2 Tim. 2:19: "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity."

My views are similar to what you've both indicated above. I would love to accept all who profess Christ, but we live in an era of such widespread apostasy, that even most professing Christians embrace doctrines that are unbiblical to a potentially damning degree. Their unbiblical doctrine engenders unbiblical practice, and casts doubt onto whether they possess the indwelling Holy Spirit, or, perhaps, quench His work through their false beliefs and actions.

I would differentiate between those who are new in the faith, and may be in the process of being taught by the Spirit to embrace doctrine which is sound and biblical, and to reject that which is not. Versus those who could and should know Scripture, and yet willfully deny important parts of it. Being a babe in the Faith is ok, but choosing to stay such is not.

I would try to differentiate as did Spurgeon, Sproul, etc., between inconsistent and/or confused Arminians who still hold to grace and to the sovereignty of God, even if they do not understand its ultimate implications, e.g., that if He is Sovereign, then we are not; versus full-blown Pelagians, those who insist even in the face of contrary Scripture that "God empowers all to believe; man makes the choice; all glory be to Man Almighty."

I believe that a Spirit-led person ought not embrace leftism, socialism, fascism, communism, Marxism, feminism, Caesaropapism, antinomianism or any other heresy, "critical race theory," "social justice," or any form of racism. Not because I reject these views but because they are absolutely contrary to Scripture. Each one can best be seen as a willful rejection of some or all of the holy commands of God, commands He has not rescinded but has fulfilled on behalf of His people. By saving them, not to sin, but FROM sin.

Certainly a professing Christian ought not to support abortion or any other kind of mass murder; that is a clear and complete denial of his or her profession.

Regarding those who might say, "Forget doctrine; it divides. Just give me Jesus." Their hearts might be in the right place. Might. But their brains are not, and remain in need of the sanctifying and teaching ministries of the Spirit. How do we know which of the many versions of "Jesus" we ought to know, love, follow, obey, and proclaim? Without sound doctrine, we can't. Without sound doctrine, we'll probably go with what is popular, and that is only rarely if ever what is biblical. Wide is the road that leads to destruction, and narrow the One that leads to life.

"No confession but the Bible, no creed but Christ?" Same. A Spirit-filled person who studies the Word breathed by that same Spirit will come to a like mind on at least all of the essentials of the Faith, but disagreements might still remain, over things like baptism, the Lord's Supper, or various other issues. It is important to the unity of the local Church that we be of one mind insofar as possible, and I've increasingly come to doubt whether that can be achieved absent some sort of creed. In addition, everyone has a creed. The question is whether it is shared with the other members of the local Church. If that Church subscribes to a confession of faith like the 1689 LBC, or Westminster, or the 4 forms of unity, etc., there is more likely to be true unity, which as I've painfully discovered is not a unity apart from truth but a unity in Truth (John 14:6).

I am not prepared to send to hell every person with which I disagree. Even in these areas I believe people can be inconsistent. And I do not know their hearts. God does, and as concerns their salvation, He will judge, not me nor any other person besides Himself. Further, it is my hope and desire that as many people would be saved as possible. I just don't think that happens without God changing them, and that change should be evident in their lives, especially in the fullness of time.

But I also am not prepared to accept a person's profession of Christ if, over time and fairly viewed, it is essentially contrary to what they believe or how they live. To do so, to give them false assurance based on their word alone and contrary to other evidence, would be unspeakably cruel. Instead I'd be more inclined to share with them the only Gospel that can save, not "God has a wonderful plan for your life," but rather "Christ died and rose again to save a people for Himself." They will respond to it now, or they will respond later, or they will not respond at all, and in the end that is up to the One who draws people, absolutely in spite of themselves, to repentance and faith in Him (John 6:44)


Aspiring student of Christ