The following is essential Christian doctrine:
The Bible is the infallible, inerrant Word of God.
There is one God manifest in 3 eternal, distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Jesus Christ is God and Savior, who became man and came to the Earth, being conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life while on the Earth, and His life was ended when He was crucified on a cross. Through Jesus' shed blood on the cross, He paid for the sins of all mankind. On the 3rd day, after His death, Jesus arose from the dead, spent 40 days on the Earth, and then ascended into Heaven, where He is now seated at the right hand of the Father as our High Priest and advocate.
Each person is a sinner who is lost and faces God's judgment for his/her sins. This judgment requires all sinners to spend eternity in Hell, eternally separated from God. However, by the grace of God, we can avoid this penalty by accepting Jesus' sacrifice for our sins. When we do this, we are justified before God, and begin a new life as a child of God. (You can do this here.)
What I mean by "essential Christian doctrine" is that ALL Christians MUST hold these things as true, and if they do not, they cannot be called a Christian. Therefore, all Christians MUST be united on these issues.
This being said, I believe that all other Christian doctrines are "secondary issues." These are issues on which Christians can differ, but do not have to divide over. There are perhaps hundreds of these issues. These issues can include such questions as:
What is the meaning and importance of Baptism?
What spiritual gifts are for today?
What does the Baptism Of The Holy Spirit mean?
Does God choose who will go to Heaven and Hell? (Calvinism vs Arminianism)
When is the rapture or is there even a rapture at all?
There are also differences over less formal issues such as: contemporary music vs hymns, casual dress vs formal dress, etc...
And, there are even more differences over what it is ok to do as a Christian. Can you: drink, smoke, get a tattoo, dance, etc...?
Is it any wonder that we have so many churches and denominations?? On this website, you will find that I do have opinions on many of these "secondary issues," and I will share why I hold these opinions from a Biblical standpoint. I do consider some of these as almost "primary issues" to me personally (i.e. I could not attend a church that holds to some "secondary issues" that I feel are unbiblical). However, when I started this website, I truly felt as if God was leading me to steer clear of condemning these "secondary issues" that I believe are wrong. Therefore, if I do address these issues, I try very hard not to be condemning, and to say that I am stating "my opinion" about the issue at hand. (I am not always perfect at doing this, so please forgive me.)
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to write me from the link on the homepage.
Your brother in Christ, Steve