Monday, September 22, 2014

The Inconvence Of Doctrine

Over the past five days, I've been reading a lot about unity, beginning with an article advocating that Christians best achieve said unity by sweeping aside doctrinal differences. Having spent my first 31 years as a Christian in a interdenominational fellowship, this view of unity hardly presented me with new ideas. In fact, only in the last 13 or 14 years have I begun to value sound doctrine. As I grow in my understanding of Scripture, I now believe that correct doctrine actually creates Christian unity.

I plan to spend the next few blog posts explaining the necessity of proper doctrine in unifying Christians as well as challenging the false  unity that so many popular evangelical teachers and churches promote. Sadly, much of my day got swallowed by trying to download a program that I now must learn to use, leaving me tired and short on time. Consequently, I can only briefly introduce my topic today.

The best introduction, it seems to me, may be to establish what the word "doctrine" means. Dictionary.com defines it this way:


noun

1.
a particular principle, position, or policy taught or advocated, as of a religion or government:
Catholic doctrines; the Monroe Doctrine.
2.
something that is taught; teachings collectively:
religious doctrine.
3.
a body or system of teachings relating to a particular subject:
the doctrine of the Catholic Church.
(Incidentally, Dictionary.com should adorn every blogger's browser.)

Every church or group of believers (whether they recognize it or not) embraces some sort of doctrine. Even the teaching that I read about the supremacy of unity over doctrine is, in fact...well, doctrine! That truth, though terribly inconvenient, remains inescapable.

Therefore, since every group naturally unites around doctrine of some kind (even the doctrine that purports  to suppress doctrinal differences), the true question becomes how a group decides which tenants they will emphasize and which they will leave to individual conscience. Intellectual honesty demands that we look at the debate in such terms. And I intend to pick up our discussion at this point Wednesday.

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Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post! I'd love feedback, as long as you attach a name. Disagreement is fine, as long as it is presented respectfully. Please keep comments confined to a maximum of four short paragraphs. Sorry for making to do the Word Verification, but I've been getting too much spam.

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