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Joined: 2005/3/31
Posts: 419
Son Of Thunder i come from a land down under, due south at the bottom of your work globes

 Is Doctrine Divisive???

Someone awhile back said emphatically and without reservation to me:

DOCTRINE IS DIVISIVE (full stop/period)

It got me thinking ...

Is there any truth or merit in this STATEMENT?

Certainly if doctrine is used to win debates, or to vent ones own agenda to win arguments regardless of whose wounded and offended, then yeah there's a case - a genuine case to support the above question.

Paul said to rebuke and disregard "gainsayers" in titus

Paul said its PERVERSE to dote on questions and stife of words also:

Referencing and highlighting also in Timothy "the perverse disputings of men" paul said avoid such things (as its ruinous). Therefore using doctrine in this way - is indeed a divisive thing! (i think)

However, however: Standing up for what is sound, true, and right
is NEVER NEVER NEVER wrong - and contending for the truth ( always an honourable and noble thing) Amen!

That said you can be scripturally right - and spiritually WRONG.


As they say!

Is Doctrine Divisive?

the Op sincerely asks?

Thoughts, answers, replies, responses: sincerely valued brethren:

best regards,


Bro Stephen

 2013/3/26 5:06Profile

 Re: Is Doctrine Divisive???

"it" can be.

the reason i put "it" in quotes, is that certain words, such as "doctrine"....are loaded, and ladden with all sorts of baggage, that in the final analysis, the only "fruit" one gets from any interchange between followers is just outright contention.

Witness how this Simple Faith and Following Messiah, that was termed "The Way", has morphed into countless "denominations".....worse that churches that arent churches...and EVEN worse than that, bloodshed, murder and war over such things as "doctrine".

and what i find particuraly sad, is that mere men, actually believe God NEEDS them to defend His Holy Name.....or as some say, "to stand for sound doctrine".....which is okay, i guess, but ask yourself, hw many dear sheep in the Flock, have been stumbled by these "pillars" of "sound doctrine", who feel this calling to "rebuke and reprove"?

believe me, i'm not speaking of an "anything goes" posture before God the Father. no....

a little testimony here is in order, and it breaks my heart, but it was a good breaking, because as the God the Holy Ghost lead me, this heartache is impelling me, to go on the path the LORD wants me to go.

for a over a year, in my post office, town population 700 souls, i kept looking at this handwritten notice "Bible Study" Tuesday 7 PM, with a phone number and a name. okay?

and for the longest time, as i prayed over it...rush into nothing, Jesus spent a whole night in prayer on a mountain before he named 12 apostles (messengers)---(when i'm on doubt about doing "something" i found, i want to do as Jesus did....forgive me if that sounded condenscending...i didnt mean it like that)

so finally, i felt God say....."go Ahead call"....and i did, a dear elderly woman answered the phone, told her why i was calling, my name, i live up in the ridges out of the village, you have a prayer meeting, may i come?

of course! she said...and we talked for a while....and then she said,in reference to the church she attends, "well, we meet on Saturdays, which is the TRUE sabbath".

okay, yes, well Bless God, i countered....i was uncertain, i had heard that BEFORE, and when i hung up, it came to me.....she is a seventh day adventist....years before, i have this book, outlining the vast number of denominations, and their "what we believes"...which i assume is "doctrine".....and i vaguely remember something being a bit askew in the SDA "closed hands" stuff.

so i went to wikipedia, put in SDA, and read.....within a few minutes, i knew i wasnt going to attend that prayer meeting....took it God the Holy Ghost, and we were in agreement, we spoke of other things...between me and Him.

i always asked God, and Jesus to give me what Moses had with talk to You, face to face, as a man does his Friend....and He has graciouslly given me that....and brother, beloved, i am SO THANKFUL for that Precious Dialogue.....why would i ever want to argue "doctrine" with man?

that dear woman done there?...and the others in that sda church? God deals with it, not me...who am i?...a vapor, a mist, a blade of grass....i'm precious enough to Jesus that He shed His Blood for me....for you.

What more can a Blood Bought follower ask for?....or need?....what? be "right" in some quarrell over "doctrine"?.....

thats just my humble testimony, nothing more, in Jesus' love, your brother, neil

 2013/3/26 6:38

Joined: 2009/12/11
Posts: 212

 Re: Is Doctrine Divisive???

"That said you can be scripturally right - and spiritually WRONG."

That's a great way to put it. There are certain absolutes in the Bible that are right whether or not you like them or believe them. We should strive for the truth, but if someone is not willing to listen we shouldn't feel as if it's our responsibility to MAKE them listen.

My sister and brother in law are both Reformed in their doctrine. I am Wesleyan. However, I look forward to my conversations with them. We discuss our doctrines very pointedly, but have never become angry with each other. The key with us is that we can look at the fruit of each others lives and see that God is working, even if we disagree on a some pretty big points.

You mentioned that people turn the doctrinal debate into a chance to win an argument. I think that's when we run into trouble. The debates are a good thing until it becomes a prideful pursuit of being right. There will always be disagreements in doctrine.

