Non-essentials

Dear Church Family,

Greetings in Jesus' name!

 

Non-essentials are things that simply do not matter, or things that are not a violation of moral law. They are adiaphora. Lying is a moral violation, it is something that matters, wearing a hat in the church building simply does not matter. Biblically speaking it is adiaphora. There are many things that might offend our sense of values but are non-issues Biblically speaking. 

 

The greatest problem with non-essentials is when they become ingrained traditions or are elevated to the status of essentials. This is what the Jews were doing who taught that, to be a Christian, you also had to be circumcised or observe feast days and food laws required under the Old Covenant. Salvation is through Christ alone, not in obedience to customs and traditions. We must be cautious not to impose observance of non-essentials on others or to question their commitment to Christ based on something that simply does not matter Biblically. 

 

I knew a preacher who would not eat in a restaurant that sold alcohol. I can respect his personal conviction to live that way and would never suggest that we go to a restaurant that served alcohol for lunch, knowing his conviction. However, it is wrong for him to judge my spirituality if I do eat in restaurants that serve alcohol. It simply does not matter Biblically. When you hold people to your personal convictions and values you are being unfair at best, selfish and un-loving at worst. We must lovingly hold to the essentials and accept the non-essentials for what they are, regardless of our personal passion for it. You may believe that someone should not wear a hat in church, however, it is a non-essential. You may consider it a matter of honor and respect, as do I, but the days where everyone shared that opinion are over. Biblically and spiritually, it simply never mattered one way or the other. 

 

Examine yourself and honestly work to identify personal convictions that you may consider essential which really are not, and then examine whether you have judged someone unfairly because they do not share your conviction.

 

I call you blessed!

Pastor