The Church vs. The Individual

Anselm01

Active member
What should be the outcome when there is a conflict or disagreement between “the church” and the “individual" about what Scripture teaches? Should the individual submit to the church's interpretation of Scripture or should the church submit to the individual interpretation of Scripture? Or should the individual leave the church if no agreement can be reached?
 

Theo1689

Well-known member
What should be the outcome when there is a conflict or disagreement between “the church”

Which "church"?

What should be the outcome when there is a conflict or disagreement between “the church”
and the “individual" about what Scripture teaches?

Scripture.

Should the individual submit to the church's interpretation of Scripture

So if I go to a Mormon Church, should I "submit" to their teaching of polytheism?
So if I go to a JW church, should I "submit" to their denial of the deity of Christ?

Of course not.

or should the church submit to the individual interpretation of Scripture? Or should the individual leave the church if no agreement can be reached?

Why would someone "submit" to a "church" body that teaches heresy?
 

Anselm01

Active member
Which "church"?
Let's say for this thread any church that is not Mormon or JW type.
Scripture.
This should be the outcome?
So if I go to a Mormon Church, should I "submit" to their teaching of polytheism?
So if I go to a JW church, should I "submit" to their denial of the deity of Christ?

Of course not.
My OP was not including them.
Why would someone "submit" to a "church" body that teaches heresy?
How is heresy determined between the two?
 

civic

Well-known member
Let's say for this thread any church that is not Mormon or JW type.

This should be the outcome?

My OP was not including them.

How is heresy determined between the two?
So once again do you have an example to share ?

My opinion is as follows:

In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.

So are you talking about an essential such as the Deity of Christ or a non essential should women wear head coverings
 

Anselm01

Active member
So once again do you have an example to share ?

My opinion is as follows:

In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.

So are you talking about an essential such as the Deity of Christ or a non essential should women wear head coverings
So, how do you determine what is or is not an essential? For example, Luther and Zwingli disagreed over the nature of Christ in communion to the point where Luther broke off fellowship with Zwingli. To Zwingli, the issue was a non-essential, but to Luther is was an essential.
 

civic

Well-known member
So, how do you determine what is or is not an essential? For example, Luther and Zwingli disagreed over the nature of Christ in communion to the point where Luther broke off fellowship with Zwingli. To Zwingli, the issue was a non-essential, but to Luther is was an essential.
I personally would not take communion with anyone believes they are anything more than symbolic and something we do to remember His body and blood represented by the bread and wine . The sam with being baptized by water snd thinking it’s is salvific.

So I would not fellowship in such a church and no human will ever change any church doctrine if they believe the above .

hope this helps !!!
 

Anselm01

Active member
I personally would not take communion with anyone believes they are anything more than symbolic and something we do to remember His body and blood represented by the bread and wine . The sam with being baptized by water snd thinking it’s is salvific.

So I would not fellowship in such a church and no human will ever change any church doctrine if they believe the above .

hope this helps !!!
Sorry, I am having trouble with the last sentence. Are you saying you would not go to a church that is not Baptist? Just need clarification. Thanks!
 

civic

Well-known member
Sorry, I am having trouble with the last sentence. Are you saying you would not go to a church that is not Baptist? Just need clarification. Thanks!
Personally I would not go to any church that teaches a person is saved by baptism or a church that’s the elements in communion are anything more than symbols that remind us of His body that was broken and His blood that was given for our sins. It’s a memorial nothing more, something we remember as Jesus said it was- do this in remembrance of Me.

hope this helps !!!
 

cjab

Well-known member
What should be the outcome when there is a conflict or disagreement between “the church” and the “individual" about what Scripture teaches? Should the individual submit to the church's interpretation of Scripture or should the church submit to the individual interpretation of Scripture? Or should the individual leave the church if no agreement can be reached?
There's never going to be a single answer to that question other than "it all depends on the facts." Sometimes you have to bear with those you disagree with, otherwise you might find yourself isolated in a small community. If there's a choice of churches, then you'd be free to look elsewhere.

I think one's attitude is important. Never let the church or your emotions govern your actions, but only the Holy Spirit. And yet be willing to forgive your brother 70 x 7. Hypercriticism is never a good trait. Judgementalism is always a bad trait. If you're doing the work of God and it's bearing fruit, and to leave the church would cause that work to cease, you should be very slow to leave your church. Ministers come and go. The advice of others can be sought. You could try and remedy the situation yourself per 1Ti 5:1 unless it's a denominational thing, in which case it's probably pointless.

