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how to reach others with the Gospel

We Need Doctrinal Teaching

It has been reported that American students are not doing well in important Math and Science studies. In fact, they rank about 25th in the world on achievement tests in these important subjects. However, it is also reported that the very same American students, when asked how they feel about their Math and Science accomplishments, rank first in the world.

This is direct evidence of the over-emphasis that has been given in recent years to the subjective matters of self-worth and self-esteem in our public school systems. Our educators have obviously worried too much about “feelings,” and not enough about real substantive learning.

We may be following the same mistaken agenda in our spiritual teaching. It seems that we have lost a sense of balance in our preaching and in our Bible class studies. We may be stressing “feel good” themes too much while neglecting important instruction in matters of doctrine. This indictment does not imply that one is not important, but merely that one is no longer emphasized as it should be.

The results in the Lord’s church tend to indicate that not only is this shift occurring, but that it is having an adverse effect upon the Lord’s people. We have a generation of Christians that do not know and cannot explain simple doctrinal truths. Many would be hard-pressed to explain what is wrong with instrumental music in worship, the correct work of the Holy Spirit, faulty marriage, divorce, and remarriage theories, why we oppose church-sponsored recreational and social activities, or what the Bible teaches about institutionalism and unscriptural church cooperative enterprises. Some could not even cite scripture or examples that describe the simple New Testament plan of salvation or prove that baptism is essential for the remission of sins.

Members of the Lord’s church once had the reputation as “people of the Book.” We knew and could defend the truth on a wide variety of Bible subjects. In fact, members of various denominations dreaded and even avoided, discussions with us because they knew that we knew the Bible and could answer their faulty arguments. But we have lost that reputation. The changing of our public schools has led to the “dumbing down” of America. Make sure that the preaching you regularly hear does not lead to the “dumbing down” of Christians. Get back to and demand teaching that emphasizes “all the counsel of God” while “keeping back nothing that is profitable” (Acts 20:20, 27).

Adapted from Greg Gwin

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