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Unity in Essentials?

June 30, 2009

One of my family members recently updated his Facebook status with the old saying, “Unity in Essentials, Liberty in Non-Essentials.”

I responded by asking, as politely as possible, how it is one can know which things are essential and which are not. I could have a room full of Christians who agreed with this principle, but who completely disagreed about which things were essential and which were non-essential—in which case this principle won’t be of much use.

His response? “Without the spirit it’s each man to himself …”

This strikes me as an unbelievably self-serving response—apparently if you disagree with him about what is essential, you must not have “the spirit.”

This is a fancy way to claim authority for oneself without falsification: the spirit is on my side.

And my wife wonders why I have a “chip on my shoulder” when it comes to evangelical Christians! I would never use this sort of rhetorical device to reinforce my own authority—and if I do I hope you’ll call me on it.

One Comment leave one →
  1. larry c wilson permalink
    June 30, 2009 7:22 pm

    My impression of you from reading your blog entries these last few months is that your wife is being nice about it.

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