Self-refuting argument: “Christians shouldn’t disagree about doctrine!” (Doug Eaton)
One of today’s greatest heresies is the opposition of professing Christians to doctrine—more specifically, the doctrines of the Bible.
Doctrine today is considered both legalistic and the greatest obstacle to the unity of the church. Doctrine is so despised that it is considered a four letter word.
Before refuting this idea, we will define doctrine. According to Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, doctrine means:
“In a general sense, whatever is taught. Hence, a principle or position in any science; whatever is laid down as true by an instructor or master. The doctrines of the gospel are the principles or truths taught by Christ and his apostles. The doctrines of Plato are the principles which he taught. Hence a doctrine may be true or false; it may be a mere tenet or opinion.”
Hence doctrines are whatever is taught—they can be anything from the teachings of God in the Bible, to teachings of an officially recognized college professor, to teachings that an ordinary person makes up for himself to follow.
Since every position we take in life is based on someone’s teaching (whether our own or another’s), to oppose doctrine is self refuting. To hold in any way that doctrine is bad is to hold to teachings that oppose teachings; thus, opposing doctrine is an anti-doctrine doctrine.
Therefore, the argument against doctrine slits its own throat—the saying “I oppose doctrine” is as logically absurd as saying, “I can’t speak a word of English.”
When one says this, he is in effect saying, “I oppose my anti-doctrine doctrine!”
The Unity of the Church: Part 2 by Joe Morecraft
An excellent sermon demonstrating that, without doctrine, church unity is impossible.