How does a non-creedal people set parameters

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How does a non-creedal people set parameters

Postby Ed Pettibone » Sat Mar 03, 2012 7:44 pm

This is the essence of a question that came up in our BOM (Board of Missions) meeting to day. I don't know if any one will take me up on it but I gave a blanket invitation for them to come here to discuss this question. So Haruo, if you get a few new registrations from the state of NY you will know why. Yet I think it is a vital question.
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Re: How does a non-creedal people set parameters

Postby Haruo » Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:24 pm

Ed Pettibone wrote:This is the essence of a question that came up in our BOM (Board of Missions) meeting to day. I don't know if any one will take me up on it but I gave a blanket invitation for them to come here to discuss this question. So Haruo, if you get a few new registrations from the state of NY you will know why. Yet I think it is a vital question.

I hope you let them know they need to use Real (-looking) Names to register. If I see somebody registering as Gotchamomma or Sellithere I don't stop to check what state they appear to be from. Be nice to have some fresh input, and it's a central question. Did you view the Evergreen YouTubes?
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Re: How does a non-creedal people set parameters

Postby Haruo » Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:29 pm

Just so you get an idea what I run into daily, here's the last 9 hour' new registrants, all deleted without a second glance:

ReefShoof Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:49 pm Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:49 pm Newly registered account -
Bincornsurn Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:34 pm Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:34 pm Newly registered account -
Befclullyzolf Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:31 pm Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:31 pm Newly registered account -
macuvnackd Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:58 pm Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:58 pm Newly registered account -
ValoTooca Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:39 pm Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:39 pm Newly registered account -
Utesytusakalt Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:22 pm Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:22 pm Newly registered account -
soostaniarm Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:03 pm Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:03 pm Newly registered account -
Arrormems Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:36 am Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:36 am Newly registered account -
goolleros Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:01 am Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:01 am Newly registered account -
mabcinacmd Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:55 am Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:55 am Newly registered account -
elaterediarne Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:27 am Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:27 am Newly registered account -
deromeolrm Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:20 am Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:20 am Newly registered account -
wmodsawayd Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:03 am Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:03 am Newly registered account -
nhgzvy Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:35 am Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:35 am Newly registered account -
statwheveme Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:33 am Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:33 am Newly registered account -
noberopele Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:19 am Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:19 am Newly registered account -
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Re: How does a non-creedal people set parameters

Postby Ed Pettibone » Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:54 pm

Haruo wrote:
Ed Pettibone wrote:This is the essence of a question that came up in our BOM (Board of Missions) meeting to day. I don't know if any one will take me up on it but I gave a blanket invitation for them to come here to discuss this question. So Haruo, if you get a few new registrations from the state of NY you will know why. Yet I think it is a vital question.

I hope you let them know they need to use Real (-looking) Names to register. If I see somebody registering as Gotchamomma or Sellithere I don't stop to check what state they appear to be from. Be nice to have some fresh input, and it's a central question. Did you view the Evergreen YouTubes?


Ed: I understand the situation Haruo. Unfortunately I only made the Invitation and threw out the URL near the end of a very busy day. Yes, I think I saw the Tubes and if they are the ones I am thinking of, I had mixed reactions more favorable than not but felt there needed to be greater detail ( and I am not sure that "detail" is the word I want.) I will try to find them and take another look. But have a lot on my plate before we head to the City on Wednesday. And hope we don't get to come home Late next Saturday night with a picture of the So Fla.Bulls and a trophy. (with an apology, to my friends who are Syracuse fans) Our meeting to day was about 25 miles south of Syracuse.

I would be glad to have the regulars here at BL.c to chime in.
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Re: How does a non-creedal people set parameters

Postby Tim Bonney » Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:41 pm

Ed Pettibone wrote:
I would be glad to have the regulars here at BL.c to chime in.


I may hang back on this one, at least for a while Ed. :wink:
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Re: How does a non-creedal people set parameters

Postby KeithE » Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:20 am

At work we often set guidelines for say a type of meeting (say a Design Review). We give desired end goals (design is mature enough and settled enough to start “bending metal”). We ask for objective evidence for design features we want to see before approving the Design and even suggest a meeting agenda. But we do not dictate the agendas of those meetings, nor do we censure anyone for not following the agenda precisely or not showing all the asked for objective evidence (some of which might be superfluous in many cases) but do hold them more closely to fulfilling the desired end goals. We simply ask that the performers consider the guidelines (goals, subject matters for completeness, so-called “exit criteria”) in presenting the Design Review. The key is that Guidelines are meant to be suggestive not used as a source for condemnation.

