Wednesday, March 28

Is "security of the believer" a 1st tier matter?

I believe firmly in the security of the believer. "Once saved always saved" would describe my belief that true salvation is never lost. To try to convince me otherwise would be as futile as trying to convert me to Islam or to becoming a Jehovah Witness. But that is not the issue I want to address in this post...

Yesterday, I was talking on the phone with a fellow missionary colleague in another city about a problem Baptist church in their region whose pastor does not hold to the doctrine of the 'security of the believer'. The missionary shared that he had asked the pastor what would happen if he, as a saved person, were to sin and were to die before repenting of that sin? The pastors sad answer was that he would go to hell.

As I continued to talk with my missionary colleague, he shared that his IMB church planting team has made the conscious decision to not partner or work with any other Christian group that believes or tolerates the teaching that salvation can be lost.

In other words, the eternal salvation of one's soul is, for my colleagues, one of those 1st tier, undebatable issues, where the line has to be drawn. Anyone not subscribing to this doctrine, may be a Christian, but my colleagues cannot (in good conscious) work alongside of, or partner with anyone holding to the possibility that salvation can be lost.

So the question becomes for me, is the doctrine of the security of the believer a 1st tier matter? Should this teaching be on the same level as other 1st tier Baptist beliefs such as 'salvation is on the basis of faith' in the atoning blood of Jesus Christ? Is the 'security of the believer' on the same level as there being only one way to God the Father, and that is through Jesus Christ? Is it equal to our belief in the literal, physical death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus? My missionary colleagues, whom I highly regard, esteem, and respect would answer, yes. The 'security of the believer' is a 1st tier doctrinal issue for them.

This is not a theoretical question only, but is very real issue with serious consequences to our future work. Should we draw the line in the sand on our belief in the 'security of the believer' as one of those 1st tier doctrinal issues? Or is it a 2nd or even 3rd tiered issue? Should our position on this matter determine who we may, or may not work with in the Kingdom? What insights would you be able to share to help us?

36 comments:

Geoff Baggett said...

Guy,
I agree with your colleagues. For the purpose of partnership and ministry, I believe that security of the believer is an essential, first-tier issue. Indeed, in my church's founding documents and our New Members Class, we make it clear that this is an essential doctrine.

Without such an understanding, the fruit of any work is extremely ripe for "hijacking" and doctrinal difficulty.

Geoff

Mike said...

Guy:

It would appear to be a 1st Tier issue particularly because of the type of work you do, which is church reproduction. The DNA implanted in the first churches, that we pray will multiply is critical. Having the thought of the ability to lose one's salvation being multiplied, perhaps exponentially, is troubling.

Mike

John Lunt said...

Where do you draw the line at 1st tier issues? Organic Church planter Neil Cole uses what he calls bullet points. What points of your faith would you take a bullet to defend?

I wonder if that would cast it in a new light?

Larry Who said...

Eternal security is a base doctrine for me, but it does not limit my fellowshipping or working with other Christians.

George Whitefield and John Wesley ministered gloriously for the Kingdom of God in the First Awakening. Sadly, they disagreed on this issue. And would not talk to each other for years. A short time before their deaths, they realized how silly they were.

Paul the Apostle cared about one thing. Did they know Christ or not? Why take an elitest attitude?
Those who disagree on this are still eternally secure whether they believe it or not.

Larry Who said...

Eternal security is a base doctrine for me, but it does not limit my fellowshipping or working with other Christians.

George Whitefield and John Wesley ministered gloriously for the Kingdom of God in the First Awakening. Sadly, they disagreed on this issue. And would not talk to each other for years. A short time before their deaths, they realized how silly they were.

Paul the Apostle cared about one thing. Did they know Christ or not? Why take an elitest attitude?
Those who disagree on this are still eternally secure whether they believe it or not.

Diane said...

As far as workign together to get people born again....no prob.

But after that, when the discipleship begins, it's definitely a problem and each church, sadly, will have to go its separate ways.

Steve A said...

It is one thing for some to say that cursing the Holy Spirit is unforgivable, and a larger thing for the Catholics to say a few more sins have to be forgiven at least in a quick unction before the sinner dies. But for a supposedly Baptist pastor to allege that any sin at all must be repented of and forgiven before one's death, goodness! Does this dude say get 'em all in order comitted, too? He ain't any kind of Baptist, or Christian, of which I ever heard. I mean, I haven't been to seminary, but he's looking forward to a REAL quiet Heaven.
I with G. Baggett on thin.

to-obey-is-better said...