I think a good question to ask is, "Can I grow in my walk by understanding why someone believes what they do?" As I said, I am Wesleyan in my theology, but have learned a great deal and grown in my walk through listening to Reformed pastors. I don't agree with everything that they preach, but the way their doctrine influences their preaching is very powerful at times. Because of their doctrine, they are better able to communicate certain aspects of God.

Maybe we need to learn to realize that we are not all the same part of the body. Perhaps differing doctrines are simply the other hand doing a work. Again, there are certain things that are unquestionably wrong. What I'm speaking about are these differences that spark ongoing debate, such as Reformed vs Wesleyan, tongues, initial infilling vs a second work or baptism.

Matt Smith

 2013/3/26 7:18Profile

Joined: 2008/10/25
Posts: 3393
East TN (for now)

 Re: Is Doctrine Divisive???

Actually, it’s people who are divisive. And it’s people with their own agenda (religious or otherwise) who have sullied the true doctrine of Christ, in my humble opinion.

God bless,


 2013/3/26 9:42Profile

Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 3229


Lysa....Actually, it’s people who are divisive. And it’s people with their own agenda (religious or otherwise) who have sullied the true doctrine of Christ, in my humble opinion.

God bless,

Amen Ms. Lysa.

Mr. Bill

 2013/3/26 10:30Profile

Joined: 2011/4/27
Posts: 177


And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' DOCTRINE and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. Acts 2:42

But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of DOCTRINE which was delivered you. Roman 6:17

So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the TEACHINGS we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. 2 Thessalonians 2:15

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and DOCTRINE. 2 Timothy 4:2 | A time will come when people will not listen to sound and accurate teachings. Instead, they will follow their own desires and surround themselves with teachers who tell them what they want to hear. 2 Timothy 4:3 | and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 2 Timothy 4:4

 2013/3/26 10:38Profile

Joined: 2008/4/12
Posts: 1306
Hampshire, UK


There are two types of 'doctrine'.
1/ There is 'doctrine' which is clear teaching in the scriptures. This is good and needs to be obeyed. This is what is referred to by that quoted by 'turn'.

2/Then there is 'doctrine' which is man's interpretation of scripture. It is this that often causes division among the brethren when insisted upon as being infallible.

Generally you could say that there are things that God has clearly commanded and revealed to us, these are example 1. Then there are things that God has not clearly revealed to us (for His own reasons) and for these man then makes suppositions and calls them 'doctrines', example 2.


 2013/3/26 10:53Profile

Joined: 2012/8/8
Posts: 259


true doctrine unites.

 2013/3/26 11:59Profile

 Re:The Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ is also the Great Divider first

"Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to 'SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW'; and 'A MAN'S ENEMIES WILL BE THOSE OF HIS OWN HOUSEHOLD.' He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me." Matt 10:34-37

"I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished! Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law." Luke 12:49-53

"For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Heb. 4:12

Brothers and sisters. It is true that religious men and women down through the ages, and even today, use bad doctrine to disintegrate (divide) the members of the body of Christ in a bad way. This bad doctrine also turns the world off from the name of the Lord since it is done in His name. But there is also good doctrine that divides.

Division is not always a bad thing. When division is a result of Truth set forth, it is a good thing. Knowing the Truth gives opportunity for one to be set free (divided from his bound position under the enemy, and united in his new position with the Righteous One). Doctrine always divides whether the doctrine is true or not, simply due to the fact that people have differing opinions. Doctrine is good when it is Truth, however, and in the world it will always result in division. Praise God.

We should be careful not to identify Truth that divides, as if it were religious doctrine that divides. Truth also gives Jesus Christ a bad name with the world. There is a great difference, however, between Truth that turns the world off, and religious doctrine that does the same.

It is critically important, especially in this day of apostasy when mainstreams of Christianity are focusing on being uniters, to distinguish between doctrines of the spirit of religion that divide men in a bad way (hurting the name of Jesus Christ), and doctrine that is Truth that divides for good, drawing men to Jesus Christ. To be divided in the right way is what it is to be sanctified - set apart - divided from the darkness. We all praise God for that.

To the one who desires to let Jesus shine in the world, there seems to be nothing worse than doctrine of a religious nature that turns the world off to Jesus; but how critical it is that Truth be declared in the right spirit, even though it also turns off the world to Jesus, so that some will be saved.

I think that you all would agree, and I invite you to smooth out any rough edges I may have left undone in this quick explanation.

"And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God." John 3:19-21

Once all the dividing is done, then we can all unite perfectly around the Father's will. Remember, we are not called first to be reconcilers of men to men, but first of men to God, then men will be reconciled (united). For this He is called the Prince of Peace!


 2013/3/26 16:57

Joined: 2005/3/31
Posts: 419
Son Of Thunder i come from a land down under, due south at the bottom of your work globes


Youve all answered the question well. Its helped me to grow and understand what our position should be - when confronted that question. The sloppy sentimental "love Gospel" teaches we should set aside doctrine -as it divides and seperates brethren.

But love is based on truth - not humanistic idealogies and idealisms:

God is a God of truth and truth never rejoices in falsehoods or error:

That said Grace and truth is the perfect "Combo"

Strive for both brethren.

Jesus was full of grace and truth: uh huh uh huh:

Some people are full of truth - but have little grace:

(and vica-versa)

Walk in both and it equals = fruit

Bro Stephen

 2013/3/28 9:24Profile

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