A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece I entitled “One Allied Army”, wherein I stated that infighting within the Church prevents us from dealing with the real enemies of the Church. I stated specifically, “Whether we are Presbyterians or Baptists; whatever our position on Election or music; if we are Evangelicals; if we believe that the Bible is the final authority for faith and practice; that Salvation is gained by Grace through Faith alone; that Jesus is God made man and that He physically, historically was resurrected from the grave, or in short: on the historic Protestant doctrines of the faith— then we are on the same side.” (https://truthinthetrenches.org/2014/07/28/a-single-allied-army/).
How do we define the issues that are worth fighting for? After all, much of Church history has been spent fighting the wrong issues.
My belief is that we have two guides: the first is the Bible, itself. We are warned throughout the New Testament about heresies. We have passages that deal with specific questions: 1 Corinthians 15 for those who deny a future resurrection or the return of Christ, but more succinctly 2 John 2:9-10 demonstrates that we are not to welcome those who do not bring the Gospel of Christ into the Church. I would His Deity, His Humanity, His Resurrection; the complete sufficiency of His sacrifice) are those we oppose.
A second guide is found in Church history, we have defined the key doctrines in multiple ways, through the decades as a result of conflicts with heretical groups. During the past century, one of those defining statements was the five fundamentals of the faith, these being:
1. The Inspiration, inerrancy and authority of the Bible.
2. The virgin birth of Christ.
3. The death of Christ is the atonement for sins.
4. The resurrection of Jesus Christ.
5. The historicity of the miracles of Christ.
Similar statements also exist, and can help us to stay on the correct battlefield.