The term doctrine, as used by many people, seems to have a negative connotation. In truth doctrine is nothing but the teaching of a person or group. The word translated doctrine from the Greek means teaching or instruction. It could mean either what is being taught or the action of teaching. There is nothing inherently negative about the word doctrine until you apply it in a specific instance. For example the Bible talks about the doctrine of God (Titus 2:10) and the doctrine of devils (1 Timothy 4:1). Clearly no one would argue that the doctrine of devils is worthy of our consideration.
Consider for a moment what Jesus said about certain doctrine: “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:8-9). Notice in particular that from men were “teaching for doctrines”. There is a multitude of doctrines from men. Contrast that previous verse with Matthew 7:28. There scripture says that “it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine.” There is only one doctrine, or teaching, from Christ, but a multitude of teachings from men.
The one true church of the Bible does indeed have a doctrine but it is the one that comes from its head, Jesus Christ. If coming from men, doctrine will likely lead a person away from God. To those who diligently seek God (Hebrews 11:6), the doctrine of Christ (Mark 1:22) is the truth that leads us to heaven.
In Christ, Steve Preston
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