Where Have All the Doctrines Gone?
The trio of Peter, Paul, and Mary back in the '60s popularized an anti-Vietnam War song with the lyrics:
Where have all the young men gone?
Gone for soldiers every one.
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Gone to graveyards every one.
When will they ever learn?
When this song was popular, I was teaching Sunday school and training union at the First Baptist Church of Nicoma Park, Oklahoma. The teaching of the fundamentals of the Christian faith within the eight basic Bible doctrines was an essential of both Sunday school and pulpit presentation, not only among Southern Baptists, but most other flavors of Baptists, and other denominations as well. Also at that time, doctrine was still an essential of most seminary curriculums.
Why is doctrine important? If our Christian faith is built upon sound and unchanging doctrinal pillars as set forth by God in His Word, then we will not be "carried about with every wind of doctrine" (Ephesians 4:14). As instructed in 2 Timothy 3:10, if a Christian is well grounded in sound doctrine, then he or she will not be deceived by false teachers and every new cult that comes along. It has been reported that half of the Jehovah's Witness cult are former Southern Baptists, and now almost 100 percent of Southern Baptists churches, and probably the majority of churches of other denominations, have embraced some form of the Purpose Driven Church movement.
To explain the eight doctrinal pillars of the Christian faith would take an entire book; however, we list them with a brief comment, because most church members today do not even know what they are:
- Theism: The reality of God and His revelation in Three Persons.
- Bibliology: The divine revelation of God to mankind in the sixty-six books of the Bible, written by men led and inspired by Holy Spirit, authoritative and infallible.
- Theology: God as Creator by Jesus Christ; the laws of God that govern this world and the universe.
- Angelology: The creation and mission of angels; classification, missions and future of those who fell, and those who remained faithful to God.
- Anthropology: The creation of man, his fall, and inherent carnality; the reality of Heaven for redeemed man; the reality of Hell for the lost.
- Soteriology: Jesus Christ; His preincarnate appearances; His incarnation as both God and man in the form of man; His death in sinful man's place; salvation by faith in Jesus Christ, a gift of God's grace; the new birth and ministry of the Holy Spirit; sanctification—immediate and progressive; rewards and the Judgment Seat of Christ.
- Ecclesiology: Church definition; founding of the church; government of the church; church ordinances; mission of the church, now and in the future.
- Eschatology: The second coming of Jesus Christ; purpose of His return; the Rapture or translation of the church; resurrections; judgments; the coming Kingdom Age; the New Heaven and the New Earth.
Mr. Rick Warren on page 34 of his book The Purpose Driven Life states:
One day you will stand before God, and he [small "h"] will do an audit of your life, a final exam, before you enter eternity. The Bible says, "Remember each of us will stand personally before the judgment seat of God. . . . Yes, each of us will have to give a personal account to God." Fortunately, God wants us to pass this test, so he has given us the questions in advance. From the Bible we can surmise that God will ask us two crucial questions. First, "What did you do with my Son, Jesus Christ." God won't ask about your religious background or doctrinal views. The only thing that will matter is, did you accept what Jesus Christ did for you and did you learn to love and trust him.
Mr. Warren quotes Romans 14:10 from one of the new versions. The NIV, NASV, and the HCSB, and almost all the other new versions, with the exception of the NKJV, say "the judgment seat of God." We read in John 5:22 that the Father has committed all judgment to the Son. Paul stated in Romans 14:10, and repeats in 2 Corinthians 5:10, that we, meaning all Christians, must appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ to be judged, not for salvation, but for works. The Textus Receptus states plainly, the Judgment Seat of Christos, interpreted correctly in the KJV as Christ. The word is Christos, not Theos.
We are not going to be asked about our relationship with Jesus Christ, because if we were not saved, we would not be before the Judgment Seat of Christ in the first place. Perhaps Mr. Warren thinks he is to appear for the judgment before the Great White Throne Judgment. If he thinks that, then he is in a lot of trouble.
He continues to indicate that salvation also depends upon learning to love and trust Jesus experientially. This is a progressive salvation teaching and is contrary to sound doctrine, but Mr. Warren indicates that doctrine is not important. And tens of thousands of pastors are insisting that memberships read Mr. Warren's books and espouse this kind of fuzzy, confusing heresy.
(Excerpt from the November 2004 Prophetic Observer)