I do not see why churches could not set such non-rigid “parameters" for church membership/leadership positions and still lay claim to being “non-creedal”. The key is church Judaizers have to not be eager to condemn, gatekeep or ex-communicate especially if perspective members/ leadership are showing a willing attitude of cooperation and are accomplishing the main goal of church membership (loving God and man and active participation). Paul thought in this manner when he instructed the Galatians to "Stand Firm and do not submit to the yoke of slavery.” (Gal 5:1).
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Re: How does a non-creedal people set parameters

Postby Ed Pettibone » Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:51 am

Ed: I like this, We ask for objective evidence. But then I tend to get lost when you throw in a subjective term such as church Judaizers
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Re: How does a non-creedal people set parameters

Postby Tim Bonney » Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:14 am

KeithE wrote:
I do not see why churches could not set such non-rigid “parameters" for church membership/leadership positions and still lay claim to being “non-creedal”.


The problem is Keith is what would those "parameters" be based on if not on a common faith statement or a common said of doctrinal or organizational standards? Or is it just the whim of the persons setting the rules on that day and time that get their way?
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Re: How does a non-creedal people set parameters

Postby Ed Pettibone » Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:36 am

Tim Bonney wrote:
KeithE wrote:
I do not see why churches could not set such non-rigid “parameters" for church membership/leadership positions and still lay claim to being “non-creedal”.


Tim: The problem is Keith is what would those "parameters" be based on if not on a common faith statement or a common said of doctrinal or organizational standards? Or is it just the whim of the persons setting the rules on that day and time that get their way?


Ed; So it seems we may need to reach a consensus on the definition of parameter. Here is one I feel is workable 1. Mathematics. a. A constant in an equation that varies in other equations of the same general form.

And Tim how is a common faith statement not a creed? Please keep in mind that I am only thinking out loud. :)
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Re: How does a non-creedal people set parameters

Postby KeithE » Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:55 am

Tim Bonney wrote:
KeithE wrote:
I do not see why churches could not set such non-rigid “parameters" for church membership/leadership positions and still lay claim to being “non-creedal”.


The problem is Keith is what would those "parameters" be based on if not on a common faith statement or a common said of doctrinal or organizational standards? Or is it just the whim of the persons setting the rules on that day and time that get their way?

Parameters would be based on that common faith statements, scripture as interpreted, and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

I’m just saying there are choices between pure legalismand pure antinomianism. Guidelines get thoughts of correct “faith and practice" on paper for consideration (which no doubt cannot be made perfectly descriptive of all doctrinal subjects or adequate for all ethical situations) without the threat that “creeds” imply. Creeds force one into a static understanding of God (usually someone else’s) and are used in the worst moments to keep-out or ex-communicate all those that develop thoughts/do deeds that are outside of the creed. Traditional Baptists reject creeds and is one reason I became a Baptist (after years in conservative Presbyterian and Calvinistic-leaning Evangelical Covenant Church)

I find it amusing that conservative Baptists claim to be “non-creedal” and UMC does not, but in practice conservative Baptists are more “creedal”.

Ed’s Board of Missions (ABC-USA) is apparently searching for the right approach between legalism and lawless/guidelineless Antinomianism perhaps for an isolated set of issues related to missions. Worthy exercise no doubt.
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Re: How does a non-creedal people set parameters

Postby KeithE » Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:57 am

Ed Pettibone wrote:
Tim Bonney wrote:
KeithE wrote:
I do not see why churches could not set such non-rigid “parameters" for church membership/leadership positions and still lay claim to being “non-creedal”.


Tim: The problem is Keith is what would those "parameters" be based on if not on a common faith statement or a common said of doctrinal or organizational standards? Or is it just the whim of the persons setting the rules on that day and time that get their way?


Ed; So it seems we may need to reach a consensus on the definition of parameter. Here is one I feel is workable 1. Mathematics. a. A constant in an equation that varies in other equations of the same general form.

And Tim how is a common faith statement not a creed? Please keep in mind that I am only thinking out loud. :)


You brought up the term in this context, Ed. So what did you mean?
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Re: How does a non-creedal people set parameters

Postby Gene Scarborough » Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:57 am

Good question to start a good discussion, Ed!!!

The question is the union of opposites = "some edges without it becoming concrete" is another way to express it, I think.

