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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
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June 1997

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 Cheer the past two months I have been sharing with you some of the observations made by Dr. Bob Jones III at the annual Michigan Association of Christian Schools Pastors/Administrators meeting. His subject material consisted of three prevalent and destructive attitudes which he has observed in the lives of incoming freshman a t Bob Jones University. The first was the "Give Me Attitude", followed by "How holy do I have to be".

 The third attitude which Bro. Jones observed was that of "Don't try to teach me doctrine." This is undoubtedly something which these young people have learned from their parents and pastors, for doctrine has ceased to be important to many who claim the title of "Christian". It seems that today the only doctrine that matters is Salvation by Grace, and even that precious doctrine has been mutilated by some so-called "evangelicals". How can one who needs to work hard and stay faithful in order to keep his eternal life possibly believe in salvation by grace? Grace and works clearly nullify each other in the Scriptures as means of salvation (Romans 11:6). If grace is defined as "the unmerited favor of God", how can those who believe that baptism, communion, church attendance and other religious duties give them an "infusion of grace" possibly be saved? Yet all these doctrinal issues are being ignored by many within "evangelicalism" today.

Today, Biblical doctrine has been replaced by personal experience. Dr. Jones noted that this is the problem for Eve in the Garden of Eden. Biblical doctrine said, "Don't eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for you will die. " However Eve's experience said, "This tree is pleasant to the eyes, good for food, and will make me wise." Experience won out over doctrine, and the human race was plunged into sin. It is interesting to note that Satan spoke against God's doctrine in Eden. This is evidence of the hatred that Satan has for doctrine, and anything that Satan hates we should-love!

 So what does doctrine do? First of all, it Decides (II Peter 1:19). All our decisions are based upon the doctrine that we believe. Secondly, doctrine Divides (John 6:66). Those who truly desire to follow Scriptural teaching are separated from those who do not. Third, doctrine Unifies (Acts 15:15). Those who agree to sound doctrine are able to be united by a bond that goes beyond experience, social status, or personality. Next, doctrine Identifies (Romans 16:17). I am an independent, fundamental Baptist. My doctrine tells you that. Paul says to avoid those who have been marked by their false practices and beliefs. Lastly, doctrine Qualifies (II John 9). Doctrine will reveal who is truly born again, and who is making claims to that which they do not possess.

 We as Believers must stand for the purity and truth of the Word of God. If it ever ceases to be our basis and authority for Doctrine and Practice, then we too will fall prey to the wiles of the Devil.

May God help us to remain faithful to Him.
Your Pastor

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