Essentials, Non-essentials, and Love

I was inspired today by a saying that started in churches in the 17th century: "In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, love." What a difference it would make if churches would practice that! So much of the time there are lots of ways people who are alienated by Christians who require others to be on the same page that they are on. Reminds me of the Pharisees and Jesus' challenges to them. Large numbers of people, especially young people, are leaving active Christianity, or at the least, church involvement - mainly alienated by 'non-essentials' and lack of the spirit of love from churches or Christians. Churches are being torn by political, ideological or even trivial differences, even where they are together on the essentials. What are 'the essentials'? I believe that the Nicene Creed (and others like it) are the essentials that the almost all Christians agree on. Of course, we all have other convictions, but I believe that God gives us a unifying command: love. God works in all of us that are open to his working in our lives to grow - and we need to trust God to work in others in what are the essentials for them as they grow in relationship with him.

One of the biggest non-essentials that have hurt Christianity are differences on science, particularly related to the creation story. This is a big factor with young people who learn about science in high school and college. It's ok to have different beliefs, but not to require 'non-essentials' for others.

I have that tendency to avoid people who do not share my beliefs but I feel God is telling me (and Christians in general) to love those who are different from me/us.

Could the reason the origins story involves extensive visual symbolism because of limited ancient language and cognition?

Could the reason the origins story involves extensive visual symbolism because of limited ancient language and cognition?

Early language, even in the Egypt where Moses was raised, was quite limited, perhaps somewhat similar to an isolated third world community is today. It would have been hard for people to think in advanced ways with limited language and to grasp the meaning of a deeply spiritual, non-visually oriented creation story. You begin to understand why God would have chosen to tell the creation story in a very visual way

Extra note links

Notes at bottom of Scripture - Interpretation - Culture page

Note 2 on Bible verses not included in modern translations:

Note 4 on "Prima scriptura":

Note 7 on Why AIG believes in Inerrancy:

Note 8 on "Contradictions in the Bible":

Note 10 on Contraditions In the Bible related to a solid dome:

Notes at bottom of Major Christian Approaches to creation page:

Note 1a on scientists belief about very old Universe/Earth along with evolution:

Note 1b. on scientist belief in God and religious affiliation:

Note 2 on AAAS stand against ID: []

The Case for Young-Earth Creationism:

Adam & Eve as Spiritual Ancestors: