Doctrine Matters!

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by revlynn, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. Over the years that I have been a Christian, I have encountered many individuals and churches who say, "Doctrine doesn't matter" or, "We don't need doctrine, we just believe the Bible." Sounds good, but the understanding of what the Bible means is so varied that, if we do not formulate a clear understanding of what we believe, we can become totally confused. The problem is, if we don't know what we believe, then we can't say what we don't believe.​
    Doctrine simply means teaching - what we believe and, by implication, what we do not believe. Knowing what we believe (and why we believe it) will protect us from the many false teachings promulgated by "wolves in sheep's clothing" who constantly prowl around the Body of Christ.​
    Take, for instance, the very simple and basic Statement of Faith of CFS:​
    1) The Holy Scriptures, in it's original form, is the inerrant Word of God.
    If we do not believe that Scripture is the Word of God, we may be persuaded that other books - whether the "scriptures" of world religions or the writings of individuals - have equal value. We may even seek to subject the truth of the Word to teachings found elsewhere. And, if we believe that the Bible merely contains the Word of God, rather than is the Word of God, then we will be free to throw out any passages that we don't particularly like. At the same time, if we don't qualify that it is the original form of Scripture that is the inerrant Word of God, then we can begin to build doctrines on the faulty translations of man. (I once heard a man preach a full hour sermon on a word that doesn't even appear in the Greek!)​
    2) There is only one God who reveals Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
    If we do not hold to this doctrine, we can fall into the trap of believing that the gods worshipped by the world's religions are the same as the God of the Bible. How many times have you heard someone say something like, "Oh, it doesn't matter what you call God - it's still the same?" No, it is not the same. The God of the Bible is the One who manifested Himself in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Any god of whom that cannot be said is not the same as the God of the Bible. Many Christians today are being lured into the worship of false gods, simply because they have never taken hold of this doctrine.​
    3) We are separated from God due to sin.
    Failure to understand this simple truth (doctrine) leads people to believe that "we (all people) are all God's children" and that therefore everyone has access to God. Yet Jesus very clearly said that this is not true. (John 8:44) If we do not believe that we are separated from God by sin, then there is no motivation to get back to Him; if we do not believe that others are separated from Him, then there is no motivation to preach the Gospel.​
    4) God's Son, Jesus Christ, was born of the virgin Mary, died on the cross for our sins, and rose again on the third day.
    If we are not fully convinced of these truths (doctrine) then we might be persuaded that Jesus was not fully God, or that He was not fully man, or that His death was just a tragic martyrdom that had no significance other than as an example to us, or that He didn't really die but only swooned, and that His resurrection was not a return to life, but just a return to consciousness. I have heard every one of these false doctrines taught - and every one of them undermines our salvation. Jesus had to be fully man, because only a man can take the place of man. Yet he had to be more than just a man, because one man, even if he were sinless, could only pay the price for one man - only the infinite God could pay the price for all mankind. His death was not a mistake or a tragedy, but the plan of God from the foundation of the world (Rev.13:8.) And His resurrection was the proof of His victory over death - without it, we could not be sure that our salvation had been won.​
    5) We can only be saved by repenting of sin, and accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior by faith as stated in John 3:16. (The faith mentioned here will produce actions) and
    6)This salvation is provided by the grace of God. We cannot be saved through our own efforts, our works or by the intervention of man on our behalf.
    Without these truths (doctrine) we may be convinced that we can save ourselves by our efforts, by obeying the Law, by building up enough good works to counter our bad or by some other expression of self-righteousness. On the other hand, if we don't believe that our faith will be expressed in actions, then we can fall for "cheap grace" and think that by saying a prayer we can secure our salvation, regardless of how we choose to live. Both legalism and libertarianism miss the point that God extends His grace to us freely in Jesus Christ, but accepting His grace for salvation means also accepting His grace to live as He requires.​
    Don't ever allow anyone to scare you away from doctrine. Doctrine is simply what we believe, and what we believe matters: it affects every aspect of how we live.​
    Lynn ​
    fil3232003 and HisManySongs say Amen and like this.
  2. Very nicely presented.
    Of course, we are reminded in Holy Writ that in the last days the lost will not "endure sound doctrine", or ,as you so ably put it, any doctrine at all.
    When reference is made to doctrine, I refer people to the London Baptist Statement of Faith, which you can "Google" up and see the orthodox position of Baptists of the past. I'm thinking that statement of faith was from 1689, but I may be mistaken.
    I would be afraid to attend many of the "Non-denominational" type churches for this very reason. If a church is not solid on doctrine, even enough to announce their denomination, I suspect them of being "blown about by every wind of doctrine".