I would say this that holding to "once saved, always saved" is a very important doctrine, however, I have serious concerns about how this plays out.
I say that because I can show you 20,000 or more people in my country who "prayed to receive Christ" and have made no life change, or indeed any further progress in their spiritual life. (I would not say these people were ever saved to begin with, thus the "once saved, always saved" wouldn't apply to them.)
There are those here and around the world, however, who say that if a prayer for salvation was said, then THESE PEOPLE ARE BELIEVERS regardless of what their life is like now.

I would disagree.

The Bible has so much more to say about what our lives should be like as true believers.

Yes, it's important to work with those who hold to eternal salvation, but, I don't know that it's possible to work with those who say that ANYONE who said a "salvation" prayer sometime in his/her life, is always a believer regardless of how this experience affected their life.

I think there are two extremes here.

imb m (III)

negrito said...

I guess you would expect me to write you on this one :-)

We worked happily together for over 4 years despite holding different beliefs on secondary matters like calvinst / arminian persuasion. Whilst I believe that the pastor is unbalanced in his view, I do believe that it is possible to walk away from God and lose one's salvation.
Why did we never talk about this much? Because we were too busy trying to train leaders and disciple new believers in the essentials of the faith; because we respected one another enough to accept our diversity of opinion on non-essentials was no cause for disunity nor for beligerant argument. How do we know this is a non-essential? Because there are bible passages that appear to support monergism and other passages that appear to support synergism; throughout the history of the church (at least since Augustine)there has been diversity of belief (and heated debate) on such issues.

In terms of CP practise, when such issues came up in theological study amongst servant-leaders we would explain the various positions held in the wider church and encourage church leaders to study the Word of God together, discuss it and prayerfully make up their own minds (ie. it was theological study not catechism). Extreme positions were challenged by other leaders who were meeting as equals in learning to interpret and apply scripture and healthy discussion helped us all understand the issues better. The Word spoke into our discussions and helped us to be more balanced in our theology and praxis. Surely that is a better way to deal with imbalance. How does refusing to fellowship with the offending leader or church help them consider a more balanced position? How can we help the unsaved see the light of Christ when we won't work with "them" because of a difference of opinion on a tricky theological issue.

I understand the concerns of your colleague to help the churches teach good doctrine, but I would suggest to him that if everyone has to believe exactly what their team believes on every issue then they will be left partnering with themselves, and will be the poorer for it. We have a lot to learn from our Ecuadorian brethern, at least as much as they do from us:-)

When our faith goals are so big that we can't do it ourselves, we need to ask others to partner with us and be prepared to recognize that both our partners and ourselves have some blind spots and blemishes and weaknesses, as well as some real strengths and gifts.
Working side-by-side to "build the wall" (like Nehemiah), a great spin-off is that God will use our co-labourers to both encourage us and also to keep us humble & honest. Thank you for doing that with me for the years that we served together in the Kingdom.

Heather said...

Why can't they come alongside him and how him a more excellent way? Must everything always be about the organization itself? Can we not just stop what we're doing for a moment and focus on people? This pastor is a person and in need of discipleship, as are we all.

Sorry for the rant ..... :)

~Heather

GuyMuse said...

TO EVERYONE WHO HAS COMMENTED:

Thanks to each of you for your observations and input. I do understand and hear what each of you is saying. I usually try to respond to each comment personally, but in this case will try to summarize and respond back with a few more thoughts of my own and hopefully touch on what each of you have commented...

To paraphrase Shakespeare, the matter, for me, boils down "To have a church, or not have a church: that is the question."

What are we faced with on the mission field?

A) We can choose to work and partner with believers who may not hold to the doctrine of the 'security of the believer' and plant the only church in a community of thousands of lost people on their way to hell...or,

B) Draw a line in the sand and say because those willing to go out and plant a church do not hold to my doctrinal belief about 'security of the believer', I will NOT train and partner with you, and therefore no new work will be initiated in that sector of the city and those people will continue to live in darkness.

Those are the extremes we are faced with on the mission field! That's why I say in my post, these are not theoretical academic debates for the classroom. We are talking about the real eternity of people's souls by the stance we take on this issue!