In the past Baptists used Autonomy to express it. That worked well and led to phenominal growth. To make it more formed we said, "The Bible is our guide / God expressed in his Son, Jesus / the spreading of the Gospel."

What Southern Baptists did not say for long was that we are good with slave owners! That was the core divisive issue of the formation days. With such social festering, there was a split to Northern Baptists vs. Southern Baptists instantly. Then there were Primative / MIssionary / Northern / Southern / non-instrumental / snake handling --- too many to keep up with and most circling around some core values---argued over constantly. I have read many of the circulars sent around as a group tried to come up with a statement of their beliefs.

Here is the most real dilemma: Faith has no simple statement. It is more an emotion of Peace and Joy than some treatise to express is!

If you will notice, the Bible speaks mostly about the Joy of Salvation over just "salvation." Then we start fighting over the definition of "salvation" and joy goes out the window---quickly replaced by intellectual argument over something which is still an emotion over a statement.

I think the Love / Hate parameter is the key. If you can say something plain without engenders hate, you have performed a miracle which is in the area of God's power over man's propinsity to hate.
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Re: How does a non-creedal people set parameters

Postby KeithE » Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:21 am

Ed Pettibone wrote:Ed: I like this, We ask for objective evidence. But then I tend to get lost when you throw in a subjective term such as church Judaizers


I suspect Ed, that as a very experienced Christian, well read in NT, you know about Paul’s problems with Judaizers in Galatians and the Jerusalem Council. A Judaizer in that context is one who demands Christian converts to submit to Jewish laws (like circumcision). So I suspect you just don’t like people making the analogy between between Judaizers then and overly creedal people today because that translation is too subjective.

I used the term church "Judaizers" as those in today’s church who keep the gate for membership (and continued fellowship) high with other laws more applicable today (doctrinal ascent statements, clean living, doesn’t drink to access, ...).

From Baker Bible Dictionary:
In Galatians 2:14 to Judaize means to "live like Jews" (RSV, neb, NASB, Phillips),"follow Jewish customs" (NIV), or "live by the Jewish law"(Barclay). The context for this reference is the episode in Antioch when Paul condemnsPeter's withdrawal from table fellowship with Gentile Christians. Peter's actions areviewed by Paul as a serious compromise of the gospel of salvation by grace through faithalone, lending support to the position that sought to impose Jewish ceremonial law on theGentiles. Thus, Paul interprets Peter's withdrawal in terms of its effect in compellingGentile Christians to live like Jews.

The term "Judaizer" has come to be used in theological parlance to describethe opponents of Paul and Barnabas at the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15) and those who soughtto preach "another gospel" in the churches of Galatia ( Galatians 2:4 Galatians 2:12 ; 6:12 ; cf. Php 3:2 ). In thissense, "Judaizers" refers to Jewish Christians who sought to induce Gentiles toobserve Jewish religious customs: to "judaize." It appears that theseindividuals agreed with much of the apostolic kerygma but sought to regulate the admissionof Gentiles into the covenant people of God through circumcision and the keeping of theceremonial law. Insisting that "Unless you are circumcised … you cannot besaved" ( Acts15:1 ), these "believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees" ( Acts 15:5 ) posed aserious threat to the gospel of grace and the uNIVersality of the Christian mission.

Paul's Galatian epistle portrays the Judaizers as having come from the Jerusalem churchto his churches in Galatia, stressing the need for Gentiles to be circumcised and keep thelaw, both for full acceptance by God (legalism) and as the basis for Christian living (nomism[novmisma]).They understood keeping the law not only as the means by which the blessings of theAbrahamic covenant could be appropriated, but also as the regulative guide for Christianlife within that covenant relationship. Although the Judaizers appear to be concerned withbringing the Galatian Christians to perfection through the observance of the law, Paulcharges them with being motivated by a desire to avoid persecution ( Gal 6:12-13 ).Amidst the rising pressures of Jewish nationalism in Palestine during the mid-firstcentury, and increased Zealot animosity against any Jew who had Gentile sympathies, itwould appear that these Jewish Christians embarked on a judaizing mission among Paul'sconverts in order to prevent Zealot persecution of the Palestinian church.
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Re: How does a non-creedal people set parameters

Postby Gene Scarborough » Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:45 am

Another problem promoting separation and fussing over love and forgiveness, Keith!!

Makes me think of Cain and Abel and the first murder among mankind---all over whose gift is acceptable to God!

