Episode 311: I’m Talkin. . .Doctrine

I’m Talking, episode 311, for March 31st, 2024.

This is Joel from the I’m Talking microcast, where I share my thoughts on a topic that has piqued my interest this past week.

This week we’re talking doctrine.

Doctrine is a pretty significant church word.

It’s although a little bit tough to do in a short microcast because it’s quite involved.

The first thing I did was look up a definition.

So just regular dictionary definition says that a doctrine is a set of beliefs taught by a church.

I think that’s pretty good, so then the question that came to my mind is, is all doctrine good?

I would say no, because some churches teach incorrect doctrine.

Is it only church as a doctrine?

That’s also a no.

It can be used in other factions as well, even in a political sense.

But therein lies the challenge for those of us who call ourselves Christians.

So the challenge is kind of following on from last week where we talked about denomination, and I challenged everybody to go to a Bible-teaching church that, regardless of the denomination that you choose, it has to stand on the truth of God’s Word.

What that really means is that it has solid doctrine.

Then the question arises, who defines solid doctrine?

Who decides?

The reality is that doctrine is decided by the Bible, and so it might seem like circular reasoning that you have to have a church with good doctrine and you have to have a church that follows the Word of God, but those really go hand-in-hand.

As there are different denominations, so there are different doctrines, and hopefully not too different, but there are just maybe a few.

Do I do the Lord’s Supper every Sunday?

Do I do it once a quarter?

Those kind of things might be a doctrine of a church, but really it’s the deep-seated, foundational things of the church.

Some of the examples are like the Apostles’ Creed, where I believe in God the Father and Jesus Christ His Son and the Holy Spirit and creation, those kind of things.

You get the Nicene Creed, you get the Westminster Confession of Faith, you get the Church of England’s 39 Articles.

Lots of reading you can do on the doctrine of the church and the Christian faith.

Most often, in fact almost always, unless I read a definition of a word, I am just going off of my own thoughts and my own ideas, and that’s generally what I like to do.

But then I started thinking of the word doctrine, and I’m like, I have to handle this carefully.

So I actually did a little reading and thinking on the word and trying to figure out exactly how to say it correctly.

There are a few things that came up in my study and in my own reasoning, and they are this, that doctrine has to stand on truth, and truth comes from the Word of God.

And then what that brings in a Christian’s life is stability.

We know that we are standing on God’s Word as the absolute truth, and it brings stability to the church because now we have a group of people that are standing on that same belief and it helps to guide us and it helps to strengthen us as a unit and as a group.

And then it leads to the health of a believer.

There’s no wavering.

There’s little wavering, maybe I should say.

There’s no room for truth that is spouted or teached or taught that isn’t really truth.

It’s far from it, and the doctrine of a church leads to that health of a church as well.

And then it also provides direction.

How do we follow God?

Well, that’s the doctrine of the scripture.

That’s the beliefs.

That’s what the Bible teaches us about who God is, about who Jesus is, about what he did on the cross for us, and then how we are to live like him.

And it’s hard to do.

To me, there’s three things that it really takes.

It takes faith, because that’s the only way to Jesus Christ.

That’s the only way to eternal life.

It takes study.

You have to spend time in God’s word, and then it takes responsibility to apply that to our lives, to spend more time in God’s word, to spend time with God’s people, and then to remember something that Chuck Swindell has often taught me, is that in the basics, we have to have unity, and in the gray areas, we have to have a flexibility, and in everything we do, however we apply it, we have to do it with charity.

That’s love.

I didn’t say it very well because I often don’t remember, but that is the basis of that concept.

So remember, when you think of the word doctrine, it’s what the church teaches, and that has to come from the word of God.

And if it does, then you can be fairly sure that you’re in the right place.

Until next week, this is Joel from the I’m Talking Microcast.