The following is a ‘open’ list of teachings (subject to further expansion) which Protestants cannot agree upon due to the doctrinal relativism caused by Sola Scriptura. Though many Protestants today would “solve” this problem by tossing a lot of these into the “non-essential” category, I believe the doctrinal issues I’ve mentioned have been clearly seen to cause division among Protestants:
- Once Saved Always Saved
- Universal versus Limited Atonement
- Infant Baptism
- Form of Baptism (e.g. full immersion vs pouring)
- Whether Baptism is necessary in ordinary circumstances
- Whether the Lord’s Supper is purely symbolic or some sort of ‘real’ presence
- Divorce and Remarriage
- Whether icons/pictures of Christ are allowed
- Which doctrines are perspicuous/essential
- Whether Charismatic Gifts of the Spirit have ceased
- Whether instruments are allowed in church
- Female ordination
- The “biblical” form of church government
- Sunday versus any day worship / Whether the Sabbath is still in force in some sense.
- House churches versus dedicated congregational churches
- Imputed Active Obedience
- Whether traditional categories like Person/Nature are true/valid
- Mary being “Mother of God”
- Mary’s Perpetual Virginity
- Whether Inspiration of Scripture is plenary or limited to faith and morals
- Whether one can/should pray to the Holy Spirit
- Whether Sola Scriptura applied during the time of Christ and the Apostles
- How to define/understand Sola Scriptura, especially as it relates to Creeds and Councils
- Should Christians engage in politics, civil service, etc.
- Whether Christians should pray the Our Father
- Whether prayer should be only spontaneous
- Whether keeping the Commandments is necessary for salvation
- Whether illness, suffering, poverty, etc, are due to sin or lack of faith
- Whether Free Will and Double Predestination are true or not
Feel free to mention some other examples in the comment box!
As a Catholic, it is easy for me to treat this list as a “checklist” of sorts. All I have to do is go down each point and reference the matter in the Catechism. The Catechism is chock full of Bible citations, references to the Church Fathers and council documents, etc. wherein I can read the reasons behind why the Church teaches what it does on these matters.
That said, I do not post this here to belittle but instead to foster conversation and debate. Therefore, I am proposing that over the course of the next several weeks interested parties should speak touch on these matters in a civil and charitable fashion. Best of all, those who decide to meet in person can have a conversation on a set topic and thus prepare to speak on and teach on their theological opinions and understanding on the item of the week.