Listen To Most Current
Grace Notes Archive
November 2022 (4)
October 2022 (5)
September 2022 (6)
August 2022 (4)
July 2022 (5)
June 2022 (4)
May 2022 (4)
April 2022 (7)
March 2022 (4)
February 2022 (4)
January 2022 (5)
December 2021 (5)
November 2021 (4)
October 2021 (5)
September 2021 (4)
August 2021 (4)
July 2021 (6)
June 2021 (4)
May 2021 (5)
April 2021 (4)
March 2021 (5)
February 2021 (4)
January 2021 (5)
December 2020 (4)
November 2020 (4)
October 2020 (5)
September 2020 (4)
August 2020 (5)
July 2020 (21)
June 2020 (29)
May 2020 (28)
April 2020 (31)
March 2020 (5)
February 2020 (4)
January 2020 (5)
December 2019 (5)
November 2019 (3)
October 2019 (5)
September 2019 (4)
August 2019 (5)
July 2019 (4)
June 2019 (5)
May 2019 (4)
April 2019 (4)
March 2019 (4)
February 2019 (6)
January 2019 (4)
December 2018 (4)
November 2018 (5)
October 2018 (4)
September 2018 (4)
August 2018 (4)
July 2018 (3)
June 2018 (4)
May 2018 (4)
April 2018 (4)
March 2018 (4)
February 2018 (5)
January 2018 (4)
December 2017 (4)
November 2017 (5)
October 2017 (4)
September 2017 (5)
August 2017 (4)
July 2017 (4)
June 2017 (5)
May 2017 (4)
April 2017 (5)
March 2017 (3)
February 2017 (4)
January 2017 (3)
December 2016 (5)
November 2016 (4)
October 2016 (4)
September 2016 (5)
August 2016 (3)
July 2016 (4)
June 2016 (5)
May 2016 (4)
April 2016 (5)
March 2016 (4)
February 2016 (4)
January 2016 (5)
December 2015 (4)
November 2015 (4)
October 2015 (3)
September 2015 (4)
August 2015 (5)
July 2015 (5)
June 2015 (4)
May 2015 (5)
April 2015 (2)
March 2015 (4)
February 2015 (4)
January 2015 (5)
December 2014 (4)
November 2014 (5)
October 2014 (4)
September 2014 (4)
August 2014 (4)
July 2014 (5)
June 2014 (4)
May 2014 (5)
April 2014 (4)
March 2014 (4)
February 2014 (4)
January 2014 (5)
December 2013 (4)
November 2013 (5)
October 2013 (4)
September 2013 (4)
August 2013 (5)
July 2013 (4)
June 2013 (3)
May 2013 (5)
April 2013 (4)
March 2013 (4)
February 2013 (5)
January 2013 (4)
December 2012 (4)
November 2012 (5)
October 2012 (4)
September 2012 (4)
August 2012 (5)
July 2012 (4)
June 2012 (4)
May 2012 (5)
April 2012 (4)
March 2012 (5)
February 2012 (4)
January 2012 (4)
December 2011 (5)
November 2011 (4)
October 2011 (4)
September 2011 (5)
August 2011 (4)
July 2011 (4)
June 2011 (5)
May 2011 (4)
April 2011 (5)
March 2011 (4)
February 2011 (4)
January 2011 (5)
December 2010 (4)
November 2010 (4)
October 2010 (4)
September 2010 (5)
August 2010 (4)
July 2010 (6)
June 2010 (4)
May 2010 (4)
April 2010 (4)
March 2010 (5)
February 2010 (4)
January 2010 (5)
December 2009 (5)
November 2009 (3)
October 2009 (6)
September 2009 (3)
August 2009 (5)
July 2009 (4)
June 2009 (4)
May 2009 (5)
April 2009 (4)
March 2009 (4)
February 2009 (4)
January 2009 (5)
December 2008 (4)
November 2008 (5)
October 2008 (4)
September 2008 (5)
August 2008 (4)
July 2008 (3)
June 2008 (4)
May 2008 (5)
April 2008 (4)
March 2008 (5)
February 2008 (1)
Grace Notes

Current Articles | Categories | Search | Syndication

REGARDING SOUND DOCTRINE: CAPITULATION, COMPR0MISE, OR CHARITY?
by Philip Owen

     Some months ago, a gentleman visited our church on a Sunday morning. Arriving late, he heard only a portion of the message that day. When the service ended, he stood in the vestibule and talked to (I’m tempted to say accosted) three people in succession. Was he concerned that we were denying the inspiration of Scripture, or that we were preaching a false gospel, or that we had corrupted a fundamental article of the faith? No, but he did want to debate several of his pet doctrines. I was reminded of another sect that has been plagued with internal squabbles regarding whether the New Testament church began at Acts 9, or Acts 13, or Acts 22. I am not calling into question the salvation or the sincerity of such believers, only their focus. Without doubt there are a number of fundamental doctrines that we must hold inviolate; there are other admittedly important doctrines over which real believers may in good conscience disagree without causing divisions. And while it is critical that we stand for what we understand Scripture to teach in these areas, allowing differences to divide the body of Christ because of them dishonors the Lord and destroys both the unity and the ministry of the church.

      We would be well-served to swallow a strong dose of humility when confronting such issues and to realize that there are differences between capitulation, compromise, and charity. The first occurs if we concede a position or doctrine our conscience tells us is true and forsake it without being convinced from Scripture that the position is wrong. The second occurs when we cease to believe that a particular doctrine or practice supported by Scripture is important. The third occurs when we recognize that a “non-cardinal” doctrine is not cause for refusing fellowship with another child of God.

      Sadly, the church seems to be populated largely by two types of people: those for whom doctrine—every doctrine, even the smallest doctrine—is worth fighting for or about, and those for whom doctrine is of so little importance that they can and do “fellowship” with anyone irrespective of belief. But what does Scripture teach and what is its emphasis? “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16, 17). Note three things these verses teach.

      First, doctrine, or teaching, is critical. “All Scripture” has been given by God so that believers may know and understand truth, for example, about God and Christ, about man and sin, about salvation, and about the future. But obtaining a sound, scriptural understanding of these truths is not the goal of instruction. Second, an essential element of doctrine is moral in nature; to that end Paul cites reproof, correction, and training in righteousness. One who learns truth without having his character changed has missed the mark. Doctrine that does not transform lives serves no practical purpose. In fact, it would be better to be ignorant of the truth entirely than to have some knowledge of it without obeying it. Third, accurate knowledge that transforms a life is intended to produce service. We should note that God is not interested in obtaining service from just anyone or anything. He needs no one and nothing to accomplish His will. Or, if He so desired, He could create automatons—either mechanical or living—to do His bidding. But what He wants is human beings, breathing with wills and desires, who have been transformed by the truth, who love Him, and who want to serve Him.

      Are there doctrines that will brook no compromise? Absolutely. Should we hold to what our mind and conscience convince us is scriptural truth? Without fail. Should we refuse to fellowship with brethren over, for example, a difference of opinion regarding the mode of baptism? Surely not. We have lost our focus and have forgotten the emphasis found in Scripture itself when we come to such conclusions. We may, we can, and we must be charitable toward other genuine believers with whom we disagree on some relatively minor issues of doctrine. And, no, it is neither sacrilege nor compromise to profess as much.

  

Actions: E-mail | Permalink

Previous Page | Next Page