God just about created us "mean." :wink:
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Re: How does a non-creedal people set parameters

Postby Tim Bonney » Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:59 pm

Ed Pettibone wrote:And Tim how is a common faith statement not a creed? Please keep in mind that I am only thinking out loud. :)


It is a good question Ed. My first guess is that a possible definition is that a faith statement is non-binding where as a creed is binding. But that doesn't work in all situations. For example the Apostle's Creed is used in the UMC but it isn't the official faith statement of the UMC. The Articles of Religion and the Confession of Faith are the binding faith statements in the UMC. So the terminology is slippery.

I'd suggest talking about "binding faith statements" and "non-binding faith statements" to be clear since creed doesn't have a clear definition.
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Re: How does a non-creedal people set parameters

Postby Tim Bonney » Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:42 pm

Ed can you define what you mean by "parameters?" Do you mean beliefs/doctrine? Do you mean structure/polity?

I would contend that without a enforcable faith statement you cannot create doctrinal parameters. You may be able to create an agreed upon polity/structure. But you will never get doctrinal agreement if you don't start out with a set of doctrines/faith statement/creed.

Feel free to agree/disagree. But I'd love for you to find any example in the free church tradition where a group was able to get doctrinal parameters without creating a creed/enforceable faith statement. I've yet to find one.
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Re: How does a non-creedal people set parameters

Postby Ed Pettibone » Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:59 pm

Tim Bonney wrote:Ed can you define what you mean by "parameters?" Do you mean beliefs/doctrine? Do you mean structure/polity?

I would contend that without a enforcable faith statement you cannot create doctrinal parameters. You may be able to create an agreed upon polity/structure. But you will never get doctrinal agreement if you don't start out with a set of doctrines/faith statement/creed.

Feel free to agree/disagree. But I'd love for you to find any example in the free church tradition where a group was able to get doctrinal parameters without creating a creed/enforceable faith statement. I've yet to find one.


Ed: Tim, my intent in this thread is not to agree or disagree but to see opinions on the question in the title " How does a non-creedal people set parameters?" I believe it needs to be done but it does seem to present a paradox. And weather I mean beliefs/ doctrine structure or polity is not real important as I see it. I am looking for ideas.
Keith apparently questions that, since I objected to his use of Judaizers. For what it is worth my objection was to what I see as used a pejorative to label people.
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Re: How does a non-creedal people set parameters

Postby Tim Bonney » Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:57 pm

Ed Pettibone wrote:
Ed: Tim, my intent in this thread is not to agree or disagree but to see opinions on the question in the title " How does a non-creedal people set parameters?" I believe it needs to be done but it does seem to present a paradox. And weather I mean beliefs/ doctrine structure or polity is not real important as I see it. I am looking for ideas.
Keith apparently questions that, since I objected to his use of Judaizers. For what it is worth my objection was to what I see as used a pejorative to label people.

I
I'm of the opinion that it does matter if it is doctrine or structure. My reasoning is tht people feel much more strongly about doctrine than they do structure. (I realize that there are exceptions and that structure and doctrine are related.) So if you create parameters on a doctrinal issue but your structure is such that no one has to follow the parameter you worked so hard to create then no one will take the paramenter (or even the work to create it) seriously.

Only when you create something that is agreed to that everyone can agree to follow will people take it seriously.
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Re: How does a non-creedal people set parameters

Postby KeithE » Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:35 pm

Ed Pettibone wrote:
Tim Bonney wrote:Ed can you define what you mean by "parameters?" Do you mean beliefs/doctrine? Do you mean structure/polity?

I would contend that without a enforcable faith statement you cannot create doctrinal parameters. You may be able to create an agreed upon polity/structure. But you will never get doctrinal agreement if you don't start out with a set of doctrines/faith statement/creed.

Feel free to agree/disagree. But I'd love for you to find any example in the free church tradition where a group was able to get doctrinal parameters without creating a creed/enforceable faith statement. I've yet to find one.


Ed: Tim, my intent in this thread is not to agree or disagree but to see opinions on the question in the title " How does a non-creedal people set parameters?" I believe it needs to be done but it does seem to present a paradox. And weather I mean beliefs/ doctrine structure or polity is not real important as I see it. I am looking for ideas.
Keith apparently questions that, since I objected to his use of Judaizers. For what it is worth my objection was to what I see as used a pejorative to label people.


