Doctrine – So Does it Really Matter?

Tim Challies provides an excellent overview of what Biblical doctrine is and why it is important, which you can view here, if you have the time. I highly recommend it.

For an additional overview of what Biblical doctrine is and it’s importance, I would also recommend this link, and this link, as provided by

As Tim Challies states in the initial link I provided, “But what is doctrine? Put simply, it is the way the central themes of God’s revelation in Scripture are summarized and taught.” Emphasis is mine.

The thing is, God has provided us with His sound teachings in God’s Holy Word and if we ignore His leading, we do so at our own peril. A large percentage of Christians are much like myself, lay people, just ordinary Christians, who read and study God’s Word and endeavour to discern what God’s will is for us, as part of His Church, the bride of Christ.

Some are more knowledgeable of God’s Holy Word and exemplify this knowledge by how they interact with others, both within the Church and with those outside of the Church, than others, but the short story is that we all, without exception, continue to learn as we go through this journey of life that we have been given.

Those who are more mature in Christ have learned when and how to pick their battles, much like parents learn how to pick their battles with their growing children. And God’s Word specifically tells those who are more mature, how to deal with those who are relatively new in the faith. Romans 14:1 and Romans 15:1 comes to mind, so there is some flexibility that can be exercised, especially as it pertains to opinions. All of us who are older know how opinions can change over time.

Yet within the body of Christ, there are still many who have not learned or appreciated the necessity of exercising Biblical discernment between sound doctrine and false doctrine. And not only has this necessity not been learned but many take offence at those who do. Making a Biblical case for a particular doctrine and presenting it to someone who holds and teaches an opposing perspective and advocates it to others, is viewed by some as being judgemental, unnecessary or even destructive.

If God’s Holy Word justified this accusation, one would have to agree with this assessment, but such is not the case. In fact, we see many examples and numerous admonishments throughout the Scriptures where we within the body of Christ are encouraged and instructed to defend and teach sound doctrine and challenge anyone who teaches false doctrine. 1 Timothy 6:3-4, 2 Timothy 4:3, Titus 1:9, and Ephesians 4:14 being but a few.

And just for clarification purposes, I am NOT specifically talking about Biblical subjects that have acknowledged different schools of thought, such as Young Earth and Old Earth Creationism or Calvinism and Arminianism, as examples, but rather I AM talking about the Biblically validated necessity of Church Discipline (righteous judgement within the Church) and false teachings where it is taught that true Christians, who do have God’s Holy Spirit residing within them, can at the same time also be possessed (not the same as oppressed) by a demon, as examples.

So why are there accusations of someone being judgemental or destructive, when a case is presented that challenges a false teaching? Is it because the case presented is not Biblically sound or is it because someone who presents the accusation does not wish to have their teacher challenged, or their own lack of Biblical discernment questioned?

Possessing Biblical discernment is not an optional skill set for a Christian. False Biblical teachings abound today and while it may not be a function or prerequisite that Christians enjoy doing, no where in Scripture do I see any guidance from God that absolves us from that responsibility.

I have heard it said by some Christians that they have asked God to guide them and as such, they trust Him to let them know when they may be or have entered into error. Now I am NOT arguing with the logic of committing our ways unto the Lord and resting in the assurance that His Word gives us that He will bring it to pass. But do bear in mind that this assurance is given to us in His Word.

Resting in our assurance that according to His Word, God will guide us, does NOT give us the freedom to ignore His Holy Word
. God’s Holy Word is the standard by which everything is to be judged or discerned.

Acts 17:11 NASB, 2 Timothy 2:15 NASB and Psalm 119:105 NASB comes to mind:

“Now these people were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.” Emphasis is mine.

”Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a worker who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” Emphasis is mine.

”Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.” Emphasis is mine.

Trusting in God to clue you in when you may have strayed does NOT absolve you from doing your due diligence.

The reason why so many fall subject to false teachings is they are not thoroughly versed in God’s Word, nor have they taken the time to correct this deficiency, because they see no need to. Be very careful who you attach your wagon to because it determines where you are heading.

Ephesians 4:14 NASB
”As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of people, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;” Emphasis is mine.

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!


  1. So many good things here: we must practice discernment and its not a luxury; also love your point: “Trusting in God to clue you in when you may have strayed does NOT absolve you from doing your due diligence.”

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