- All Christians, pretty much, believe that Jesus died for our sins. That's something that is pretty unanimous among believers.
- All Christians believe there is a God, in general.
Then there are secondary issues. I'm not at all saying these issues are not important. They are! But they are not things that are going to affect us eternally, in my humble opinion. Yes, I believe in living cruelty-free. I am not ashamed to proclaim this and have lost friends because of my beliefs. But I do not think that someone who eats meat is going to hell any sooner than I believe that someone who believes the earth is millions of years old or someone who believes the earth is thousands of years old is going to hell. What about premillennialists, amillennialists, and postmillennialists? I know people on all sides of the issue. Is the millennium a salvation issue? I, personally, do not think so. I believe that, regardless of one's beliefs about the millennium, that person can still be a Christian. There is a difference of opinion, even though they are important matters. I believe the best thing we can do is pray for our meat-eating friends that God will lead them in the direction He wishes for them to go. This should be the prayer for all of us, imho. I want God to lead me where he wants me to go.
I think the difference that I believe is I do believe the Word of God is living and active. I have seen the Bible be living and active. There is no question in my mind that the Bible is the Word of God - every part of it is inspired. If there is a Verse that I question, I pray about it. God eventually gives me the answer or at least gives me peace about the Verse. All of the Bible does work together. I have no doubt about that. Someone pointed out that the NT is a continuation of the OT. That is so true. And I have Messianic friends who keep the OT laws and holidays. To me, there is nothing wrong with that, if that is what they are convicted to do. Right now, I have not been convicted to do that. God has called me to live out my faith differently than He has called my Messianic friends to live out theirs. Does that mean either of us are wrong? I do not think so as long as we are both doing what God has called us, individually, to. God called Peter to one thing and Paul to another. He called John to something else. Peter preached to the Jewish people. Paul preached to the Gentiles. They were both within God's will and His Word. Does this mean they never had disagreements? Nope. The Jerusalem Council proves that is not right. They did have disagreements, just as Christians today do. That is why there are so many denominations. But did Peter and Paul ever stop loving each other? I seriously doubt it. They were human, just like we are. But they were humble men of God who were inspired to write part of God's Word. God will use us, despite our mistakes, if we allow Him to.
Christianity is about living like Christ. And we can believe that the Bible says that Jesus was vegetarian. That is fine. Maybe He was vegetarian. Maybe Paul was not. But that, to me, does not mean Paul's teachings were anti-Christ. On the contrary, I believe Paul's teachings are very Christian and important to the Christian belief, or they would not be in the Bible. But, again, Paul was only human. He "kicked against the goads" before even becoming a Christian. I know I can relate to his stubbornness. I am one of the most stubborn people I know. LOL. Should I degrade Paul for this and say that He was not inspired to write God's Word? I, personally, could not bring myself to say that at all. God can use us, in spite of ourselves. Paul had the right attitude - the attitude that I strive for. He considered himself that chief of sinners. He understood that he was not all that God would have him to be, but he yearned to be. I yearn for that as well. Paul is really a role model to me with his attitude. Think of David in the OT. I do not think there is any question in anyone's mind that murder is wrong. David was a murderer. He killed Uriah because of his lust for Uriah's wife. But David was still a man after God's own heart. He loved God and always repented of his sins. He, also, was inspired to write part of God's Word - some of the most comforting words for me at times. But he made a lot of mistakes. Who doesn't? No, we have probably never murdered another person. But one sin to God, I believe, is just as bad as another. He has to turn His back on all of it. My sin is just as bad as Paul's, as David's, as Peter's, and as my neighbor's. That's why Jesus died on the cross. My past, present, and future sin is forgiven and I can live within God's will because if His sacrifice for me. That is why I strive to live like Christ. Will I ever accomplish that this side of Heaven? I doubt it seriously. I'm not perfect. But that is my goal, along with Paul's.