And if it's a pastor whose in love with wealth: definitely pointless.
 

Theo1689

Well-known member
There's never going to be a single answer to that question other than "it all depends on the facts." Sometimes you have to bear with those you disagree with, otherwise you might find yourself isolated in a small community. If there's a choice of churches, then you'd be free to look elsewhere.

I think one's attitude is important. Never let the church govern your actions, but only the Holy Spirit. And yet be willing to forgive your brother 70 x 7. Hypercriticism is never a good trait. Judgementalism is always a bad trait. If you're doing the work of God and it's bearing fruit, and to leave the church would cause that work to cease, you should be very slow to leave your church. Ministers come and go but you should try and remedy the situation per 1Ti 5:1 unless it's a denominational thing, in which case it's probably pointless.

This is the problem with the Roman Catholic church...
They value "unity" over "truth".

RC's claim St. Augustine as their own.
Yet I believe it was him who wrote:

"In essentials, unity;
In non-essentials, liberty;
In all things, charity
."

If the church teaches something you disagree with, I think it's important to understand why they teach it, and give them the benefit of the doubt in studying it. But if it's a non-essential, the it's okay to disagree.

At the end of the day, you are responsible for your own beliefs, and God is not going to accept the excuse of, "But God, it's what my chruch told me to believe".
 

Anselm01

Active member
There's never going to be a single answer to that question other than "it all depends on the facts." Sometimes you have to bear with those you disagree with, otherwise you might find yourself isolated in a small community. If there's a choice of churches, then you'd be free to look elsewhere.
Thank you for your thoughtful response. So, ultimately you are saying that if agreement cannot be reached, you must look elsewhere, correct?
I think one's attitude is important. Never let the church or your emotions govern your actions, but only the Holy Spirit. And yet be willing to forgive your brother 70 x 7. Hypercriticism is never a good trait. Judgementalism is always a bad trait. If you're doing the work of God and it's bearing fruit, and to leave the church would cause that work to cease, you should be very slow to leave your church. Ministers come and go. The advice of others can be sought. You could try and remedy the situation yourself per 1Ti 5:1 unless it's a denominational thing, in which case it's probably pointless.
I agree that one should not be hypercritical, nor judgmental, but we both know that there are disagreements that are not either. Is there ever a case where you would submit to your church even if you disagree with them and think what they are teaching is not biblical?
 

Anselm01

Active member
This is the problem with the Roman Catholic church...
They value "unity" over "truth".
Nope. We have excommunication for a reason.
RC's claim St. Augustine as their own.
Yet I believe it was him who wrote:
Nope. It was Marco Antonio de Dominis.
"In essentials, unity;
Who gets to define the essentials?
In non-essentials, liberty;
Who gets to define the non-essentials?
Is there a list in the Bible for what is to be considered essential/non-essential? Or is this a "tradition of men" devised to make it appear Protestants are really "united," when in fact they are NOT.
In all things, charity."
Do you really mean that? I have yet to see any charity towards the Catholic Church.
If the church teaches something you disagree with, I think it's important to understand why they teach it, and give them the benefit of the doubt in studying it. But if it's a non-essential, the it's okay to disagree.
Again, who determines this list of essentials and non-essentials? Do you have a Bible verse that shows these explicitly spelled out in Scripture?
At the end of the day, you are responsible for your own beliefs, and God is not going to accept the excuse of, "But God, it's what my chruch told me to believe".
What is a "chruch?"
 

cjab

Well-known member
Nope. We have excommunication for a reason.
RCC expels those who question the authority of the Pope, but does not expel those who fall into mortal sin and do not live according to the apostolic pattern. As such your excommunication policy bears no resemblance to that in 1 Cor 5.

Who gets to define the essentials?
The apostles of course.

2Th 3:14 "Take special note of anyone who does not obey our instruction in this letter. Do not associate with them, in order that they may feel ashamed."

Who gets to define the non-essentials?
The apostles of course.

Rom 14:1 "Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters."
Rom 14:2 "One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables."
.
Rom 14:10 "You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat."

RCC doesn't appear to practice this. One might consider that one's views of the benefits and purposes of the eucharist to be a matter of personal belief and where latitude should be allowed. Not so with the RCC.

Council of Trent CANON III.--If any one saith, that the sacrifice of the mass is only a sacrifice of praise and of thanksgiving; or, that it is a bare commemoration of the sacrifice consummated on the cross, but not a propitiatory sacrifice; or, that it profits him only who receives; and that it ought not to be offered for the living and the dead for sins, pains, satisfactions, and other necessities; let him be anathema.