I wish we had such a huge pool of doctrinally like-minded Baptist believers to choose from, but we don't.

When you pray, and pray, and pray, and pray for the Lord of the Harvest to send workers into the fields ripe and ready for harvesting...and those He sends hold to different doctrinal beliefs than I do, what am I supposed to do? Send them home? Tell them, "sorry, unless you believe like I do I can't work with you?" Am I to spend my evenings at home watching TV instead of training people who differ with me doctrinally?

A couple of weeks ago we began a new round of training for church planting. As much as we prayed and announced, and tried, not a single Baptist pastor or lay leader responded! My heart was grieved and saddened. Instead, we had about 20 "eager beavers" show up from a wide assortment of non-Baptist denominational backgrounds. If I were to ask for a show of hands of how many hold to the 'security of the believer' I would guess that most would not hold this conviction.

What are my options? 1) discontinue the training due to my having drawn a line in the sand saying we will only work with those who hold to this 1st tier doctrine, 2) train them the best I can, even taking time to explain and teach them of the importance of 'security of the believer', yet leave the matter to the Holy Spirit to do the convincing, and in the end have a NT church planted in a lost community of thousands of people?

I am uncomfortable being put in such a position of having to choose between these two options. I don't like being put in this position. I would prefer to work with doctrinally like-minded believers in planting churches. But what do you do when you don't have that option? To choose option #1 is in a very real sense, a decision to allow people to go on living in darkness, separated from Christ. Isn't it better for the lost to have a Christian witness, albeit doctrinally flawed to a certain degree, than no witness at all? When it comes right down to it, which is better: having a Christian church that does not hold to the 'security of the believer', or having no church at all?

S.A.M. said...

Guy, I kind of got in on this one late. It does need to be a 1st tier issue, if I understand the term. If we have no hope of eternal salvation when we come to the realization we need God and submit our lives to Him, and we have the knowledge that we are still sinners even after we are accepted by Him, then there is no reason to actually fully submit to Him. If the non-believer can lose what he is searching for and longing for even after submitting, then why make the decision to submit. I hope that makes sense, if not please correct me.

SAM

Tim Patterson said...

You nailed it Guy!

The scribes and Pharisees did legalistic mission based on their doctrinal purity and remember what Jesus said to them..."Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves."

We are helping to build God's kingdom, not a denomination. We plant unhealthy churches when we emphasize doctrinal purity over being part of God's kingdom expansion. When we make disciples emphasizing the letter of the law, we get disciples that will emphasize the letter of the law. When we make disciples emphasizing the spirit of the law, we get Spirit led disciples that reproduce. Legalism kills... the Spirit brings life. Disciples that reproduce and show up for church planting conferences are more concerned about God's kingdom, not their own.

GuyMuse said...

SAM,

I personally do not question the importance of the doctrine. As I wrote in the comment above yours, the question is, whether or not, to allow our convictions about this doctrine to stand in the way of working with those who hold to a different belief?

Negrito above describes well what I am also trying to say.

Again, the debate is not over the 'security of the believer', but rather, can we work with those who hold to a different belief than we do?

Tim Patterson said...

Oh, by the way, we teach security of the believer. However, we encourage new believers and churches to look to God's word to confirm that for themselves. We also cooperate with any born again Christ followers for kingdom expansion.

GuyMuse said...

"We are helping to build God's kingdom, not a denomination..."

Tim,

This is another way of approaching the same issue. What did Christ mean when He said to "seek first the Kingdom of God?" How far can we push our personal convictions and still remain faithful to "seeking His Kingdom?"

As "negrito" says above, if everyone has to believe exactly the same way on every issue then we will be left partnering with ourselves and the Kingdom will suffer for it.

Again, the question is not about the doctrine itself, but about our being able to work alongside those with a different understanding of this particular doctrine.

I respect those who above say this must be a 1st tier doctrinal issue, but then one has to face the consequences of taking this stand and what it means for Kingdom growth.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Diane. I have been a christian for three decades.

I feel so strongly about this that I could not even plant a church with someone who does not teach sound theology.How some missionaries turn into camillians and are 'players'with whoever just to get financial support is wrong.How they get away with it is beyond me.
Why do you think there is such strict judgement on those who teach?
As one who has spent most of my christian walk in abusive churches I have learned my lesson,and you know what? the ones that are- teach bad theology. Bad theology bad decisions.
My guess is that those who don't understand aren't hurting bad enough yet. Sorry if I sound harsh but this is incredibly serious and yes I would take a bullet for it.

