I attended Northwest University where I earned a B.A. in Communication with a minor in Biblical Studies. I became a licensed minister through the Assemblies of God and accepted my first position as Children’s Pastor in 2006. In 2011 I moved to the country of Macedonia to serve as a Missionary’s Assistant for a year. In 2014 I graduated with an M.A. in Apologetics from Biola University while also working as a Student Ministries pastor. I have since transitioned from a pastoral role to one teaching Bible at a Christian High School. Additionally, I currently serve as an Adjunct Professor with the Caribbean School of Theology, and I recently began an M.Div program. At the end of 2015, for a variety of reasons, I chose not to renew my ministerial license with the Assemblies.
I grew up in the Pentecostal tradition of the Assemblies of God. Every denomination/tradition has its strengths and weaknesses. One of the most rewarding experiences for me spiritually was working through my Master’s Degree with students from other denominations and traditions. It was truly an “ironing sharpening iron,” experience. Furthermore, all doctrine is important, but I have seen that disagreement over secondary doctrines does not have to cause discord or animosity between fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Unfortunately, the church has experienced too much of that. However, if we can in humility, strive to understand each other first and disagree second, we will benefit personally and the church will benefit collectively.
I think it’s also important to make doctrinal distinctions. Essential Christian Doctrine is not negotiable. To call oneself a Christian, an individual must embrace these doctrines as true. Non-Essential Doctrines, while important, should not be considered “deal breakers.” Godly, Scripture-studying Christians can disagree on these issues without questioning the other side’s love for God or desire to accurately handle Scripture. We should be careful not to throw rhetorical stones at our fellow believers because we have different doctrinal standpoints regarding secondary issues.
Perhaps Rupertus Meldenius, a Lutheran Theologian, said it best:
In essentials we have unity. In non-essentials we have liberty. In all our beliefs we show charity.
Here is an example of how some doctrines divide: