This graphic is an edited screen capture which could be used to document some discussions I’ve overhead or read about. I commuted with a young man who took a great deal of pride in not having a doctrine and said neither did his church. I found that unfortunate – and still do.
But yesterday, as I wrote about the Massachusetts Bay Colony’s doctrinal and political issues, I mentioned that there still are such divisions within Christianity and among very good people. So it would be a good idea to study what doctrine is and consider its source.
doc·trine - nounBased on that simple definition, my commuting partner was wrong. I’m certain he had been taught by his church. I’m certain that a lack of doctrine could be defined as a doctrine since it entails a set of beliefs held by his church.
a belief or set of beliefs held and taught by a church, political party, or other group. synonyms: creed, credo, dogma, belief, teaching, ideology;
So, my question today is: What is the source of your doctrine? Even if you have determined you are not to believe in God, Christ, Bible, etc. – what is the source of that belief? Surely we all have a belief system, correct? Something that allows us to differentiate between right and wrong, whether it is actions we do or another does to us? Where did they originate, were they taught?
The Bible has been taught to me for decades, and I continue to learn from it. There are some denominations that teach differently from what I’ve found to be accurate in God’s word. Not my job to change them. It is my job to point to the Bible where the word Doctrine is found fifty times in the Bible. First, spoken by Moses as he praised God:
Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. (Deuteronomy 32:1-4 KJV)
I will not be as Zophar in Job, jumping to conclusions:
Should thy lies make men hold their peace? and when thou mockest, shall no man make thee ashamed? For thou hast said, My doctrine is pure, and I am clean in thine eyes. (Job 11:3-4 KJV)
Zophar was in error. Job’s beliefs were pure. What happened to him was not punishment, retribution nor judgment. Jesus did recognize incorrect doctrine and spoke against it.
How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. (Matthew 16:11-12 KJV)
People were astonished at His:
And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. (Matthew 7:28-29 KJV)
Jesus taught doctrine, too. As the title on the graphic displays:
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:34-35 KJV)
Does not mean we must accept unbiblical doctrine – but we must love each other when discussing it. If we are His disciples.