Is there a list in the Bible for what is to be considered essential/non-essential? Or is this a "tradition of men" devised to make it appear Protestants are really "united," when in fact they are NOT.
Most non-essential things identified in the NT involve Jewish ritual and things derived, as being the current "issues of the day." They also include special days and holy days. RCC considers not to go to mass on such days to be a "sin" whereas Paul allow freedom.

I have yet to see any charity towards the Catholic Church.
It's spent hundreds of years bleeding its members and is rich enough


What is a "chruch?"
Crutch: "a thing used for support or reassurance." E.g. prayers and incense to the saints and the Virgin Mary Queen of Heaven, prayers for the dead, purgatory, indulgences, holy water, cross and crucifixes, statues, Pope, the keys of Peter, transubstantiation, sacrifice of the mass (as distinct from the eucharist itself), etc.
 
Last edited:

Binyawmene

Active member
What should be the outcome when there is a conflict or disagreement between “the church” and the “individual" about what Scripture teaches?

The situation can go both ways, the "individual" can be heterodox or "the church" is in heterodoxy. Maybe both are heterodoxical. If the Scriptures is peripheral then you can freely disagree, or, if the Scriptures is essential then the individual is no longer truly Christian. Besides, the church should be able to spot out those particular heterodoxy individuals. And, you, have the responsibility to discern the church.

I define a cult, as a perversion, a distortion of Biblical Christianity and/or a rejection of the historic teachings of the Christian church. The word "cult" in context is not a derogatory term referring to a group of crazy people following a dynamic and charismatic leader who urges them and forces them to do all kind sorts of strange things. What we mean is that a person or a group who have deviated and departed from the normative basic fundamental doctrines of Christianity.

1. Perversion of the Gospel
2. Distortion of Biblical Terminologies
3. Rejection of Historical/Theological Terminologies
4. Deviation from Essential Doctrines
 

RiJoRi

Well-known member
What should be the outcome when there is a conflict or disagreement between “the church” and the “individual" about what Scripture teaches? Should the individual submit to the church's interpretation of Scripture or should the church submit to the individual interpretation of Scripture? Or should the individual leave the church if no agreement can be reached?
What did the RCC do when they disagreed with the EO churches over the filioque clause? Or over papal supremacy?
 

Anselm01

Active member
RCC expels those who question the authority of the Pope, but does not expel those who fall into mortal sin and do not live according to the apostolic pattern. As such your excommunication policy bears no resemblance to that in 1 Cor 5.
Do you think the canons of Nicaea bears a resemblance to 1 Cor 5? Are you stating that belief in the Trinity is a non-essential?
The apostles of course.

2Th 3:14 "Take special note of anyone who does not obey our instruction in this letter. Do not associate with them, in order that they may feel ashamed."


The apostles of course.

Rom 14:1 "Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters."
Rom 14:2 "One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables."
.
Rom 14:10 "You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat."

RCC doesn't appear to practice this. One might consider that one's views of the benefits and purposes of the eucharist to be a matter of personal belief and where latitude should be allowed. Not so with the RCC.

Council of Trent CANON III.--If any one saith, that the sacrifice of the mass is only a sacrifice of praise and of thanksgiving; or, that it is a bare commemoration of the sacrifice consummated on the cross, but not a propitiatory sacrifice; or, that it profits him only who receives; and that it ought not to be offered for the living and the dead for sins, pains, satisfactions, and other necessities; let him be anathema.
I see no non-essential views that currently divide Protestants listed above. Where are the verses on church governance as a non-essential? Where are the verses on eschatology as non-essential? How about Calvinism vs Arminianism? As far as the Eucharist goes, the Church has had a consistent view on Christ's presence that does not allow for the denial of it to be a "personal belief."
Most non-essential things identified in the NT involve Jewish ritual and things derived, as being the current "issues of the day." They also include special days and holy days. RCC considers not to go to mass on such days to be a "sin" whereas Paul allow freedom.
Again, Jewish ritual is not an issue among Protestants. Also, the Church since the beginning has viewed these days in light of the 4th Commandment.
It's spent hundreds of years bleeding its members and is rich enough.
So, by this reasoning I can pick any wealthy Protestant church and be just as uncharitable.... Also, are you familiar with the one greatest charitable institution on early? Here is a hint: the Catholic Church.
Crutch: "a thing used for support or reassurance." E.g. prayers and incense to the saints and the Virgin Mary Queen of Heaven, prayers for the dead, purgatory, indulgences, holy water, cross and crucifixes, statues, Pope, the keys of Peter, transubstantiation, sacrifice of the mass (as distinct from the eucharist itself), etc.
Sorry, I think this was a typo on the part of the person I was originally replying to.

