I haven’t had a dark colored soda since December 31, 2015. No Cokes, no Root Beer, no Dr. Pepper. I do love carbonated drinks though. Flavored sparkly water, sprite and ginger ale are all on the menu. My husband makes fun of my distinction between clear and dark soda…he claims that I can’t say I haven’t had soda in 3 years. I contend there is a difference and that it’s a matter of semantics.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve had several conversations about semantics in regards to Protestant denomination doctrine. One doctrine doesn’t allow musical instruments, another recognizes immersion baptism over sprinkling, and yet another believes in praying in tongues. Each justifies their position with specified scriptures. Each compels members to believe their individual doctrine while rejecting the thoughts of others.
Think for a moment on the many ways that someone describes their own salvation. Some Christians have a “decision for Christ” while others refer to “being saved.” Still, others call it being “born again” or “giving their life to Christ.” Most of those phrases are specific to various denominations. Don’t they all relate to the basic premise that one acknowledges their own sin, the death of Christ for their sins, and the acceptance of that gift as salvation?
Is doctrine a simple matter of semantics? This is a topic that is very much over my head in terms of my own education. However, I know that the Bible is specific in telling us that there is one way to heaven and that is through acceptance of Jesus Christ as our Savior.
No matter the semantics differences in soda doctrine, carbonation is the foundation that justifies a beverage being called a soda.
No matter the semantics differences in church doctrines, belief in Christ is the foundation that justifies a person being called a Christian.
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. ~Romans 10:9-10 (NIV)