There is an interesting phrase that Missouri synod types use a lot. It is “pure doctrine” or correct doctrine, or pure doctrine correctly taught. Some argue and say that we worry to much about doctrine when we should be worried about missions and mercy. Doctrine is God’s Word to us and so……
Luther says: The great difference between doctrine and life is obvious, even as the difference between heaven and earth. Life may be unclean, sinful, and inconsistent; but doctrine must be pure, holy, sound, unchanging … not a tittle or letter may be omitted, however much life may fail to meet the requirements of doctrine. This is so because doctrine is God’s Word, and God’s truth alone, whereas life is partly our own doing…. God will have patience with man’s moral failings and imperfections and forgive them. But He cannot, will not, and shall not tolerate a man’s altering or abolishing doctrine itself. For doctrine involves His exalted, divine Majesty itself (WA, 30 111, 343 f.)
Doctrine is so important that Paul, seeking a sponsoring church to get him to Spain where he could preach the Gospel some more, writes the letter to the Romans to teach them pure doctrine. “The entire letter, then, illustrates the foundational importance of doctrinal agreement between those who agree to support missionary activity and those who engage in carrying it out” writes Michael Middendorf in his Romans Commentary.
We would do well to think of that when we support willy nilly all kinds of mission endeavors without an understanding of what kind of doctrine the promulgate.
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