Ed, explain how I "question that”. The “that” refers back to “I am looking for ideas”, and I did give you my ideas how to set parameter w/o being creedal. I fail to see how your objection to my use of “Judaizers" is even relevant. As someone said earlier - I’m flummoxed.
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Re: How does a non-creedal people set parameters

Postby Tim Bonney » Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:07 pm

Keith, I see you as being theologically progressive. Do you think that non-creedal denominations can set parameters that people will actually both agree to and follow? (And I really still have some confusion as to what "parameters" means. )
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Re: How does a non-creedal people set parameters

Postby Bruce Gourley » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:50 am

Tim Bonney wrote:Keith, I see you as being theologically progressive. Do you think that non-creedal denominations can set parameters that people will actually both agree to and follow? (And I really still have some confusion as to what "parameters" means. )


What parameters did Jesus set in the Gospels?
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Re: How does a non-creedal people set parameters

Postby Tim Bonney » Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:39 am

Bruce Gourley wrote:
Tim Bonney wrote:Keith, I see you as being theologically progressive. Do you think that non-creedal denominations can set parameters that people will actually both agree to and follow? (And I really still have some confusion as to what "parameters" means. )


What parameters did Jesus set in the Gospels?


Well, which "parameters" do we want to talk about? (And why limit the discussion to the four gospels?) The gospels really don't have Jesus creating much of the structure/polity of the church as we've come to know it. He apparently expected the Apostles create much of the church structure after his assension. So while you will get doctrinal parameters from Jesus you sure aren't going to get very many organizational/structural parameters from Jesus. Paul, the Apostles and Christians over the next several centuries put together church structure as we have come to know it. Jesus spent much more time talking about the mission of the church and how people come to know God than talking about structure.

Part of the problem in discussing this is by using the word "parameters" and "non-creedal people" rather than "church" or "denomination" we end up with a nebulous disusssion. What I think Ed is asking (correct me Ed if I'm wrong) is can a non-creedal denomination or church set bounderies of faith and structure and if so how does the denomination/church do that. If that isn't what we are talking about Ed please say so!

Nothing in the gospels gives me the impression that Jesus said "believe whatever the heck you want or do whatever you want, you are a free people" Bruce.

As to Jesus' doctrinal parameters, how about looking at John 12 "I am the way the truth and the life." We can look at John 3:16 of course, "whoever believes in me will not perish" (That always calls Reformed theology into question for me but that is another topic). So some obvious doctrinal bounderies (I like that better than parameters) is that if you believe in Jesus you do you have eternal life.

While we are at it the mission of the church which included the madate of Jesus to "love on another", "Go and make disciples" and "as you have done it unto the least of these..." are certainly part of the doctrine of the church.

But of course we have to not only look at the gospels but at the remainder of the scriptures as well, particularly the New Testament to see the "parameters" that come up for discussion in the founding of the fledgling Church.

Also, I'm not one to limit our discussion to just what happened in the first 100 years or so of the church. Church history matters and what the church did particularly I think during the centuries up through the setting of the canon and the writing of the ecumenical creeds matters and how the church developed as well as issues of the Reformation etc. matter.
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Re: How does a non-creedal people set parameters

Postby Gene Scarborough » Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:41 am

Jesus kept it simple:

Example of love and healing along with true forgiveness of sin
Love the Lord and neighbor as self
Keep to the 10 Commandments and forget about the Pharisee fence built around the law
Do not turn God's House into a den of theives
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Re: How does a non-creedal people set parameters

Postby Tim Bonney » Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:45 am

Gene Scarborough wrote:Jesus kept it simple:

Example of love and healing along with true forgiveness of sin
Love the Lord and neighbor as self
Keep to the 10 Commandments and forget about the Pharisee fence built around the law
Do not turn God's House into a den of theives


I'm not saying Jesus was against the 10 Commandments Gene but I don't see a lot of emphasis from him on the Decalogue. Otherwise he'd have agreed with the stoning of the woman caught in adultery. He said "he who is without sin cast the first stone" and "go and sin no more."

I would suggest that you'll not end up with a church structure if you only read the four gospels. If we want to talk struture we have to get into Acts, the letters of Paul etc. I'd also ask is it necessary for a non-creedal church to ignore the last two thousand years of Church history? Other than the handful of Landmarkers around here I think most of us would say no to that. But we might have different views as to how the last 2,000 years of church history fits into how we structure the church.
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Re: How does a non-creedal people set parameters

Postby Gene Scarborough » Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:15 am

Well said, brother!!! :)
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