GuyMuse said...

Geoff, Mike, and John,

I think John's point about our willingness to "take a bullet" for the issue is something to think about. How many of us would be willing to take a bullet for our belief on this doctrinal issue?

Larry,

Your "do they know Christ or not?" becomes for me the primary consideration. I love your observation, "Those who disagree on this are still eternally secure whether they believe it or not!"

Diane,

Good observation about clarifying doctrinal issues in the discipleship process. We spend the first seven weeks with a new believer confirming their salvation . Even if the one discipling does not hold to 'security of the believer' they will probably convert themselves by teaching this material to their new converts!

Steve,

It is indeed sad to me also that this pastor (and many believers) believe they can lose their salvation. What a terrifying thing to live with. It would seem to completely negate all that Jesus died for on the cross. And yet, many do hold to this possibility of losing their salvation.

IMB M,

I hear you, we have this same problem here with many who supposedly prayed the prayer of salvation but are no more believers than the man in the moon. Jesus said they would know us by our fruits. Fruits of repentance have to be there if one is saved.

Negrito,

You have stated it well and are speaking from years of personal experience dealing with this very issue. Thanks for your insights and especially for the way these matters were handled with our own church planters during the time you were amongst us.

Heather,

Your point about this pastor needing discipleship is a well taken point. It is indeed in the discipleship process where these doctrinal matters are dealt with, not in winning people to Christ and planting churches amongst lost communities. It is, as you say, about people, and their eternity.

Larry Who said...

I come out of a different church stream than most of you do. And because of that I've been around and ministered to a lot of believers who disagree with the doctrine of eternal security.

My example has changed more people's views on this doctrine than any words that I have ever spoken. Eternal security allows a person to have a boldness and joy that people who disagree will never, ever, ever have.

What if the Lord wants to use your light to set other Christians free from chains of bondage which legalism imposes on them. Are you going to cower in the corner, holding on to your proper doctrines? Or are you going to help set Christianity free by your examples?

The choice is yours. The Bride of Christ is what it is about, isn't it?

GuyMuse said...

It is a good thing that Thursday is my "day off" or I wouldn't be able to normally getting around to giving so much time to answering all the good comments being shared... :)

Anon,

I think we are in agreement about the importance of sound theology in our teaching. In our training of church planters we are very careful about what we teach and model. However, once these people are released out into the 'harvest fields' we have little control over how much of that training they will abide by. We make a big effort to maintain contact and serve as coaches, mentors, and resource people for them, but they are the actual ones out doing the church planting.

Larry,

One aspect of all this that you point out is the fact that many of these doctrinal issues are worked through in the training and discipleship process. They may well begin the process NOT believing in 'security of the believer', but through our training meetings and personal study together change their stance and belief. One thing I have learned about working with brothers and sisters in Christ from other tradtions is that many of these folks do not have strong doctrinal convictions based upon a study of Scripture; rather, they picked up many of their ideas from those around them. Once these beliefs are confronted and careful Biblical Scriptures are studied together in a spirit of learning, many, many times they will "see the light" and adjust their beliefs accordingly. I could write pages on this from personal experience. Many people simply have never had the chance of really studying the Scriptures or being discipled, or trained as a church planter. Once they are, they change their beliefs to align with Scripture.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but I am going to take a shot at YWAM.

Ever read or look at their personal blogs?

You want THAT to disciple the nations?

antonio said...

guy, i really like your approach here to address it. "We are talking about the real eternity of people's souls by the stance we take on this issue!" You are right. When we focus more on Christ and his love, and stop making theological debates out of everything I believe the theological end will work itself out. But we have to truly want to be open to Christ and then actually be open. To me sometimes things start becoming to much scribial jibber. Btw, Mexico GANA [don't know if you keep up with futbol]

Blessings and thanks for your humble approach.

GuyMuse said...

Anon.,

Blogs are probably not the best way to evaluate a missionary's work on the field. A blog is simply a "web log" and is usually not intended on being a means of discipling the nations. I do think one can learn a lot about a missionaries work and ministry by reading their blogs, and I enjoy doing so with several that I keep up with through my Omea Blog Reader (as well as those listed in my blogroll on the right side bar.)

