In recent months, there has been debates going on in SBC circles concerning what beliefs we must share in order to be missions cooperating Southern Baptists. In the course of this discussion, some have proposed that we examine issues/doctrines based upon a priority or tier system. The basic proposal is below.
Tier 1 --- An Essential Doctrine Necessary To Be Considered a Christian, for a Denial of this Doctrine is a Denial of the True Christian Faith.
Tier 2 --- An Essential Doctrine Necessary to be Considered a Southern Baptist Christian, and if One Disagrees With It, He Cannot Serve in Leadership of the SBC.
Tier 3 --- A Low Priority Doctrine that Is Not Necessary to Believe in Order to be a Fully Cooperating Southern Baptist (leadership, missionary, trustee, etc..).
Here are some examples
Deity of Christ is easily Tier 1.
Believer's Baptism by Immersion is more like a Tier 2 doctrine.
Specific End Times Understandings--Dispensational/Amillenial, Pre-Trib Rapture/Post-Trib Rapture--would be more like a Tier 3 Doctrine
The problem is agreeing on where a doctrine or issue fits. Not all doctrines are worth dividing over, not all are hills on which to die. Let me ask you a couple of questions.
How valid is this breakdown?
What other examples can you give and your suggested Tier placement?
Do you have any experiences when you witnessed people dividing over less important issues?
Pursuing Answers to Questions of Faith & Life,