The Importance of Sound Doctrine
"As I urged you when I went into Macedonia - remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine, nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith." - 1 Timothy 1:3-4
During my junior and senior years of college I attended Grace Church on the campus of NC State - I could literally walk from my dorm room and be at church in ten minutes! I really enjoyed attending Grace - great people, Biblically sound sermons of grace & conviction, and amazing programs to further Christian education.
One Sunday after service, some friends and I went out for lunch, and for reasons that only God knows, the conversation took a sharp turn towards talking about Christian music and popular Christian teachers. Although at the time I had only been exposed to a handful of preachers that my home pastor endorsed as being scripturally sound, my friends and I talked about how a lot of popular Christian music groups were associated with certain churches, pastors and practices.
This was when my lightbulb went off.
Believe it or not, as painful as this sounds, a LOT of modern evangelical churches in America are currently being influenced by false doctrine. It's not right in the open - it's subtle, permeating its way through our music, the sermons on Sunday, and even the "Christianese" lingo now has this undertone of false doctrine. False doctrines have its way of being almost true enough to sound like the real deal, but if you look just under the surface, it denies many basic truths about God, Jesus Christ and the Gospel.
Here's two important points to keep in mind of why sound doctrine is critical for believers:
1. To diminish disputes - Rather, prevent divisions in the body of Christ. Many denominations have started simply because of lack of discernment and grace. There's a difference here with what I'm talking about. The divisions that qualify here are the type of divisions such as the differences in Baptists, Methodists and Sovereign Grace churches - they all have most of the same foundation when it comes to the Gospel, but it's carried out in different manners. These divisions are NOT the same as Reformed Theology and Catholicism or Baptist and Mormons - COMPLETELY different beliefs (go do some research on these groups!).
The seductiveness of false doctrine can sink its teeth so deeply in one's self and within a local church body to the point where confusion becomes the new normal. No longer is biblical truths taught and practiced. Church members begin receiving a weekly checklist of "behavior modification" tasks to complete. People speak from personal conviction and not based on God's Word. I wouldn't mention these examples if I hadn't experienced them or had someone close to me experience them.
Sound doctrine, based on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, gives us foundation to defend our faith.
2. To promote godly edification - To edify means to instruct or teach. Sound doctrine provides godly edification in faith in that you're able to grow in your relationship with God and allow the overflow from that to affect the lives of those around you. How can you learn about God if you don't study His Word?
Biblically sound doctrine is meant to edify the body of Christ and strengthen our personal relationship with God by learning His truths, according to the Scriptures. I know I've only scratched the surface with this post, but I pray that you'll use this as a jumping point to dig deeper and grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18)