Thinking through the Bible together and, especially seeking its relevance to life today, calls for a boundary. This boundary has been in Christian circles at least since the 1500’s; I heard about it from one of my favorite dead pastors who put it into practice all the time: “Unity in Essentials, Liberty in Non-Essentials, Charity in All.” Love is, of course, the tip-top of moral excellence. Love is patient, kind, and is not jealous, is not proud or arrogant either (I Corinthians 13). So in thinking about biblical applications, we should assert that when we disagree, patience, kindness, and humility still crown our relationships.
Of course, this is not so easy to pull off. We are to be of one mind in essentials, but what is essential? We are to give each other Christian liberty to disagree over non-essentials, but again, what are the biblical things that open-ended? These issues have to be worked out as we go along. The paramount thing to pull off is to love one another as we define essential and non-essential.
One essential seems to me to be agreement that the Bible is applicable to our lives today no matter where we live, our age, social standing or political preferences. Maybe I’m for green and you don’t even recycle but biblical spirituality means we still are kind, not jealous, and never arrogant.
I flourish in liberty. I dislike to be controlled. I relax in unity. Love shines amidst all moral excellence. Think about it. How does it fit into your life right now?