  3. In one sentence: the doctrine is to Ask from That Who realy is the true Lord God of the Good(-ness) His Full Salvation for all human and soul beings, and to be Faithful of this to the last.

    Matthew 7:7-12 "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.",

    Matthew 26:39 "...nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt."
  4. No 1) on that list is where I 'come a cropper' every time I try and witness to relatives who are in the Mormon church. Always it is pointed out that the bible has mistakes, and why therefore should they believe that it is faith in Jesus alone which makes you a child of God, that could be a mistake too. Mention their own scripture and they believe it is inspired.

    I guess the only way to answer this is to study the original, buy a Strong's etc, but to be honest, I am by no stretch of the imagination, an 'academic'.
  5. Absolutely! There is a problem when false doctrine creep in, but if faithful Christians don't clearly state what we believe, then only one voice is heard and it is not God's. Why, because we are called to be embassadors for Christ. As embassadors we are official messangers and representaives charged with the mission of delivering God's word to the world.

    Even the Apostles understood this as they wrote the Roman Creed to summarize our faith clearly and concisely, yet some still willoingly choose to deny the fundamental basics.
  6. You can't depend 100% on Strong's, but it's about the best source you can find online.
  7. Thanks for that Ginger. Didn't know you could use it online. [​IMG]
  8. Hi Vision,

    Google "e-sword". It is a brilliant (and free!!) downloadable program which functions as a concordance, strongs reference, and much more. Comes with KJV installed, but there are lots of other versions, commentaries, dictionaries etc that you can download through the program.

    For your rels, I recommend getting a copy of Grant Jeffrey's book, "The Signature of God." I am constantly recommending this book to people - it is simply the best thing I have ever found that goes through a whole range of evidences for the reliability of the Word. Whilst the Bible does not need to be "proven", it will be a great boost for your own faith, too.


  9. I like to hear people being civil and giving sound advice!
    By the way, do any of the Christians on this board subscribe to the free daily devotional by Charles Spurgeon? It may be found at "BIBLEGATEWAY".It is placed in your e-mail inbox,takes four or five minutes to read, and is a great blessing. I guess I have subscribed to this service for about a year.

    "And the work of righteousness shall be peace;and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever." Isaiah 32:17
  10. I can't say this enough. Rejection of Doctrine just because we don't believe in the whole way organized church established doctrine, is just you establishing a doctrine of your own. It's a really strange argument for me, and what I have found is that the majority of people I have met that have abandoned all organized religion because they follow their own interpretation of Scripture results in very strange and weak doctrines. Oddly enough, it also seems to make them extremely confrontational.
  11. My experience is that it's a pride issue and pride must always be dealt with because it is sin. I most often use Hebrews 10:25 but a chain-reference will bring out more.
  12. I agree that there is often pride behind it. I also think that it is often straight out rebellion - "I don't believe this because it it what my parents/Sunday school teacher/pastor/church/denomination says." The rejection is first of all of the authority figure, and as a result all that authority figure teaches.

    At the same time, it is important that we not only know what we believe, but why we believe it. It is not enough to believe something just because some authority figure tells us that is truth - if we do, then when another authority figure comes along and tells us differently, we will not know what to believe. We need to go back to the Word, and we need to look at all that the Word has to say about the subject, so that we don't get caught up building a doctrine on one verse. As one of my Bible college lecturers used to say, "The Biblical doctrine on any subject is found between Genesis 1:1 and Revelation 22:21." That doesn't mean rejecting the doctrines we have been taught (unless we find them genuinely faulty) but building the foundations for them into our own lives so that, rather than being the doctrines of my parents/Sunday school teacher/pastor/church/denomination, they are now my doctrines. That way, when our beliefs are challenged, we have a firm basis on which to stand.


  13. In Hebrews 10:25 more likely it comes about as many believers who to work for the salvation of maximum number of people, ie exactly this it means: "the assembling of ourselves together", becasue in many religions the believers there have tradition to do not work about the Universal Salvation, and for this St. Paul say: "as the manner of some is".

    Luke 11:23 "He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth."

    Jesus is the Lord Himself and He is the Savior for all this universe, so that, the believers also must be Universal (Servants) following only Him.

    Matthew 19:21 "Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast(ie start to be Good and abandon all evil), and give to the poor(ie and start "Scatter" Profusely Mercy to all humans in Need), and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me(ie and you must Believe only in the true Lord God).",

    Matthew 18: 19-20 "Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing(ie as having one and same Good purpose) that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together(ie Unanimously) in my name, there am I in the midst of them(ie I will support them front the/My Father, comment: of course, if their purpose is really Good and Clean)."
  14. But listen carefully to what the Spirit says to the 7 churches of Revelation. Condemnation is of the churches but the promises are to the individual.

