“Right Doctrine for Right Living” series (post #1)
Denominational differences have long been the norm in the ranks of Christianity. Even among sincere Christians the same passage of scripture can produce starkly different interpretations and applications. Typically, we file such disputes under the “let’s just agree to disagree” category and don’t bring them up in polite conversation.
It should be understood, however, that truth isn’t relative. It is, to the contrary, downright narrow. 1 plus 1 always equals 2, not 3 or 4 depending upon the situation. Water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, not 35 degrees if the conditions are right. George Washington died on December 14, 1799, not any other date.
Biblical truth is narrow as well. The Bible either teaches that Christians are eternally secure or that salvation can potentially be lost, but it doesn’t teach both. It either teaches that the Rapture and Christ’s millennial reign upon the earth are literal events or it teaches that they are symbolic, but it doesn’t teach both. It either teaches that Jesus died for the sins of the entire human race or it teaches that He only died for the sins of the “elect,” but it doesn’t teach both. In other words, there is a singularity to right doctrine.
Far too many Christians exhibit a blase attitude toward doctrinal disputes. Basically, we have replaced the pursuit of correct doctrine with the pursuit of superficial unity. But a fair question to ask is, what good does it do to be unified around wrong doctrine? Furthermore, how can we possibly make any headway in the cultural wars that swirl around hot-button topics such as abortion, homosexuality, capital punishment, and the role of women when we ourselves can’t even reach a consensus agreement on what the Bible teaches regarding those topics?
It is with all this in mind that I offer this post as the first in a new series I’m calling “Right Doctrine for Right Living.” My purpose with this series is not to attempt to name each form of wrong doctrine that is pervasive these days and offer my opinion about it. Instead, I just want to use this series to point out some important things the Bible has to say about doctrine. Truthfully (no pun intended), I think you’ll be surprised at not only how much the Bible says about doctrine but also what it says. That’s why I hope you’ll get on board with this series as the train is pulling out of station, and I trust that God will use the series to remind us all that He really does place a great importance on right doctrine and that there really is a singularity to such doctrine.