At what point does doctrine matter in the church? It has become apparent that orthodox biblical doctrine, which was an understood belief system in the church, has been pushed to the side. Essential doctrine has been deemed divisive thus it has been left untaught so that church is more attractive and appealing to those who are not regular attendees of church. People do not want to be challenged about what they believe in contrast to what the bible teaches about God, His Son Jesus and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. They want to be told to come as they are, Jesus is your friend and will accept you unconditionally and you will not have to change. Just use what is being taught so you can be a better person to your fellow man. Love God, love neighbor, that sort of thing. And if you are fortunate, the person up front will tell you God has special plans for you and imply that all are children of God, and all are entitled to His blessings.
Mainline churches, the churches with the biggest congregations, often refuse to teach doctrine central to Christianity and the church. They refuse to teach about the doctrinal differences between Protestants and Catholics, Protestants and Mormons and other heretical and apostate religions. They do not want to discuss doctrinal topics because it would appear irrelevant to those who come from the background of Roman Catholicism or Mormonism. It is more important to them to have unity when combatting social ills like hunger and housing the homeless then to expound on the doctrinal differences which separate the two, and show them what the bible actually teaches as opposed to traditions of the church.
Please understand, I am not saying we should not become involved in feeding the hungry, visiting the sick, visiting the people in prison, provide housing for the homeless, or to show compassion and charity to those who need it most. I am not saying that we should ignore these good works for the sake of doctrine. All I am saying it is possible to do both, stand up on the principles that the Reformers put forth and do the good works that God has set up for His children to accomplish. There is a way to contend for the faith and live out the faith, all with grace of God given to us.
Doctrine matters. We should teach doctrinal principles central to Protestantism at some level, even if it is not from the pulpit. It is just as important to serve in areas of spiritual need as it is to serve in areas of physical need. The teaching of doctrine has been left to those who are now considered on the fringes of Christianity. Most consider it a waste of time. We ignore doctrinal teaching at the peril of the church and the church body. Infection will seep into the church because we decided not don the armor of God. We have let our guard down for the sake of not offending “seekers”.
Orthodoxy must be upheld and maintained or we will lose our relevancy for the sake of being relevant.