Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Biblical Church Part 6: Doctrines

This week I would like to look at the tangible things that make up the Biblical Church.
                                          Doctrine   -   Outreach   -   Education

When the word doctrine is used, it almost sounds odd, but in this post I would like to discuss three things:
  • What is doctrine
  • Why is it important
  • How does it affect the church

The Theologian D.C Hodge once stated:  “Let no man think error in doctrine a slight practical evil”   Doctrine is a word that many have heard, but can be often misinterpreted.  A definition I was given in Bible College, by an older minister with a heavy South Dakota accent told us “Brothers… if you remember nothing else, remember that Doctrine, simply put, means teaching”.
These are not just any teachings, because post-modern America is rife with cults and movements that take one Bible verse and use it out of context for reasons other than true faith.  The teachings we speak of are those revealed in the divinely inspired word of God (The Bible).  Now it is easy to say that anything that men put together is a doctrine, and that may be true to some extent;  But interpretation and doctrine are not the same thing.

And now we enter into the mind field of semantics!

Doctrines, as I stated are divinely inspired truths in the Bible.  These are the things that there is an abundant amount of evidence in the Bible to support. 
These doctrines can be:
  1. Spelled out literally IE thou shalt not....
  2. An Example  "... I rise early to meditate on thy precepts"
  3. By inference  ". . .  “Nadab and Abihu offered strange fire”

Why is it important

An illustration I read compares doctrines in a church to the course and direction that a ship is sailing in.  A ship with a clear objective and course will result in a crew that is active and disciplined to reach a destination, compared to a ship that is drifting with no course or objective.  If we consider that I stated in my first article that love keeps a church bound together, then let us think of that glue as the caulking and joints on the ship that keep it together, and doctrines as the course. These teachings define who we are, what we believe among us, and what we intend to teach and pass on to the future generations to continue the work of God.   
There are certain fundamental teachings (doctrines) that all Christian churches should believe in.  I do not claim that this is an exhaustive list, but here we go:

  •  The Bible is the absolute Word of God
  •  God is sovereign
  •  Jesus is the Only-begotten Son of God
  •  The Trinity
  •  Salvation in Jesus alone
  •  We should become more Christ like as we progress through life
 Tomorrow, I would like to finish this article and discuss how it affects the church
Your Brother in Christ
And  Senpai in Karate 

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