IS THE TEACHING AND LEARNING DOCTRINE IMPORTANT?
Pastor/Teacher Charles E. Whisnant
One of the fundamental marks of liberalism is its constant attack against "doctrine." A growing number of people are now saying, "Doctrine is not important. Jesus is important. Let's lay aside our petty doctrinal differences and get back to Jesus."
Bible doctrine is SO IMPORTANT that God made sure 2 John 9-11 was recorded: "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds." If doctrine is not important, then these verses do not mean anything. Doctrine is of utmost importance!
The word doctrine means: "instruction, teaching." Therefore, the "doctrine of Christ" is the instruction or teaching that Christ gave. Is the teaching of Christ important? Is the truth important? Is sound doctrine important? YES! A thousand times YES!
Just how important is the doctrine or teaching of Christ? Paul told Timothy to "give attendance to...doctrine" and "charge some that they teach no other doctrine" (1 Timothy 4:13,16; 1:). Titus was told to "speak the things which become sound doctrine" (Titus 2:). Paul warned that some " will not endure sound doctrine" (2 Timothy 4:3), that we are as "children" when we are "tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine" (Ephesians 4:), and to "mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine" (Romans 16:17). Elders are to be able "by sound doctrine both to exhort and convict the gainsayers" (Titus 1:9). Every Christian is to "hold fast the form of sound words" (doctrine) and "earnestly contend for the faith" (doctrine) (2 Timothy 1:13 Jude 3). Therefore, we see not only the importance of doctrine but also the strict warning to anyone who would pervert or change Christ's doctrine.
If doctrine is unimportant, then what parts can be changed? Can we do away with the doctrine of: the virgin birth, the deity of Christ, the church of Christ, the acts of worship, the plan of salvation? If any point of doctrine can be changed, then WHO has the right to change it and HOW FAR can he go in changing it? Let's submit to Christ's doctrine, for therein only do we purify our souls (1 Peter 1:22).