Certain words have gotten a black eye in our culture. The word, "doctrine" is a perfect example. Many use the term to express derision. "Doctrine divides but love edifies," goes an oft heard quip. But the term deserves better from us. Doctrine is not evil. It is a word that needs a serious make over."
Doctrine (from the Latin doceo, "to teach") refers simply to that which is taught. Bible doctrine refers specifically to the teachings of Jesus and His apostles. Doctrine may be true (i.e. in accordance with the teaching of Scripture) or it may be false. But doctrine is unavoidable. We always teach. The question is whether our doctrine, our teaching, is faithful to the teaching of the Bible or not.
Familiarity with Bible doctrine is crucial. The Gospel is contained in Christianity's main doctrines. For example, the Bible’s teaching concerning the full deity and full humanity of Christ, confessed by all orthodox (non-heretical) Christians is such a doctrine. If we reject it, we are left with deficient or even false teaching. The Virgin Birth, the Trinity, the Crucifixion and the Bodily Resurrection of Christ are other such doctrines. To disregard them is to disregard Christ.
Today's church has largely minimized the teaching of these doctrines, instead emphasizing Christian experience or practice. Unfortunately, true Christian living can only result from true Christian belief. Right doctrine (orthdoxy) and right practice (orthopraxy) are siamese twins, bound at the hip. It is foolish and dangerous to try to separate them.
Christians need to grow up in their understanding of the Bible. That understanding will largely consist in knowing the doctrine the Bible contains. One of the chief ways by which this growth in Bible knowledge will come to pass is when Christian parents are well taught themselves and then turn and teach these doctrines to their children. Fundamental to the mission and purpose of Exodus Books is providing helps so that Christian families might attain to these ends.
—Guest-written by Pastor Jeff Harlow