There was an epiphany in my life when, after being a member of churches belonging to three different Denominations, it occurred to me that much of the Doctrine I had accepted as fact was not traceable to any clear cut passage of Scripture but rather to the private interpretation of one man or a small group of men. These teachings, over generations, had become denominational distinctives. These unique interpretations had become the central teaching of a particular group; that which gave the Denomination its identity and allowed its Pastors to explain why their church was different from and better than the church down the street.
These interpretations have become so entrenched and so elevated that they have become equal to or, in many cases, of greater authority than the Scripture itself. Seminaries and Bible Colleges often seem more interested in vindicating and validating traditional interpretations than in teaching young men and women to seek out the truth of Scripture. They would protest that this is not true but you need only to examine the product to see that I speak the truth. Young people from Baptist churches, graduating from Baptist Seminaries, to a man, believe in the Doctrine of Eternal Security. Methodist Pastors, graduating from Methodist Seminaries, never do. Young People coming out of the schools run by the Assemblies of God or Church of God always believe in Speaking in Tongues and Prophecy; Baptists and Methodists, seldom if ever graduate believing in these Gifts of the Spirit.
I am among a small group of Christians who believe that:
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16)
We are convinced that schools, systems, seminaries, churches and Pastors who seek to divide the Church of Jesus Christ into small, splintered and hateful groups over such nonsense are tools of the Devil and have no part in the Kingdom of God. We do not believe that one passage is superior to the other or that they are mutually exclusive. Most of all, we do not have to defend a venerated Doctrine nor a long line of venerated teachers leading back to a venerated founder. We are respectful of those who believe differently and quick to point out that we, like they, may be wrong.
Lest someone jump to the conclusion that we are free to accept heresy, let me assure you that many things in Scripture are plain and unquestionable; the Doctrines of Grace, Salvation by Faith, the Deity of Christ to name a few. One who believes that Buddha is a way to Heaven is clearly wrong but heresy is a heavy label to place on one who understands the Security of the Believer or Predestination differently than I do. Those, who Worship Barrack Obama will go to Hell but no one has ever gone to Hell because he misunderstood the security of the believer as a Doctrine or failed to comprehend the relationship between free will and predestination.