Read this featured blog post by Pastor Darin
The late Vance Havner, long time evangelist and conference speaker, said:
Every Christian is a theologian. When you simply speak something about God, whatever you say, you have become a theologian. Theologian is not a title or office in the church. Every Christian is a theologian. The question is whether or not he's a good theologian.
Today, you will sit at the foot of a theologian and what you think, desire, say, and do will be influenced by how he interprets life—and that theologian is you.
2 John’s message: People who say sound doctrine doesn't matter, only love, don't have either one.
1 Timothy 1:8-11, Jude 3-4 remind us: Wonky doctrine makes a mess of everything we do, not just the things we know.
Matthew 16:21-23 confronts us: If you get the doctrine of the cross wrong, you're in the grip of Satan.
So, something massive is at stake in what we believe, what we read, what we watch, what we listen to.
Why do we have to study doctrine? Can't we just love God? Who is God? As soon as you begin to answer that question, you're stating doctrine.
A lot of us would be happier in life and we’d be holier in life if we could get in our heads and in our hearts this one crucial bit of theology: God knows more than us.
Perhaps this is why the early church father, Augustine, said so boldly: "If you believe what you like in the gospel, and reject what you don't like, it isn't the gospel you believe but yourself."
Let me offer some practical reminders about why it is necessary to know what you believe and what you don’t…To know what is biblical and what is unbiblical.
It is the lack of doctrine that kills the church. Every heresy has doctrinal and practical ramifications, and every heresy begins with even the slightest unbiblical, unorthodox view of God. Doctrine guards hearts from lies.
You can have good doctrine and still be lost, but there are some doctrines without which you will not be found.
If you think your theology is original or that "no one has ever seen this before" you are likely either historically ignorant or a heretic. Be cautious of "new" theology.
If we choose doctrine over love, or love over doctrine, we create a distortion of New Testament Christianity, and the face of Jesus fades from our world today. But if we strongly lay hold of both doctrine and love together, we make Him visible in the world today.
To "believe in Jesus" is OK… But which Jesus? Your answer is a statement of doctrine, and it matters.
It should never be boring. It should radically affect all you do!
To know what you believe and why lies at the heart of your Christian experience, worship, and everyday living. Wherever we have opportunity, we must be willing to defend the faith, defend the truth, and defend Christ.
For a great start to know what we believe, we suggest the following link for starters: