The point I have been attempting to make is that when denominations focus so much on a specific doctrine, they tend to require members to agree in order to be recognized as saved. If you have not spoken in tongues, you are not saved. If you haven't been baptized by immersion, you are not saved. If you worship on Sunday, you are not saved. The list is as long as there are denominations. And while they say they will be satisfied to "agree to disagree," they, in reality, either think their "opponent" is spiritually inferior, or worse, that he is lost. One of their favorite verses is 2 Corinthians 6:14, which says, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?" The very fact that this verse is used by them to justify breaking fellowship, shows they see themselves as the stronger of the two; no one ever sees themselves as the weaker of the two. Let me introduce you to our modern day Pharisees.
Perhaps one source of the problem lies in the different approaches to interpreting the Word of God. If a group tends to view the Scripture as figurative, they will be less concerned by the details, and see the material as teaching or illustrating a principle. On the other side of the coin, if they take everything at face value, focusing upon the smallest details, they tend to miss the general application of the Lord's Word. Figurative language is almost always obvious, and should be interpreted in the same way one would interpret the grammatical form in any other writing.
*Metaphors - A figure of speech in which a word or phrase that ordinarily designates one thing, is used to designate another, thus making an implicit comparison. Examples: “He was an ox of a man.” “I Am the Bread of life…."
*Similes - A figure of speech in which two essentially unlike things are compared, using words such as “like” or “as.” Examples: “The devil’s words were like music to Eve’s ears.” “And (He) was transfigured before them and His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light.”
*Parables - A simple story illustrating a moral or religious lesson. Jesus taught in parables so that those believing in Him could learn, while those opposed to Him would not understand His teaching (Matt. 13:10-17).
*Estimations - A statement intended to give an approximate amount. While it is possible, it us unlikely that there are exactly the same number of stars in the universe, of grains of sand in the sea, and of Abraham's descendants.
*Limited human understanding - We all say “sunrise and sunset” to mean the beginning and end of daylight, but in actuality, the Sun does not rise or set; the Earth is spinning in its orbit around the sun. The Bible also uses the heart (and the bowels) to describe the seat of love and emotions, and yet, it accurately describes a person as having a body, soul, and spirit.
To be continued.