Is this true?
I find this a bit perplexing. Here's why. I do not believe that a man can have a relationship with God or tell others how to have a relationship with God without being doctrinally sound. It's seemingly axiomatic.
Let me explain...
First, let's define the word "doctrine" by Merriam-Webster:
- teaching, instruction
- a) something that is taught b) a principle or position or the body of principles in a branch of knowledge or system of belief
"A codification of beliefs or "a body of teachings" or "instructions", taught principles or positions, as the body of teachings in a branch of knowledge or belief system."
Let's take the simplest definition of "teaching, instruction".
Imagine you, as a Christian, come across an unbeliever and want to explain to them how they can have a RELATIONSHIP with God.
During the course of the conversation you may talk about such things as:
- What is the Bible?
- What is God like?
- What is the Trinity?
- What is Creation?
- What is Man?
- What is Sin?
- Who is Christ?
- What is the Law?
- What is the Atonement?
- What is the Resurrection?
- What does it mean to become a Christian?
- What is Death?
- What is the Church?
- What will happens when Christ returns?
- What is the Final Judgment?
- What is Heaven?
Hopefully, you use the Law of the Lord (10 Commandments) to bring the knowledge of sin to help them see their sinful condition before God, coming judgment and punishment in Hell. That they need to repent and put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation. That they will be born again and have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
In the above paragraph, guess what I just used to explain to someone how to have a relationship with Christ? You guessed it...DOCTRINE!!
Unfortunately, in my travels, I have found that people don't know sound doctrine and, thus, can't clearly communicate to others how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. In addition, because of their lack of doctrine, they can't even Biblically explain why they believe what they believe...even the fundamentals.
- 1 Timothy 1:3 - "As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer"
- 1 Timothy 1:10 - "for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine"
- 1 Timothy 4:16 - "Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers."
- 1 Timothy 6:3 - "If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching,
- 2 Timothy 4:3 -"For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear."
- Titus 1:9 - "He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it."
- Titus 2:1 - "You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine."
"For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. for Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men."
If we do not have a solid handle on Biblical "teaching and instruction", how can we preach a Biblical Gospel so that men may be saved by God?
Let us hold fast to sound doctrine that will, in turn, nurture our relationship with Jesus Christ. On the flip side, let us nurture our relationship with Jesus Christ so that we will desire to hold fast to sound doctrine!