Paul instructed Timothy to keep the truth "without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Tim. 6:14). A spot is a small, seemingly insignificant thing.
Jude instructed every believer to "earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints" (Jude 3). As Jude didn't delineate what part of the faith is to be defended, the obvious meaning is that whatever aspect of the faith is under attack at any given time, God's people should rally to its defense rather than pretending that it is a "non-essential."
I challenge anyone to show me where the Scripture encourages the believer to "stand for the cardinal truths and downplay the peripherals."
"Creation Science Ministries:
Why the New Evangelical Principle is Dangerous"
Way of Life Literature
[From every corner and camp within protestantism, it would be easy to outline dozens of cases of those who claimed (and still claim) to hold firm to the widely revered but biblically dubious dictum, "In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity," yet who have gradually de-emphasized or abandoned their professed essentials in an effort to be accepted as ecumenicially charitable by the religious lost and the worldly unsaved - the very people who steadfastly REJECT, among other things, the biblical essential of faith alone in Christ and Him crucified for salvation, without works.
In a word, these teachers, ministers, ministries, movements, churches and even entire denominations compromised with the world. Were this pointed out to them they would vehemently deny it, but, like Esau, they gave up much of value in exchange for nothing but shame. Most receive nothing in return but the passing applause of Gospel-rejecting people who they genuinely believe are now their friends. A few of the "luckier" ones receive lots and lots of money through doors previously closed but which ecumenism, doctrinal defection and compromise always seem to open.
The invariable result: once compromise starts it never stops, and the authority of the Word of God grows ever diminished among the very people who ought to know better, the very people who name the Name of Christ.]