Is Doctrinal Difference Really A Problem?

According to the Bible, yes.

For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake. (Titus 1:5-11 KJB:PCE)

And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. (Acts 2:42 KJB:PCE)

As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, (1 Timothy 1:3 KJB:PCE)

No other doctrine. That makes the case. We are to teach no other doctrine. We are to continue in the Apostles’ Doctrine, that which came down to us from the Apostles.

LET as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. (1 Timothy 6:1 KJB:PCE)

If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. (1 Timothy 6:3-5 KJB:PCE)

These teachings characterized the Southern Baptist Convention until 1947, and Harold Ockinga, whose pronouncement “We repudiate come-out’ism!” heralded the birth of New Evangelicalism.

It also characterizes the Independent Baptist.Many Independent Baptist churches initially came out of the Southern Baptist convention over rejection of theological modernism and over rejection of the New Evangelicalism, dubbing it “Ecumenism”. Apparently the Vatican agreed, as in the 1960’s they created the Ecumenism ministry to reach out to “separated bretheren” to “bring them back into the fold” – i.e., back to Rome.

A simple study of Baptist history shows that Baptists have been around since the time of the Apostles. Some may believe the original church fell into apostasy, and became the Roman Catholic Church. I disagree. I think I can make a case that the Roman Catholic Church is “Those not of us” that John warned about in his epistles. It is noteworthy that the Roman Catholic doctrines arose in Alexandria, Egypt and not Jerusalem or Ephesus, the first church outside of Israel.

Baptists have fought to keep and preserve their doctrine for centuries, despite the constant threat of death, torture, banishment, imprisonment. Yet in the 21st Century, they are rushing headlong to throw them aside.

Christians are commanded to separate from those who depart from true doctrine. I tend not to put Baptist Briders in that category, because although they remain in error in supposing an unproven physical “church successionism”, they still hold to all other doctrines as correct doctrine. They merely have mistaken Doctrinal Successionism (which can be found in the New Testament) with a physical successionism, church begetting church begetting church.

Rather, a church that holds to correct doctrine is a church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Roger Williams for example. Baptist Briders would reject any church descended from his church, as he was not baptised by anyone with “authority to baptise”. yet he held to Baptist Doctrine, and started the second Baptist Church in the United States (the first was started by John Clarke – everyone loves Williams because he also started the state of Rhode Island).

With that stated, the rejection of other doctrines remains a source of concern. If a church rejects Separationism, do we associate with them? Maybe at first – but be warned that that church will quickly slide into compromise and error. Why not separate from them right away? Because they are in the position of backsliding, not yet questioning God or denying God. Some would counsel separating from them immediately – I disagree. But I do state you will have to eventually. When you reject separationism, you open the door for heresy.

If they reject King James only-ism, do we reject them? No. Again, it’s an issue if backsliding. We should reprove the backslider, and encourage them back to continuing in the Apostles doctrine.

If they reject the infallibility and inspiration and preservation of the bible, do we associate with them? No, at this point they have descended into heresy. They now question God. They now deny God. The Bible states God has maginified His word over His name (psa. 138:2). God states He will preserve His words forever (Psa. 12:6-7). The Lord Jesus Christ promises letter for letter preservation and inspiration of the Bible. Rejecting the Bible as containing errors is calling God a liar, or denying God even exists.

If they reject the virgin Birth – separate. If they reject the Divinity of Jesus Christ, we separate. If they begin befriending Rome, we separate. Otherwise we share in Rome’s evil deeds, and will have to account for that to God.

Continuing in sound doctrine is important. The Bible makes that clear. Paul warned Timothy to teach no other doctrine, and not to allow others to do so.

If God caused Paul to warn Timothy so, we should heed likewise.


Author: philipdean2013

Seminary graduate with a Ba. in Theology/Pastoral Studies, Happily married, Independent Baptist. I can't keep silent about what I see going on in Christianity any longer! Apostasy reigns around us, churches are sliding into worldiness, a whitewashed Gospel is preached everywhere... "Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. Jeremiah 6:16 (KJV) So, I'm speaking out. ...Why aren't you???