Fact a Day: February 19th - Ankerberg Theological Research Institute, John Ankerberg Show

Fact a Day: February 19th

The Facts on The Faith Movement (Harvest House, 1993) pp. 13-14

Why is the idea of “unity over doctrine” a false teaching?

Many Christians believe that the visible unity of the body of Christ before the world is much more important than doctrinal truth. They appeal to Jesus’ prayer that Christians “may be one” so that the world will know that the Father has sent Him (John 17:21-23). But can the world see Christian unity apart from true Christianity itself? Isn’t Christian unity based upon Christian truth? For example, the world might notice a visible unity among a group of Catholics, Protestants, and Mormons working together to fight abortion—but what will it conclude about the beliefs of Christianity when these religions disagree? In essence, the real nature of their unity is only a social cause, vital as it may be.

In its most important sense, it is basic doctrinal truth which unites God’s people. True unity cannot be had without it. This is why the Bible commands Christians to stand together in unity against heresy and separate themselves from false teachers on the basis of sound doctrine (2 John 9-11; Romans 6:17, etc.). Christians are to stand “firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel” (Philippians 1:27; cf. Ephesians 4:12-13). Jude 3 tells us we are to “contend earnestly for the faith [body of teachings] which was once for all delivered to the saints.”

If biblical doctrine is not the final standard, then where does one draw the line between what is or isn’t Christian?

*For full documentation, please see The Facts on The Faith Movement.


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