But:
Do you consider it a crutch to ask your Christian friends and pastor to pray for you?
Do you think you will die holy?
God can make holy anything He wants, even you.
1 Corinthians 2:2.
Second Council of Nicaea.
Mathew 16:19
John 6
Hebrews 10.
 

Anselm01

Active member
The situation can go both ways, the "individual" can be heterodox or "the church" is in heterodoxy. Maybe both are heterodoxical. If the Scriptures is peripheral then you can freely disagree, or, if the Scriptures is essential then the individual is no longer truly Christian. Besides, the church should be able to spot out those particular heterodoxy individuals. And, you, have the responsibility to discern the church.
Where is it written that you have the "responsibility to discern the church"? And who is to determine what is and is not heterodox?
I define a cult, as a perversion, a distortion of Biblical Christianity and/or a rejection of the historic teachings of the Christian church. The word "cult" in context is not a derogatory term referring to a group of crazy people following a dynamic and charismatic leader who urges them and forces them to do all kind sorts of strange things. What we mean is that a person or a group who have deviated and departed from the normative basic fundamental doctrines of Christianity.

1. Perversion of the Gospel
2. Distortion of Biblical Terminologies
3. Rejection of Historical/Theological Terminologies
4. Deviation from Essential Doctrines
What do you consider "Biblical Christianity?" Is it same thing as historical Christianity. If that is the case you should be Catholic.
 

Binyawmene

Active member
Where is it written that you have the "responsibility to discern the church"? And who is to determine what is and is not heterodox?

What do you consider "Biblical Christianity?" Is it same thing as historical Christianity. If that is the case you should be Catholic.

Doesn't the Catholic Church laid out what is the peripheral and what is the essential doctrines?

Where is it written that you have the "responsibility to discern the church"?

Its written in many places in the New Testament. Let's say you've read a specific church's statement of faith, and they deny the Deity of Christ. And this church holds to a neo-type version of kenoticism that the Son has "self-emptied" (divine attributes or being God, etc.) into his incarnation. But you wanted to reaffirmed if the statement of faith is true. So, lets say you went to that church and the preacher taught Man-Only concept and he denied the Son is God in the flesh. That is your right and responsibility as a Christian to discern that church, example:

1 John 1:1-3 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.​

And who is to determine what is and is not heterodox?

The New Testament makes that distinction. If you read Scriptures that contains a warning, then those are the essential doctrines. Example of essential doctrine that is based on a warning;

John 8:23-24 But he continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.”​

Did you see the warning? If you don't believe that (I am he, or God in the flesh), then you will die in your sins. And that is what makes the doctrine essential because it comes with a warning. If that particular church is not conforming with accepted or orthodox standards or beliefs of the Deity of Christ, then that church is heterodoxy. And maybe the church does hold to the Deity of Christ and the individual person doesn't. Then the church should discern that particular person.

What do you consider "Biblical Christianity?" Is it same thing as historical Christianity. If that is the case you should be Catholic.

Not everything that is historical is Biblical. The word biblical to me mean "that anything that is relating to or contained specifically in the Bible". It can be: words, phrases, terms, law, customs and traditions, etc. Even if a phrase like "Jesus Christ is both God and Man" is not specifically stated in the Bible. But the meaning of the phrase is 'drawn out' from the whole of Scriptures exegetically. The phrase is "related to" the Bible itself, therefore I would see that phrase being Biblical in that sense.
 

cjab

Well-known member
Do you think the canons of Nicaea bears a resemblance to 1 Cor 5?
The Canons of Nicea are to do with management of the early church. The RCC doesn't operate under those canons, but according to the doctrines in the Council of Trent and afterwards.

Are you stating that belief in the Trinity is a non-essential?
You said "The 'T'rinity" which can only mean the RCC Trinity as philosophically formulated.

Qualifications in philosophy were never essential. Trinity is philosophy. Did you know that the philosophical Trinity wasn't defended until 3rd century AD by Tertullian in "Against Praxeas"?

"Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?" 1 Cor 1:20.

Are you implying you need qualifications in philosophy for faith?

DId you know that Justin Martyr in the second century AD was the first to describe the Son and Father as the same "being" (ousia) and yet are also distinct faces (prosopa), anticipating the three persons (hypostases) that come with Tertullian and later authors."

