Great post from Tim Challies...
Aileen and I were once members of a church that, after a few years of existence, began to de-emphasize doctrine. Some of the pastors seemed to reach the conclusion that “doctrine divides” and that the church really just needed to focus on evangelism and on “action.” They seemed to determine that a sound theological foundation held in common was unattainable and unrealistic. Therefore, doctrine should be laid aside and the church should rally around the things we had in common—a desire to reach others with the gospel and a desire to serve other people. It was a bit of a naive strategy, of course, and one that was bound to cause problems.
Soon the church began to fracture into camps—those with backgrounds in one Christian tradition began doing things in one way while people from a different Christian background began doing them a different way. For a time chaos reigned. In some small groups members of the church would serve the Lord’s Supper, in others they wouldn’t; in some small groups people were baptizing each other and serving Lord’s Supper to children. There was no standard and eventually the pastors had to step in and intervene. By then, though, it was too late and many of these small groups “defected.” Having created their own theological identity and one that was at odds with that of the pastors, some of these groups left en masse. It was an inevitable result, I think, and one that proved to me that critical importance of doctrine being held in common by members of a church. Though this happened many years ago, I still think about it quite often.
Recently I was flipping through Collin Hansen’s Young, Restless, Reformed. The book discusses some of the resurgence of Reformed theology in our day and does so, in large part, through interviews with some of the pivotal figures in this resurgence. The book contains a quote by Josh Harris that caught my attention: “Once you’re exposed to [doctrine], you see the richness in it for your own soul, and you’re ruined for anything else.”
Read the entire post HERE.