The search begins

Yesterday we embarked on our search for a new church. We are praying, desperate and broken on our knees, that the peace that passeth understanding directs us in the way we should go. With a long history of painful church experiences behind us, we feel somewhat like we're stumbling along blindfolded. How do you recognize a healthy church? Which doctrinal points are on your "absolute" list?

Did not our Lord pray, "that they may be one, even as we are one?" (John 17:22) A chorus of ecumenical voices keep harping the unity tune. What they are saying is, "Christians of all doctrinal shades and beliefs must come together in one visible organization, regardless...Unite, unite!" Such teaching is false, reckless, and dangerous. Truth alone must determine our alignments. Truth comes before unity. Unity without truth is hazardous. Our Lord's prayer in John 17 must be read in its full context..."Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth." ~ Charles Spurgeon

The Gospel. Grace. The Apostles creed. These stand like the columns undergirding the structure, the concrete footings in the Rock. They are our absolutes. Beyond that, things get murky. There are many beliefs within Christianity that don't cause division - young earth/old earth, free will/election for instance - and a whole host of lifestyle decisions that are left wholly up to the individual and aren't defined as doctrine at all - stay at home/working moms, public/private/home education, big house/little house, white collar/blue collar, clothing preferences, piercings, tattoos...

So we enter this incredibly confusing time with only one note of confidence playing sweetly and constantly in our souls: Holy Spirit. He whispers, and we hear it. And so we know that, with that note of confidence playing constant, we will recognize the home of fellowship God has already prepared for us.

Though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so truth be in the field, we do injuriously by licensing and prohibiting to misdoubt her strength. Let her and falsehood grapple; who ever knew truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter. ~John Milton

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth: And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, Born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried: He descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost; The Holy Catholic church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body, and the Life everlasting. Amen.