Tuesday, May 29, 2007


First tier, second tier, third tier and the list goes on. These words are becoming popular in describing different doctrines of the Scripture. Other than being useful in defining to others what you believe, they really are not helpful in the debate over what other SB's believe. The problem is that what you consider to be first tier, they may believe is second tier and the opposite could be just as true. For instance, is eating meat offered to idols a sin? This "tier" is completely trumped by the "tier" that exhorts us to not cause our brother to stumble as well as the tier that if we eat with a guilty conscience, we sin against ourselves. The reference for these is I Corinthians 8:7-13.

My point here is not to argue about eating meat offered to idols but to use one simple illustration of how difficult it is for either myself or another to dictate to others those doctrines that are "essential/first tier" and those that are "non-essential/2nd tier, 3rd tier etc." Does the fact that some Scriptures deal more specifically with my sanctification than salvation make them of lesser importance? Does the fact that some Scriptures deal more specifically with glorification and eschatology mean that they are of lesser importance? Indirectly, such descriptions as tiers imply, intended or not, that some Scriptures are not to be taken as serious as others. That implication, in my book, is indefensible. II TIMOTHY 3:16 ALL SCRIPTURE IS GIVEN BY INSPIRATION OF GOD, AND IS PROFITABLE FOR DOCTRINE, FOR REPROOF, FOR CORRECTION, FOR INSTRUCTION IN RIGHTEOUSNESS: THAT THE MAN OF GOD MAY BE PERFECT, THROUGHLY FURNISHED UNTO ALL GOOD WORKS. All Scripture is of serious nature simply because it is given from God.

Who gets to decide the importance of Scripture? God does. Which Scripture is important to God? Apparently, all of it. Otherwise, that which was true of the people of Israel in the time of the Judges will simply be that which is recorded about us. Judges 17:6 In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes. We have a King. Jesus! And we have His word. Obey it. God help us to do that which is right in Your eyes.



selahv said...

Luke: I truly don't understand all the 1st/2nd/3rd tier dialogue. Maybe I'm too black and white. Most dialogue about stuff that references that and non-essentials has me scratching my head. The conversation threads seem to provoke some folks who claim to be Christian to act and speak otherwise. Don't you think? selahV

Luke said...

V: I totally agree. I have no problem with someone being adamant about what they believe. I enjoy a good debate where two or more people interact with each others beliefs. But the way that many "christians" act is less than Christ-like. Debating amongst christians can be very informative and light emitting but when it results in veiled threats, law suits and vicious name calling, I sit as amazed as you.

You wrote: "Don't you think?"

Well of course I think. Whatever gave you the idea that I do not think. See, we are all capable of such fruitless behavior, as I just demonstrated by my dry but personally satisfying wit, but please know that my intentions in responding to your question were certainly in jest.

Just one head scratcher to another..


PS: My hope is that your hubby is doing much better and will continue to improve.

selahV said...

Luke: you're funny. hubby is doing good. taking one day at a time. hard for me to see him this way. he's never been sick. selahV

Rene' said...

Amen and Amen! When I focus on what God has for me to see from His Word there is no room nor time for me to focus on what God has for you.

joerstewart said...

I think the tiers are misguided as well.

Luke said...

I appreciate your comment. I have been giving a lot of thought to this and I think, as I assume you do as well, that any attempt to oppose a hierarchy of importance upon Scripture leads to an entire Piccadilly of an approach. While understanding ecclesiology is not necessary for one's salvation, it would be error to say it isn't as important for we know that a church that is not properly ordered can be a hindrance to the gospel. Every area that the Scripture addresses is important and is meant to be observed.