Puritan pastor Richard Baxter took an old Latin phrase and popularized it in his day, in English. It is simple, but profound: “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”
Regarding Doctrine: We endeavor that:
In Essentials, we must have unity.
In Non-essentials, we must have liberty.
In All, we must have charity (love).
In doctrines that are "Essentials" -- thus, necessary for salvation (Who God is, Who Jesus is, What Jesus did for our salvation, What is necessary for salvation and what is "saving faith"), we must be unified and not compromise.
In doctrines that are in the "Non-essentials" category which are not necessary for salvation, we must practice liberty, patience, consideration, and humility. We may have firm positions, but do not divide over "non-essential" doctrines.
In All, we must love one another.
"If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part,10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." ~ I Corinthians 13
"If I am asked what is my creed, I reply, 'It is Jesus Christ.'" ~C.H. Spurgeon
“God’s purpose for my life was that I have a passion for God’s glory and that I have a passion for my joy in that glory, and that these two are one passion.” ~Jonathan Edwards
Capron Baptist Church; P.O. Box 273; Capron, VA 23829