Feb 24

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In the end, it does not matter at all how man answers the question under which these articles are written! Sometimes we hear of Baptist Doctrine, Methodist Doctrine, Pentecostal Doctrine, and at times someone will speak of the Church of Christ Doctrine. First, when the word “doctrine” is used, we need to keep in mind that the Greek word is “didache” (or some form of this word) and means: “1) teaching 1a) that which is taught 1b) doctrine, teaching, concerning something” (Thayer). Therefore, it is simply a teaching. So, Baptist Doctrine is no more than Baptist Teaching, and Methodist Teaching, and on it goes. It is a teaching that belongs to the church which name goes with it. In which case the church has authority to change the teaching at any time. In fact, we have seen this over the years.
Second, we shall notice a few changes which have taken place in the more resent time. Looking first at the United Methodist Church which has a governing body known as: The General Conference. However, before changes are made there is another body which sends the changes to the General Conference and is know as “The Connectional Table,” which is just one of The United Methodist Church’s governing bodies. It is made up of 59 members which are clergy and lay people that coordinates the denomination’s mission, ministry and resources. In a meeting, April 2014, this group decided to draft legislation that could change church law “to fully include LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender), there is a debate as to what the “Q” stands for but generally it stands for queer persons in the life and ministry of the church.” Any decision “The Connectional Table” makes would have to go before the top lawmaking assembly, General Conference. To say the least, this would be a major change in Methodist Doctrine! Nevertheless, as the Doctrine is Methodist, the authoritative body has the right/power to change any teaching that belongs to it. However, the Methodist Church has no right/power to change the teaching that belongs to Christ! John wrote on this subject: “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son” (2 John 9).
The above is true of all denominational churches, as the doctrine belongs to them! Each one has the power/right to change any doctrine at anytime! So, what do some of these bodies say about what is necessary to be saved? Here is what I read: “We’re saved by grace alone through faith alone.” If you will recall from the last article (# 3) we gave the way the word “only,” which is the same as “alone.” Both “only” and “alone” removes all other things related to what is required to be saved! You cannot have both “saved by grace alone” and “through faith alone!” It cannot be by grace only/alone; then, add “through faith only/alone!” But, this is not the end of what the Methodist Church has said about how one is saved; they also say: “We’re made whole and reconciled by the love of God as we receive it and trust in it.” It should have come to the mind of some Methodist Church leaders that they have a third requirement to be saved, but it appears that this has never taken place! (This information has been taken from “The People of The United Methodist Church page.)
It has not been the intent of these articles to teach on grace, faith, and love, but it has been necessary as they relate to the question: “How many ways can one be saved?” It should not surprise anyone that each denominational church has its own doctrine and its own teaching as to how one is saved! Thus, from their point of view, the answer to our question: “There are many ways to be saved!” Nevertheless, not any of these denominational churches has any authority to give an answer different than is found in “the teaching of Christ!”
As we conclude this series of articles, let it be understood by all, that there is NO CHURCH OF CHRIST DOCTRINE! The teaching, doctrine, belongs to Christ; it is his and no man, nor any group of men, has any authority to change it in any way! Therefore, we close with the inspired words of one of the “ambassadors for Christ,” John the apostle: “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.”

— Frank R. Williams

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