Ten years ago, most of us had to struggle with issues of doctrine. The Church of God was being tested more than at any other time in our recollection. There were issues of belief, of loyalty, of trust.
Now, 10 years later, is doctrine all that important to you?
Jesus taught a very significant lesson to His disciples in Matthew 16:5-12 Matthew 16:5-12 5 And when his disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread.
6 Then Jesus said to them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
7 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread.
8 Which when Jesus perceived, he said to them, O you of little faith, why reason you among yourselves, because you have brought no bread?
9 Do you not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets you took up?
10 Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets you took up?
11 How is it that you do not understand that I spoke it not to you concerning bread, that you should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?
12 Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
American King James Version×about the importance of the true doctrines or teachings of the Bible. He had told the disciples to “beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees,” but they did not understand at first. Finally they understood He was warning them of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
Today, all around us are those claiming to be Christians, espousing other doctrines or teachings. Like the self-righteous doctrines of the Pharisees, these can look and feel good, but they are not the doctrines of Jesus Christ we fought so hard to hold on to just a few years ago.
Gary Petty gave a sermon last December that was circulated to all congregations as a video. Under the heading “Myth Number Four, Doctrine Doesn’t Count,” he discussed why people today don’t like to have specific doctrinal beliefs.
He went on to say (with a note of sarcasm), “Well that would mean some things are wrong and that makes me judgmental and I can’t be judgmental… The whole idea of humanity is to be made… into the children of God. Once you remove that concept—that doctrine—we make God like us. We make God in our image.”
In the days following the first New Testament Pentecost we read of the new Church, “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine” (Acts 2:42 Acts 2:42And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
American King James Version×, emphasis added). If we are to remain faithful to God, we must also continue steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine.