Originally Posted by Pilgrim
Originally Posted by Newman
Who decides what is essential and what is non-essential?
Good question. So what would be your answer?
Aha, answering a question with a question. :cool: I don't know if that means you don't have an answer, but here's mine. There was much dispute in the early church about whether or not it was essential to be circumcised (and avoid pork etc.) in order to be Christian. A council was convened, a decision was reached, and then Paul and Timothy were sent to the cities to tell the people to obey the decrees. So, the visible church decides. That's my answer.

Originally Posted by Pilgrim
Another hypothetical question: What if whoever/whatever you think has the authority to determine what is essential and non-essential declared that the Trinity, or the deity of Christ or the sacraments or the perpetual virginity of Mary or that homosexuality is non-essential. Would you acknowledge that decision and embrace it? scratchchin
Well, that would never happen in an official and binding way. It's a false dilemma. That is to say, it was not possible that the Jerusalem Council would declare that it was essential for Gentiles to be circumcised and then send Paul and Timothy to tell everyone to obey that false decree as a matter of dogma. In the same manner, it would simply be impossible for the Jerusalem Council to bind the faithful to believe in Unitarianism or gay marriage etc. Would you not agree? In the same manner, it is simply not possible to bind the faithful today to deny the Trinity, the deity of Christ, the PVM, or to deny that homosexuality is disordered.

Last edited by Newman; Wed Jun 22, 2011 1:08 PM.