Antonio,

Glad to have you stop by and comment. You mention the need to "stop making theological debates out of everything I believe the theological end will work itself out..." Most of our debates are over church praxis and methodologies, or practical matters. Things like if an unmarried couple living together at the time of their conversion can be baptized, or do they first have to separate. That is a huge debate in our midst and everyone has a strong opinion.

antonio said...

I'm sorry guy, I was making a general comment about the Christian blog world in general. I should have been a little more clear. Instead of focusing on things like you say, "real eternity of people's souls" it seems that many are getting caught up in theological debates and never get past the argument to get to what really matters.

GuyMuse said...

Antonio,

Nothing to be sorry for. I understood you both times and agree that we have the tendency of majoring on the minors, and minoring upon what really is important. I was just commenting that in our local context we do not have very much theological debate. What we do have is plenty of discussion about the best way to get the job done. I would much rather discuss methodologies, and strategy, than theological differences.

bryan riley said...

What is silly about saying I am going to take a shot at YWAM is that there are some 15000 or more missionaries on the field who are affiliated with YWAM. They come from various backgrounds and beliefs. But they are attempting to follow God's leading in their lives. I am affiliiated with YWAM. I also was raised SBC. I'm not exactly in lock step with what some would say is SBC, but I don't think anyone would struggle much with what I've written on my blog. It is the over generalization that bothers me. Some could say the same thing about SBCers by seeing some SBC blogs. Please don't stereotype; it truly is not a Christians thing to do.

As to this subject, it is a tough one for me. I think it is very important and a part of really seeing who God is to understand that we do have eternal security; however, I also think it is more God's job to reveal Himself to others than it is our own and to increase the faith of others. That doesn't mean we shouldn't be making disciples, clearly we must. But do we do that better by tranferring knowledge about who God is or do we do that by living the life of love and following in Jesus' footsteps?

I think it is more the latter and when we do that we can work with nearly anyone to see God's purpose fulfilled. As we do that we can then also begin to teach knowledge, but knowledge with the Spirit of God really isn't much use.

BTW, why, Anon, did you suddenly throw YWAM under the bus? Did I miss a comment above as I scanned them where YWAM was mentioned?

Bryan Riley said...

In fact, Anon, in response to your question about who we would want to disciple the Nations, I would think we all want Jesus and people who are being Jesus-like to disciple the Nations. I do not want people who would say things like the above doing so. Not in their flesh.

GuyMuse said...

Bryan,

Thanks for taking a moment to stop by even as you are still getting over jet lag in your recent move to England! The YWAM insinuations by anon. didn't make any sense to me, therefore I didn't see much purpose in replying to them, especially when there was no context given for making the statement.

As you mention, this is a tough subject. As stated above in an earlier comment I make, for me it boils down to either planting, or not planting a church. When you have so few workers and such vast numbers of lost people, it makes more sense to me to plant a church, even it it means planting one that doesn't agree with all my doctrinal convictions. That's why I ask the question, is this a 1st tier matter? If it is, then we will not be able to work in church planting with those who do not believe in "eternal security." If we allow it to be a 2nd tier issue, then we can hold on to our personal conviction that it is an extremely important doctrine, but will not hinder us from working with fellow believers who do not hold to this belief.

So far we have not lost a single church due to this doctrinal issue, but other of my fellow M colleagues can relate horror stories about their encounters with leadership using the threat that people can "lose their salvation" if they oppose the pastor! I rememeber one time when a pastor warned one of their flock who was attending our church planting training, that if they did not immediately cease their training, they would "have their name removed from the Lamb's Book of Life." Of course such threats are more of a power abuse and manipulation than they are a doctrinal error, but it can get this extreme.

bryan riley said...

That is frightening, Guy. I have not experienced such, so I didn't think of such threats. It almost sounds like indulgences. Nonetheless, even in eternal security churches religious abuse is rampant. That is why we must trust God to do His work. I would have in the past not given this much thought and probably would have said it is a first tier issue, but as I examine it I am unsure.

As for anon, another reason I probably could have let things slide is that they were Anonymous rather than confident enough in what they said to be identified. You were very gracious.

Darrell said...

I got in late on this great discussion. Life has been very full lately. I wanted to add just a couple of points.

First I wanted to relate some heartfelt compassion to you over none of "your" people responding to the call for training. I know how that hurts. As I read your description I felt for you. I have been praying about the training and for you for encouragement.

