By Johnie Edwards
According to the January 1980 issue of The General Baptist Messenger, Baptist Church doctrine is something more than the Bible. In an article on the traits of a good Bible teacher, it is stated, “Traits of a good Bible teacher are that a teacher have a good knowledge of the Bible and General Baptist Doctrine.”
This is rather interesting. If the Bible teaches the doctrine of the General Baptist Church, why would the author say that a teacher needs to have a good knowledge of the Bible and General Baptist Doctrine? Does not the statement imply that one would have to have more than just the Bible to know about the doctrine of the Baptist church?
I read in the New Testament about doctrine. In fact I read about:
(1) The Apostles’ Doctrine. It is said of the early Christians, “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). The doctrine of the apostles was the teaching they did.
(2) The Doctrine of Christ. John said, “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 doctrine of Christ refers simply to what Jesus taught and, to please God, must abide in that doctrine!
(3) Sound Doctrine. Paul charged Titus, “But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1). Our teaching must be sound to please God.
(4) Doctrines of men. Jesus charged some with worshiping in vain. “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines of the commandments of men” (Matt. 15:9). The teachings of men are foreign to the doctrine of Christ and such teachings will render ones worship vain.
(5) Doctrine is to be obeyed. Paul was thankful that the Romans had obeyed the form of doctrine. “But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye become the servants of righteousness” (Rom. 6:17-18).
When one obeys the doctrine of the New Testament he becomes just a Christian. It takes more than the Bible to make one a Baptist. Could this be the reason the General Baptist Messenger said that one needs to have a good knowledge of the Bible and General Baptist Doctrine?
Truth Magazine XXIV: 34, p. 545
August 28, 1980