    The message is loud and clear. Church doctrines can and do go horribly, horribly wrong but to HIM who stays true to the doctrine AS ORIGINALLY delivered by the Prophets and Apostles of the Lord are the promises given.

    As Jude says: "Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once (Greek: "hapax" - once, one time, once for all) delivered unto the saints." (Jude 1:3 )

    As Paul says: "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." (Ga 1:8-9 )

    If you read the words of the EARLY leaders of the ORIGINAL Apostolic churches (pre 300AD) many of whom learned from the Apostles themselves you will find it is strictly "Sola Scriptura". Meaning the authority of the word of the Prophets and Apostles was ABOVE the authority of the word of ANY church doctrine. The idea that a church doctrine that did not accord with the word of the Lord Himself could be given greater authority than the word of God was unthinkably heretical to them. Only the continually heretical and problematical church at Rome (They were forever having problems with the heresies that church kept introducing) promoted such an heretical idea.

    The Bible PRAISES those who defy the doctrines of churches to remain true to the ORIGINAL doctrine as delivered only the ONCE by the Prophets and Apostles of the Lord.

    Those who are in Christ will not condemn those who follow the actual word and command of Christ. Only the WORLD and those of it condemn those who follow the actual word and command of Christ.

    Where is the pride in those who declare Jehovah and Christ Jesus ALONE have the power and authority to declare the doctrine of those that follow THEM? Who refuse to accept that anybody on Earth (THEMSELVES INCLUDED) has the right to usurp and supercede the power and authority of the word of the "Godhead" itself.

    I am a follower of CHRIST who is the ONLY head and ONLY authority of the church to which I belong. I reject outright ALL doctrine that is not in accordance with HIS doctrine as HE Himself commanded and taught me to do.

    My concern is the considerable number here who seem to have a problem with, and ready condemnation of, those who follow the word and command of Christ Jesus Himself and not the doctrines and traditions of men. I sometimes seriously wonder if I am in the right place for any serious discussion of the actual word of God Himself.
  15. Thanks for that info Lynn. Just had a look at Grant Jeffries book online. Really interesting reading, so ordered a copy from amazon.
  16. Agreed 100%. The question then must be......WHY ARE THEY CONFRONTATIONAL?

    Do you think it comes from ......

    I do not know...just asking what the root might be because it is certainly there.

    2 Tim. 3:2
    "For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobident to parents, un-holy, having a form of godliness but denying the power therof".
  17. I've never really understood it fully, but I think I understand a little bit about it. Consider it this way. If I believe that all of Christianity has been lead astray by tradition, and I have found Biblical proof for a specific and obscure fact that could cost everyone their souls, how important is it to me to get this "truth" out there? The fact is, most of these confrontational types do have good and valid points, but they often just take them way too far and build an entire life-doctrine on them. Pick ANY controversial issue and you will see this no matter which side you are on.

    For the sake of argument, I'll choose tattoos. Since I actually have several, I feel like I can safely choose to defend the anti-tattoo side of the argument. Let's say that I decided that the warning against tattoos in the Bible is such a strict command that to ever have any tattoos would be equal to getting the mark of the beast and is an unforgivable sin. Just think about how important it would be for me to get that message out. I would instantly view anyone being soft on this issue or even accepting tattoos as part of a global conspiracy. Since (according to my new-found doctrine) they are sinners and I am representing the Word of God, their arguments and discussions are suddenly just excuses that they are making to softball sin.

    As such, I understand why they can be upset and rather forward, and it's a problem. This is only one very small example (which I have actually seen). Now take some of the more recent issues that we have faced. Calvinism v. Armenian v. OSAS, Homosexuality tolerance vs. acceptance vs. abomination, Noahdic vs. Mosaic laws. Those are not SMALL issues at all. Pick one and you are in it for life and death. You simply cannot accept both sides because they are pretty polarizing issues. If one is supremely important to you, then listening to someone continually post the reverse is nearly equal to heresy if not completely blasphemous!

    There is an argument that Bible is more important than unity, and there is the reverse argument. The problem is that Bible scholars disagree on MANY of these issues. That means that just because one person believes that the Bible needs to be interpreted one way, doesn't mean that is absolutely the only possible way of reading it. I've mostly viewed the various theologies as language differences. For instance, in my denomination we talk a lot about Sanctification. We have a pretty specific philosophy about what that means. Baptists also talk a little about it, but their version is completely different. To the end, that when I discuss the issue with Baptist, I always have to remember to adjust my wording because by representing the Wesleyan version to a Baptist immediately creates massive confusion and misunderstandings. Not everyone has learned to do that, and I don't even do it all that well very often. It really is a pretty massive difference in culture and thinking, so I really just have to accept that whichever way your envision Salvation and God's plan (within reason of course), you are still following Scripture regardless of the terms and models you use to make sense for yourself.
  18. I understand completly what you are saying. One needs to know the crowd to which he is speaking...I get that! But the problem I am seeing here is that the arguments and confrontational attitudes come from the NON-SALVATIONAL issues. I do not see any arguments over the fact that Jesus is our Savior and He is the only way for man to escape the coming judgment.

