As an inter-denominational ministry, Lighthouse Via de Cristo upholds the tenets of basic Christianity. We deliberately avoid any area of teaching or interpretation that separates Christians by denomination. Often these are important areas of our Christian lives, issues about which we feel strongly. However, if we are to experience unity ACROSS denominational lines we can only do this by focusing on what we share in COMMON and avoiding the divisive subjects.
The following is a list of some of the subjects that are most divisive. Each of these positions can be "proven" from scripture by good teachers. If the scriptures were CLEAR on these issues our beloved church would not be deeply divided along these lines. The fact remains that while the scriptures might BE CLEAR TO YOU on one or more of these matters, IT IS NOT CLEAR TO ALL Christians who with you share a love of the Lord Jesus Christ. On these matters Cristo remains silent:
Teachings on Holy Communion: transubstantiation, consubstantiation, real presence, memorial meal, sacrifice, literal or figurative interpretations of the Lord's words.
Teachings on Baptism: Immersion vs. pouring vs. sprinkling; infant vs. believer's baptism; repeated baptisms.
Teachings on the Second Coming: premillennialism, postmillennialism, amillennialism; literal vs. figurative interpretations of these passages.
Teachings on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit: whether the gift of tongues is the essential evidence of the Holy Spirit, or whether the gift is the least of many gifts, given to each as the Spirit wills; whether the gifts (i.e., tongues, prophecy, healings are part of the Lord's work today or were intended only for the apostolic church).
Teachings on Demonic Possession: whether or not demons can possess a Christian; whether or not demons are to be understood literally or figuratively.
Teaching on Predestination, Free Will, etc.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES would a rollista raise these subjects except as part of a personal witness. Then some disclaimer must be inserted such as, "I know that this is one of those areas on which our denominations differ, but please bear with me. I am a ___________________, and in our church we ___________________. One day....." (continuing with our personal story). When you find yourself looking for scriptures to support your point, or using logic to convince, you are crossing the line between witnessing and teaching.
If these subjects arise in a discussion at a table, a meal, or during breaks, you should respond, "This is one of the areas that divides our denominations. Here on this weekend we try to avoid these topics and focus on our unity in Christ."
Acts of Ministry such as prayer for deliverance or the baptism of the Holy Spirit are not the purpose of the weekend. In no case will these ministries be offered to candidates. If a candidate freely requests such ministry AND if the Rector/Rectora and Spiritual Directors are in agreement, exceptions can be made.
While not "quenching the Spirit", team members are asked to use discretion and restraint in all these matters, so as not to be "a stumbling block."