Summary: Does doctrine matter or do we just need to be saved and feel good?
Scanning some of the blog comments on MySpace.Com I find a common theme that Baptists need to be right or are intent on everyone else being wrong. The old rock song asked, "Why Does It Have To Be Wrong Or Right?" It is kind of a goofy song because in most things we want right or wrong. We want the right change, the right value for our money, the right food we ordered, the right prescription, right surgery, etc, etc. When the things we want to be right turn out wrong we have a hissy fit and sue, shoot or spit on the offender and demand the wrong be made right. Yet, when it comes to God and doctrine which will determinate our quality of life here and hereafter we want to be sloppy.
1 Cor 11:18-19
18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. (KJV)
All the people fussing about unity and yelling stop being divisive need to read these verses. Yes, we are all supposed to speak the same thing and be in accord but we don’t and aren’t. God through Paul acknowledges that fact. John said they went out from us because they were not all of us and Paul says that the divisions are to make the approved manifest. There has been division since the 1st Century and it isn’t going to stop until He comes back. Hence, doctrine is important. False doctrine divides and that makes it and splitting a church over carnal issues heresy. So to be approved I need to avoid heresy and point out those who are causing divisions by their heresy.
17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. (KJV)
Let’s face it many are into religions, including perversions of Christianity, for money, fame, power, booty or whatever. A Christian is instructed to mark or point out those folks because they are not being in accord with the doctrine taught in Scripture. Are there some Baptists like that? Sure, and I am on my own people’s backs more than anyone else.
I believe that the Independent Fundamental Baptists are the closest in doctrine to the First Century Church than any other group but we are not without flaws. We have some real dorks in the house that give us, and the Lord, a bad name. Even some of the best of us have made some bad calls over the years. We sometimes choose wrong hills to die on and wrong issues to put on the front burner but in core doctrines and practice we are in better shape than the other sects. Doesn’t mean that all of them are going to Hell but some have fully apostatized and some are on the way. I despise false doctrine and false teachers but not Joe and Jane Pewsitter. They don’ know any better so I teach them and rail on the Pharisees and Sadducees in leadership.
Ironically, most folks on here have bashed the Southern Baptists as ultra-Conservative but compared to what they were in the 1940’s and 50’s many of them are downright Liberal and some hold to some really bad heretical viewpoints. I have some in the Independents that have gotten weak as well but since we are in an age of apostasy that should be no shock.
Luke 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? (KJV)
In spite of all the hype of some of the mega-church movement folks and the prosperity people Jesus posed this question. It sounds more like there will be the few, the proud, the Marines amounts of Christians when He returns not mega-churches or even mega-numbers of the population.
The prosperity folks haven’t read Hebrews 11:33-40 nor noticed that the only "rich" church in Revelation was the one He said was poor, naked and blind.
So, do I have to be right? I need to seek to be right in all things if I want to be one of the approved. I can’t be lazy and sloppy about it just so I can be tolerant or inclusive.
I Jn 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. (KJV)