If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. -- Galatians 5:25-26 (ESV)
These are the end times beloved. These are the times that will see more and more who profess Christ drift away from Him and towards the eventual one world religion. These are the days that the people who stand before Christ and say "Lord Lord" exponentially grow under the spell of the purpose driven mega church assurances contained within the false salvation they sell. Increasingly, we will see doctrine marginalized and maligned and discernment portrayed as legalism and unloving. We need to be wary of this and stop to diagnose it correctly lest we succumb as well to the dangers of false teaching which the bible is replete with warnings of. The above article is another such attempt to blur the lines of doctrine in a call for pious sounding unity based upon carnality and not scripture. Let us reason together once more beloved.
"John Wesley followed a time-tested approach: "In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things, charity." Wesley believed that the spirit of charity needs to take into consideration the limits of human understanding. He observed, "To be ignorant of many things and to be mistaken in some is the necessary condition of humanity" and therefore, "As to all opinions which do not strike at the root of Christianity, we think and let think." So what are the essentials? For example, do they include a specific view of eschatology or hell? There are four biblically backed views of eschatology and four of hell and a lot of church splits have happened over these views. The church I was saved in had a church split over whether men should have beards or not! Is that really an essential? Is that really worth starting a new denomination over?" -- Mark Virkler
No it is not but Mark Virkler knows that full well. The silly split over beards is an exaggeration to get us to lower our discernment guards. No one is suggesting splitting denominations over beards. That is asinine. The problem with Wesley's argument is who gets to define the essentials? I also agree that eschatology is not a subject worth dividing over unless you espouse some "hell-less" doctrine. Make no mistake about it though beloved. This opening paragraph is solely designed to make a later unreasonable pitch appear reasonable from the start. Virkler then briefly turns to the Apostles Creed, which he uses to discuss how he thinks the apostles lived as a model for us today:
"Since the Apostles' Creed does not cover how the apostles lived, let's move on and explore that next.
The Essential Lifestyle: Live by the Spirit (Gal. 5:25)." -- Mark Virkler
Here we start to see the true agenda come out. Virkler laid the trap with fair points and seeming good intent but eventually we see his doctrine revealed which simply does not line up with Scripture. The tag line "live by the spirit" means something to Virkler and the circles he travels in. it is the same expression used by the partakers of the various heresies of Bethel Church and IHOP. It is neck deep in the false signs and lying wonders network of churches that emphasize the supernatural over the biblical. Now, does Galatians 5:25 say live by the spirit? Absolutely. Look at the key verses however for the context, which Virkler astutely avoids. What can one say about living in the spirit then? Can we say what Virkler believes? Not based on the text. We can say that it means we should stay in step with the spirit. We can say it means to not become conceited, provoking others or envying others. The preceding context shows that it means to not walk by the flesh and reviews the fruits of the spirit. Not one mention of supernatural jibber-jabber. This is why it is important to let the bible define the essentials and not Mark Virkler or any man. It is easy to take "live by the spirit" and turn it into a sound bite. It is harder to do the work of a Berean and see what God actually meant when He said it.