Differences of Doctrine Are a Blessing

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If we fellowshipped only with those who held identical doctrines it would soon come to pass that everyone who exercised some intelligence in the study of God’s word would be a little sect all by himself. Some minute truth or error would effectually bar him from [the fellowship of] all others.

Associations based on doctrine are most baneful deadly in destroying individual study and faith. All who are enclosed within a common creed are either callous on the subject of doctrine or galled by the bands that hold them. It takes a pope, Protestant or Catholic, to hold such a company together with the dictum of infallibility. What havoc has this ungodly course wrought among God’s servants! It is practically impossible for any of them to conscientiously study the Scriptures for fear that they may discover some truth which will disqualify them for their place and perhaps cause the loss of prestige and position, if not suffering and destitution. Truth is discounted. What slaves we have become!

On the other hand, witness the beneficial effects of fellowship based on a common desire to glorify God and a generous spirit of love and forbearance! The very differences of doctrine are a blessing, for mutual and loving discussion cannot fail to edify and instruct all who preserve the proper spirit. All of those finer graces which otherwise would be dormant are brought into full exercise. Love blossoms into lowliness and meekness and longsuffering and forbearance. These are not only a blessing in themselves, but yield a harvest of most precious and desirable fruit for His delectation.

KnochA.E. Knoch (1874-1965)
The True Basis of Fellowship

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