front of any brother or sister because of the differences in your non-essential beliefs. The following are a few of the more contentious non-essentials.
Baptism: Should we sprinkle  or dunk ? Some say that you must be baptized to be saved, while others say you don’t have to be baptized to be saved, but why wouldn’t we, and I was. I didn’t want to miss out on any of God’s blessings. I believe that you don’t. Romans 10:9, 10 tells us how to be saved. Again, it is a non-essential and should not cause any disputations.  It might make for some interesting discussions, BUT NOT disputations.
Sabbath: What day is the Sabbath? Some say Saturday, some say Sunday. The Bible says six days you will work and rest on the seventh 
Eschatology: The study of the end times?  There as many opinions on this subject as there are people
Tribulation: The study of the tribulation period. Are you a pre-trib, mid-trib, post-trib? There are even disagreements on the length of same. To me, the Bible is very clear that it is 3 1/5 years . However, if you believe in a seven year tribulation, that’s OK, we can still be friends and brothers or sisters. Myself, I believe in Pan-trib, meaning that it will all pan out. I’m leaving that in Jesus’s hands. The past is done and finished. The future is Christ’s job and today is mine. Today is all I have.
Eternal Security: Once saved, always saved. There is only one way to lose your salvation and that’s through blaspheming the Holy Spirit. . It is highly unlikely but because of the heart of man , it is always possible.
As Christians, we should NOT use any of these non-essentials to cause disputations, schisms, divisions, or for esteeming ourselves over another.
v1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,
v2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
v3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. [Philippians 2:1-3 KJV]
 Romans 14, 15
 Ezekiel 36:25-27
 Romans 14:5
 Exodus 20:9; 23:12; 34:21; Leviticus 23:3; Deuteronomy 5:13; and others.
 Daniel, Ezekiel, Revelation, and others.
 Daniel 7:25; Daniel 12:7; Revelation 11:2, 3; Revelation 12:6; Revelation 12:14; Revelation 13:5
 Matthew 12:31, 32; Mark 3:28, 29; Luke 12:10
 Jeremiah 17:9