Second I think that who we choose to work with is more complex then just doctrinal issues. The story you told of leadership using the security of the believer as a noose to keep folks in step is an example of someone who I would avoid like the plague. However take a person who holds this belief and is reasonable and open-minded who will respect your belief and act thoughtfully when training others. I could work with the latter.

We had a brother join us for a while who does not believe in the water baptism and the Lords Supper. I met with him about once a week to study these issues. In the end he left. He never could answer my questions. I did my best to work it out. In the future I would be very reluctant to work with him, because he just blew us off rather then working through the issues.

So I think what a person believes is just as important as the character of the person. Are they someone who will work for peace, and try to find common ground, or will they be a pain in the you know what!

GuyMuse said...

I did my best to work it out. In the future I would be very reluctant to work with him, because he just blew us off rather then working through the issues.

We too have had people over the years who just couldn't get it, and were unwilling to wrestle with the issues from a Biblical basis. Their traditions and former teachings were so ingrained that they chose to separate from us. However, the vast majority have been people who are genuinely working towards peace, and even with our differences in doctrine, can "agree to disagree" and move on about fulfilling the Great Commission.

Thanks for your prayers for us!

b said...

Those working with the IMB know that there are different levels of partnership. To plant a church with someone who holds a fundamentally different understanding of salvation seems to not be in accord with those partnership levels at the least. (Please don't immediately apply "legalist!") My point is that believers must draw lines at particular points so that, insofar as depends on us, we are introducing doctrinal sound teaching. The idea that we are able to lose what Christ has completed is not doctrinally sound.

Bryan said...

I will neither be surprised nor offended if you choose to delete my contrarian view on "unconditonal" eternal security. I do not at all mean to be contentious. and I certainly respect your right to hold your own views.
However, any teaching that holds that "signing up" to run the race is the same thing as "finishing" the race I find very disturbing. Is it possible that those who teach the impossibility of spiritual miscarriage - better known as "apostasy" in the scripture - are doing a great disservice to believers and unbelievers alike?
(I was raised in a Southern Baptist church, my father is an ordained SBC minister, and I still attend an SBC church.)
More of my views are expressed at:
http://www.webspawner.com/users/eternalosas/index.html
Sincerely,
Bryan

GuyMuse said...

Bryan,

I certainly respect your postion and understand where you are coming from. This issue has been debated for centuries and we are still at it. The post raises the question of whether or not this doctrine should be used as a measuring stick whether or not to work with othes who do not hold to the same conviction on security of the believer. I would never try to debate on my blog this particular doctrine, but if it is "first tier" material then there are huge consequences to who we can work with and who we can't in the Kingdom. I tend to see it more as a 2nd or 3rd tier matter, but many of my colleagues view it as 1st tier, and thus will not partner to church plant with anyone who does not hold to 'security of the believer.' I personally find this unfortunate, but that is the way it is.

Anonymous said...

Hi Guy,

I personally do not believe in the "security of the believer" doctrine you believe.

I almost do. I can't see God throwing out believers for stumbling in a sin before death. But I do think that believers still have a right to reject God after salvation.

I knew a believer with great faith, call him Roy. He struggled with crack addiction. He was so in love with God he would pray and read for hours regularly, and witness constantly. Then he would stumble and do crack. I would say he was saved without question.

But I still have trouble believing that people are unable to willingly remove themselves from Christ. Hebrews discusses this, and even seems to suggest that those who have left in such a way should not even be received back. I have trouble with that too, but its there.

But in the end, I would rather work and fellowship with believers that work with a similar passion to me, than those believe the same doctrines as I do.

GuyMuse said...

Anon.,

Thank you for your thoughtful reply to a difficult Biblical question. I personally agree 100% with your last sentence, But in the end, I would rather work and fellowship with believers that work with a similar passion to me, than those believe the same doctrines as I do.

In our work and ministry we could easy fragment, divide, and never impact our world with the Gospel if we began to make doctrinal conformity the mark of whether or not to work with someone.

In our own case, we have consciously chosen to work with anyone who share our passion for the Great Commission. If we share a common vision for going, making disciples, baptizing, and teaching Christ's commands (not our pet doctrines--but what He actually COMMANDED) we can work together. We can work through the details. Let's not let 2nd and 3rd tier details derail us from the mission.