Pure doctrine

Doctrine: a word of Latin origin meaning a teaching, or collectively, a set of teachings. Pure Christian doctrine then is a set of teachings whose sole source is the Bible.

In accepting the Bible is the Word of God, this means that its teachings come from our Creator, who has a full understanding of the nature and needs of mankind. Its teachings are universal, applying to all people, in all ages of time, of all ethnic, social and economic circumstances. This does not rule out the need to interpret the doctrine to make it readily understandable to the hearers. In fact, if we cannot do that, we probably don’t understand the doctrine ourselves.

Such pure doctrine must be a mark of the true Church of God. Any doctrine formed by interpreting one passage of the Bible in a manner that is not consistent with the rest of the Bible must be rejected. The same goes for any doctrine that has been crafted by chopping the Word of God into little pieces and rearranging them to create something hitherto unheard of. A doctrine that has a man’s name attached to it should be regarded with suspicion.

The Bible is an honest portrayal of human history and contains much that is shocking. But the reality of man’s sinfulness, brutality and treachery is never used to teach God’s will for us. The reign of Solomon was the greatest expression of God’s plan in a political kingdom; it’s failure reveals that God must have something far better in mind for those who would follow Him. The New Testament reveals what that plan was from the beginning of time. The teachings of Jesus, especially as condensed in the Sermon on the Mount are the key to understanding God’s plan.

Every person has a longing in the heart and mind to find something to hold on to that is solid and stable. The pure, unadulterated doctrine of the Bible meets that need. People may find temporary satisfaction in other teachings, but the inner craving is not satisfied. The simple, pure doctrine of the Word, without sweeteners or other additives, still has a powerful attraction for those who are truly seeking meaning, fulfilment and peace.

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