Divisions within the church can sometimes tempt Christians to abandon doctrine altogether. Today, R.C. Sproul earnestly charges us to never forsake the doctrines of the Christian faith.
We’re living in a peculiar period of anti-theology, anti-doctrine. Some of us are fed up with all of the fighting and bickering and disputes that go on that divide Christians over small and minor technical points of theology. And I have to agree, there’s no excuse for the divisions that reign among us over points that should never divide us when we have a unity of the essence of faith that we share.
But that problem that exists in our churches and in our culture should never lead us to the conclusion that doctrine doesn’t matter. Because when the truth of God is compromised and negotiated at critical points, not at the minor points on the outside—those things that only the pedantic get exercised about—but I’m talking about when the real critical points of doctrine are negotiated, then the church is in serious trouble.
As soon as you start playing around with the deity of Christ, or the personality of God, or the transcendence of God, as soon as you begin to look at the Scriptures as nothing more than a record of one particular group’s religious experience in antiquity, you have left the essence of the Christian faith, and your doctrine has become so corrupt that whatever you’re left to stand on has only a semblance of relationship to Christianity.
We are living, in my opinion, in the darkest hour in the history of the church when it comes to a clear and bold affirmation of the essential articles of Christian doctrine to the world, where more and more and more we see the church echoing the skepticism of the secularists in her own theology. We see the church embracing, endorsing, and affirming the pagan sex ethic of America in clear violation of the unambiguous directives of the New Testament. And we’re in a crisis time when it comes to doctrine.