Many people can attest to the fact that the church has taught for years that doctrine must be “pure” for it to lead one to salvation. If a person believes impure doctrine, even if it’s 99% right, Stanton says they will not be saved.
“They can be teaching everything 99% correct, but if salvation is not taught correctly then sin is not forgiven and you are not added to the church of Christ.”
This is not a straw man that I’m trying to set up in order to smack down easily. This Doctrine of Pure Doctrine is a staple of church teaching, as just about anyone who has spent any time in the group can attest, and it is used to deny that the baptisms of 99% of the Christians in the world today are valid. One must, according to their teaching, be baptized by the One True Church (theirs, of course), identified by its supposed 100% Pure Doctrine, in order to be saved. Anyone who believes that, doesn’t truly understand what the Doctrine of Christ really means.
The problem with this myth of Pure Doctrine is that it condemns the very person who teaches it. Is Stanton foolish enough to claim that it’s teachings over the years have been 100% correct? I’d like to see anyone try to make that case with a straight face. If they cannot, their Doctrine of Pure Doctrine is self-condemning.
There is no denying that Stanton’s doctrines have been changed, revised, modified, updated, tweaked, and otherwise upgraded to the new and improved doctrines we see today. Since truth never changes, we know that either the original doctrines were not “the truth;” the current doctrines are not; or neither are. Those are the only three options.
In other words, it was never “pure doctrine” to say that women shouldn’t wear pants with zippers on the front. That was an untrue teaching of fallible men and women. It was never pure doctrine to say that Christians couldn’t visit another congregation on Sunday, or take a family vacation, or refrain from going to bowling allies, or any of the other changing doctrines Stanton has taught.
If we are at all to believe Matthew 7:2, then the rule Stanton makes for others must be applied to itself. Any untrue doctrines being taught today, or that have been taught in the past, completely de-legitimize the church’s authority as the One True Church, and negates the validity of all its baptisms over the years.
Matthew 7:2 – For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
Of course, my real point is to illustrate that no human understanding of a doctrine can be “pure” because our understandings, no matter how enlightened by the Holy Spirit we may think them to be, are subject to human error–as Stanton’s own history attests. If truth is an all or nothing proposition–either we have all of it in 100% pure form, or it’s useless to us–then we are doomed, brothers, because last I checked, we were all human.