Friday, January 26, 2007

Doctrine divides?

Before I had read or understood much of the Bible, I refused to claim a denomination. I would simply state that I just believed the Bible. How I could believe it when I hadn't even read much of it is quite a mystery to me now. Later in life, I attended my first real Bible study on the book of Romans. The truths taught in that particular book were so contrary to what I had always "believed" that they caused me to wonder why I had never heard them before in my church. So, I began researching various denominations to discover what each of them believed. It was during this quest that I first discovered church doctrine. And so my thoughts on doctrine are this:

It is necessary for a church to take a particular stance on how they interpret scripture.
It is necessary for a church to hold fast to that stance despite the potential pull of the culture to sway them.
It is good for a church to belong to a denomination that shares their beliefs to hold them accountable.
It is good for a Christian to join a church whose doctrine they agree with so that they can fully submit themselves to church leadership.

Believing that the Bible is true is very good. Knowing what the Bible says and believing that it is true is even better. Learning to interpret scripture rightly (in light of scripture) is wonderful. Leaning on the written works of both living and glorified saints to better understand the word is marvelous.


  1. I like what you've said here. I think it's important to study Church doctrine.

  2. i definitaly think it's important to know what you believe for yourself...and read the Bible for yourself. but i do tend to shy away from telling someone i am a "baptist" or "methodist", and just say i am a Christian, because that IS what i am foremost. we belong to an independent church who's motto is "In the essentials, Unity...In the non-essentials, freedom." there are set "beliefs" that are core to Christianity that one must believe, but i believe Christians can get WAY to caught up in the petty, nonessentials....which makes them lose focus and i believe drives seekers away.

  3. bluemountainmama,
    I certainly agree with you that there are certain essentials to salvation in which we can agree. I have many friends who agree with me on the just the essentials, and that's fine. But, I just really do think that it's important for a church to take a firm stance on how they interpret the Bible. When I attend a church, I want to be able to trust that the material taught to myself and my family will be scripturally sound.
    I believe that the best place to learn good theology is from your local pastor and elders.
    Just my opinion...

  4. We have been on staff at 3 churches in 3 years, and attended several in the year that we were not on staff at a church. So I have thought about this ALOT!! When it comes down to it, after sound doctrine, I think that the heart of the pastor/leadership is the most important thing in choosing a church. I have been in churches that claim to have sound doctrine, but when it comes down to it, that pastor is not truly convicted of the bible's truth's. If the pastor really does have a heart and desire to follow Jesus, when things come up, we can trust that he will respond initially or maybe eventually with a Christlike response. And even though his teaching style may not be exactly how we like it, we can trust that he is being honest, genuine, and doing his best to interpret truths to us. As for denominations, I don't know a whole lot about every denomination. It seems like some of the major differences with the protestant denominations are traditions. And some of these traditions are even scriptural. It's kind of funny. And finally, although it is much needed to be taught and sheparded, it is most important to never just follow someone's teachings without searching scriptures ourselves. Even pastors can be deceitful or led astray. Sorry so long, this hit home for me! Love ya Kendra!

  5. You hit that one right, Mindy. We must always be Bereans (Acts 17:10-11) about what we're taught!

  6. it is so interesting how the bible is interpreted in so many ways. I just had a conversation with a friend about the Mormon beliefs versus christianity, and Jesus. I was brought up Baptist, but Ive also explored other types of denominations. Interesting post.

  7. It is so important to know what you believe and why you believe it. If you believe it just because that's what you have been taught all your life- you may do some research and find out that you don't fully believe it that way. If your (why you believe it) is because you found it in God's word and He revealed it to you, then you will be less likely shaken by those who would question your beliefs. Always what is most important is who you know. If that Who is Jesus Christ, the rest will come in time. No one holds a corner on all the knowledge of God and His word.