From the conception of this vision known as Centerpoint I have been a staunch advocate of focusing on the big, or essential things, while leaving the little, or non-essential things behind. I have encouraged the CP team and anyone who calls us into question to do the same as well. When I reference the essentials I am referring to our specific views and teachings on areas like, salvation, Jesus, God, scripture, the Holy Spirit, afterlife and the church. We feel the Bible sets very clear standards for these areas which any community desiring to follow the message of Christ must hold true to in order to stay in alignment with the standard scripture sets for us.
Although holding true to the essentials is both good and important I feel all to often we make the non-essentials into essentials and as a result create dissension and strife among fellow followers of Christ we should be working with rather than debating against. I feel the problem begins when we think our “expression” of Christianity is the right way, the only way and we begin to have concern for others around us who don’t hold our specific views. Although scripture points us in a clear direction for the essential areas I referenced above there are many things which we are allowed, and even encouraged by Scripture to be diverse in. Only a diverse community of believers can reach a diverse world of people.
Although I have attempted to leave the little things alone I realized this past Sunday, while facing yet another barrage of claims against Centerpoint, that all to often I do the very thing I ask others not to do by debating and arguing Centerpoint’s methods and stances on certain issues which, based on the above criteria are nothing more than non-essential components of the faith. I feel I do this to protect the name and the people associated with Centerpoint but in the end why should I place so much value on what others think about non-essential areas of the faith which I believe have little or nothing to do with my commitment to Christ or Centerpoints ability to teach a holistic, scripturally accurate gospel? In short, I shouldn’t care about these areas because I myself encourage diversity in the methods we use to communicate the message of Christ. This doesn’t mean I enjoy when people call us into question but if I am willing to debate and argue the small things then aren’t I losing the focus and message of the gospel? Only when we get past the little things and focus on the areas that truly matter will see real life change in the world around us. To quote from our statement of faith: “In the essential areas of the faith, we require unity; in the non-essentials, we offer freedom; and in all things, we demonstrate love.” May we truly learn to live by this motto and may I learn to follow my own advice.