So by your reckoning every "Christian" in the first hundred years after Christ had no faith, or had an imperfect and heretical faith, just because they had never conceptually formulated the philosophical Trinity of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit resplendent in the same 'ousia'?

Tell me, why do you suppose the church grew fastest when unhindered by philosophy? And when it became hindered by its own philosophy, it then had to turn to Mahometan techniques of conversion by employing the sword?


I see no non-essential views that currently divide Protestants listed above. Where are the verses on church governance as a non-essential? Where are the verses on eschatology as non-essential? How about Calvinism vs Arminianism? As far as the Eucharist goes, the Church has had a consistent view on Christ's presence that does not allow for the denial of it to be a "personal belief."
As for Christ's presence: "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Matt 18:20. What's that got to do with one's views on the Eucharist? Why is the RCC anathematizing those who take a different position? I tell you why: they detract from the sacremental power of the priest and his power to own his congregation rather than captivate them by the spirit.

Calvinism vs Arminianism is again an interminable philosophical dispute about how God operates: God is greater that either, because God is greater than human philosophy.

Again, Jewish ritual is not an issue among Protestants. Also, the Church since the beginning has viewed these days in light of the 4th Commandment.

So, by this reasoning I can pick any wealthy Protestant church and be just as uncharitable.... Also, are you familiar with the one greatest charitable institution on early? Here is a hint: the Catholic Church.
You can be as uncharitable as you like to Protestant denominations for Pro 26:2 "Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse does not come to rest."

The point is whether the critique is justifiable. In this day, many large denominations are critiquable for many reasons.

Sorry, I think this was a typo on the part of the person I was originally replying to.

But:
Do you consider it a crutch to ask your Christian friends and pastor to pray for you?
No

Do you think you will die holy?
'Tis my aim but also God's will.

God can make holy anything He wants, even you. 1 Corinthians 2:2.
Sure. But he doesn't do magic by virtue of fallacies like purgatory and prayers for the dead. It must happen in this life, even if only as the thief on the cross.

Second Council of Nicaea.
Mathew 16:19
The phrase "bind and loose" is commonly misunderstood. Many suppose it is about sin. But in fact its Jewish legal phraseology meaning to declare something forbidden or to declare it allowed.

Unfortunately for the RCC, the Petrine keys were not delivered to it. There is no doctrine in the bible about that. The rules of the RCC are its own rules, and not the rules of Peter or of heaven.
 

Anselm01

Active member
Doesn't the Catholic Church laid out what is the peripheral and what is the essential doctrines?
Yes, the Catholic Church has defined what is essential and what is debatable, but once it speaks on what is debatable, then what is debatable now essential.
Its written in many places in the New Testament. Let's say you've read a specific church's statement of faith, and they deny the Deity of Christ. And this church holds to a neo-type version of kenoticism that the Son has "self-emptied" (divine attributes or being God, etc.) into his incarnation. But you wanted to reaffirmed if the statement of faith is true. So, lets say you went to that church and the preacher taught Man-Only concept and he denied the Son is God in the flesh. That is your right and responsibility as a Christian to discern that church, example:

1 John 1:1-3 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.​



The New Testament makes that distinction. If you read Scriptures that contains a warning, then those are the essential doctrines. Example of essential doctrine that is based on a warning;

John 8:23-24 But he continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.”​

Did you see the warning? If you don't believe that (I am he, or God in the flesh), then you will die in your sins. And that is what makes the doctrine essential because it comes with a warning. If that particular church is not conforming with accepted or orthodox standards or beliefs of the Deity of Christ, then that church is heterodoxy. And maybe the church does hold to the Deity of Christ and the individual person doesn't. Then the church should discern that particular person.
I do appreciate the time you took to write all that out, but I am not unclear on what is and is not essential. Is it a universal consensus on essentials and whatever is left over is non-essential? If that is the case, you have a theology of consensus, not the Bible.
Not everything that is historical is Biblical. The word biblical to me mean "that anything that is relating to or contained specifically in the Bible". It can be: words, phrases, terms, law, customs and traditions, etc. Even if a phrase like "Jesus Christ is both God and Man" is not specifically stated in the Bible. But the meaning of the phrase is 'drawn out' from the whole of Scriptures exegetically. The phrase is "related to" the Bible itself, therefore I would see that phrase being Biblical in that sense.
But there are those who who proper exegesis and yet still disagree. For example, William Lane Craig on the nature of Christ.
 
Top