Our church puts a major emphasis on doctrine, why?
Paul, in his first letter to young Timothy, says “Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.” He is encouraging and warning him that his doctrine and life are in direct correlation. Put much simpler…
What you do shows what you believe.
What you believe affects what you do. So at the core, our tightly held beliefs should and will inevitably transform our lives and affect our actions, leadership, family, and authority.
Sadly, doctrine too often becomes divisive and a catalyst for arguments so people wrongly respond by neglecting it all together and claiming ‘it doesn’t matter, just love God.’ These people are correct in saying that not all things are worth a fight or argument, but wrong that doctrine doesn’t matter, again Paul rightly combines it with life. We use the terminology ‘close handed’ and ‘open handed’ to separate the beliefs that are foundational for us and those that are open for discussion.
Open-Handed: ex. Eschatology (when Jesus is coming back), gifts of the spirit (are they still alive or were they given by God only to the early church)
Close-Handed: Scripture, Trinity, Father, Son, Holy Spirit, Man & Sin, The Gospel, Man’s Response to the Gospel, and The Church It’s not just that we believe in the close-handed, but what we believe about them. For a detailed description of what we believe about them look on our website http://urbanhills.org/about/beliefs
My hope and prayer is that we become people who love doctrine, not for knowledge or righteousness sake, but because we deeply want to know more about our God and we’re desperate for our lives to be transformed by Him, through Him, and to Him.