    Salvation seems to be what can be agreed upon but the issues seem to come from those things which are not fundamental to the faith. On a "Christian" site that would of couse be expected I think.

    What is not expected is that we would come to blows over whether Johah was in the belly of a fish or a whale. What does it matter?????
  19. I know, that's why I can't say that I fully understand it. I just have to chalk it all up to pride, stubbornness, or just a desire to be right. I tend to just move on because I realize that there just isn't anyway that I could convince them. They obviously care more about their chosen specialty than I do, and you just can't fight that kind of passion.
  20. "There is an argument that Bible is more important than unity, and there is the reverse argument."

    Do you realise the MOST divisive people in the church were - the APOSTLES! Their advice to their followers was always to separate ourselves from those who teach and act contrary to the word and command of the Prophets and of Jesus AS DELIVERED by the Prophets and Apostles. Indeed the Apostles bound even THEMSELVES to the one and only doctrine CHRIST taught and that even THEY be accursed should they preach any other.

    The Apostles knew that no matter how many people were united by a doctrine, if it is not the doctrine CHRIST taught they have no unity with Christ Himself and their unity is of no avail as it will not save ANY of them. Unity that is not unity with Christ saves nobody.

    It is important to note that any doctrine of a church that is NOT in accordance with the Bible is NOT the doctrine of CHRIST referred to in the above passages but ANOTHER doctrine not from Christ.

    But if I may set the record straight (on my own behalf at least). I do not reject a doctrine or traditional teaching of a church because it is the doctrine or teaching of a church. I reject it IF it is not in accordance with the doctrine of CHRIST as ORIGINALLY delivered by the Prophets and Apostles of Christ. There is no problem if it is in accordance with (or not contrary at least) to the word of the Bible. In doing so I am OBEYING the word and command of Christ.

    But every person who would follow Christ would benefit from understanding the true history of the world and appreciating that not only do we know more about the reality around us, the reality the Lord and Jesus spoke of and about, but also how some churches have manipulated the history books. Also that whilst Revelation speaks of things to come in the future WE today are actually nearly 2,000 YEARS INTO that future John spoke of, and yet people want you to believe EVERYTHING is still somehow in the future and not in the PAST.

    I have not only studied the word of God extensively I have ALSO extensively explored the reality about me (now and in the past) and seen how it accords with the Bible AND biblical prophecy. I found it interesting that my understanding of the Bible is MOST in accordance with the understandings of the EARLY Apostolic churches and the EARLY 1,000 year Byzantine Christian Empire (before the RC and Eastern Orthodox churches muddied the waters with their various teachings, heretical to the Apostolic Chiurches).

    Contrary to the RC version of history it was never a big player among the early churches. Quite the contrary it was constantly the source of endless heresies that required frequent forceful intervention and cleansing by the truly Apostolic churches. Indeed even today many of its doctrines are the same as the heretical "Gnostic" movement that was so troublesome to the early Apostolic churches. Both the Apostolic churches of the first 3 centuries and the true Byzantine Christian Empire THEY helped to found on the word of God and of Christ were both "iconoclastic" (no reverencing of images and icons) and "Sola Scriptura" The authority of the word of the Prophets and Apostles were always supreme ABOVE any doctrine or teaching of the Churches. ALL churches and members were required to submit to the overriding authority of the words of the Apostles and Prophets of the Lord.

    I am doing no more than the Early Apostolic churches and the Byzantine Christian Empire also did. The same thing the Bereans were commended for.

    I am not anti-church, I am anti-FALSE teaching and anti- false doctrine. Sadly that includes a lot of the false doctrines churches have unwittingly inherited from centuries of introduced errors (many intentional).

    If people are wondering what happened to the Byzantine Christian Empire founded with the help of the Apostolic churches. An Empire BIGGER than the Roman Empire and by which the word and command of Christ reigned over most of the known world for 1,000 years, it eventually succumbed to the constant war the RC and the Eastern Orthodox churches waged against it. The last of the Crusades was against this CHRISTIAN empire that upheld the authority of the doctrine of CHRIST above and over any other doctrine or teaching.

    I follow the doctrine of CHRIST as the Apostles of Christ taught us to do, not the doctrine of any church that teaches another doctrine

    Just clarifying that those who OBEY Christ follow the doctrine of Christ, not another doctrine even if it is the doctrine of a church.

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