The Continental Divide is an imaginary geographic line that determines which direction water flows. A raindrop (or usually snowflake in Alberta) that falls on the east side of the Great Divide will eventually flow to the Atlantic Ocean. A raindrop on the west side will make its way to the Pacific. Two raindrops falling only centimeters apart can go in opposite directions. Their destiny is determined by which side of the Great Divide they fall. There is a similar divide when it comes to doctrine. The Bible distinguishes between “good doctrine” (1 Tim 4:6) and “doctrines of demons” (1 Tim 4:1). There are teachers of the truth, and there are false teachers. And although both kinds of teaching may sound religious, one leads to life and the other to death. Doctrine is a serious matter. That is why Paul tells Timothy to charge the false teacher to “teach no other doctrine” (1 Tim 1:3). And Timothy himself must give attention to sound doctrine (1 Tim 4:13, 16). Some have viewed this Great Divide over doctrine as a problem. They say, “Doctrine divides but ministry unites.” They promote a minimalist Christianity that focuses on “deeds not creeds.” They believe that unity is best achieved by laying down our doctrinal differences. But we must not forget that the church is “the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15). Unity is certainly a worthwhile goal but not at the expense of truth. It is interesting that the apostle Paul was willing to tolerate right teaching for the wrong motives. He rejoiced whenever the true gospel was preached (Phil 1:15-18). But any doctrine that does not align with God’s truth is deserving of eternal judgment (Gal 1:6-9). That’s a Great Divide! On Sundays this summer (beginning May 28) we will examine some Bible doctrines that are essential to the faith. These doctrinal themes are drawn from the Meadowlands Statement of Faith. They are the beliefs that define us as a church. There is a Great Divide between those who believe what the Bible says about these doctrines and those who do not. But in those who embrace these beliefs, there is strong unity. Our study will include: Scripture, Trinity, Christ, Holy Spirit, Salvation, Church, Ministry Partnerships, and Age to Come.

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