Before we begin to teach the tenets we hold here at the Conservative Bible Association, we thought it necessary to explain what a tenet is. Many times, people confuse tenets or doctrine with interpretation. While similar, the two are different when it comes to the study of God’s Word. Look at the definitions below:
Interpretation is the act of explaining the meaning of something.
A Doctrine is a belief or set of beliefs held and taught by a Church, political party, or another group.
Tenet- a principle, belief, or doctrine generally held to be accurate, primarily held in common by members of an organization, movement, or profession.
One can easily see that doctrine and tenet are saying the same thing, while interpretation is different. Interpretation is the act of reading or hearing something and explaining the meaning. An example would be hearing words spoken in one language and then telling the definition of what was spoken in another language.
The easiest way to describe the difference between tenet and doctrine is tenet is used when describing one belief. Doctrine is used when describing a group or a whole set of beliefs.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF CHRISTIAN TENETS OR DOCTRINE?
The word “communicate” actually means “to have in common.” When we communicate with a friend, the two of us have something in common. Language is the usual means of communication. Though much of human interaction is nonverbal, language difficulty is the most significant cause of communication failures.
God communicated to man in many ways, but the greatest was Jesus Christ. Christianity is a relationship between God and man, based on the life, death, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. Now, every person who is saved has a living relationship with God. Those Christians who allow their relationship with God to affect their whole personality prosper.
Christians are expected to reach out in relationships with other people, particularly those who are not saved and other Christians in fellowship.
When a person decides to tell others of their belief in Jesus, he will base it on his experience in life or study of God’s Word. As more and more people are reached and begin to meet together, they will usually form a set of tenets to let those outside their fellowship know what they believe or what doctrine (all the tenets) to which they adhere. Therefore, we have different denominations. Many denominations have formed their tenets or beliefs on other sources or teachings not found in God’s Word. In contrast, others read the Bible and interpret its meaning differently. That is why we at the CBA felt it necessary to write and publish what we believe so that others who join us will have sound biblical doctrine based on our tenets.
The Bible is the Record of God’s Communication
The record of God’s communication with man is the Bible. But it is more than a history of how God has reached out to man; it is the basis of man’s communication with God. Since the Bible is the communication of the gospel to people at their point of need, it must be the sole source from which we derive our tenets.
God reveals himself to us rationally and logically; this is not to say that He is not omniscient. But, since the Bible teaches that man is made in the image and likeness of God, we may conclude that human beings are rational and logical. Also, we are limited in our understanding, needing a form of communication between God and us that could be communicated logically and rationally.
When God speaks to man (inspiration or revelation), it will usually follow rational and logical means. We can conclude that God is not illogical, nor does he do foolish things.
When a man seeks God, he cannot forsake his God-given intellect, nor can he find God by seeking the Lord in foolish ways. The channel of communication between God and man runs in both directions, and Christianity must always be rational. That does not mean one man or we will have a total understanding of the entire Bible, nor does it mean God will reveal everything to us. But it does mean that God will never ask us to violate our minds or His ways to be Christians.
When the gospel is presented to us, it must be communicated to us, so we understand it. (That does not mean that God changed the meaning of the content, only that He changed the method of expressing it to give us a better understanding.) Since we are rational and logical beings, the gospel must be sensibly communicated to us. This means that the gospel must be systematic (orderly) in content and presentation. From this, we get the term “systematic theology,” or doctrine.
Several steps are taken in making doctrine systematic (orderly) and logical.
First, we must look at all the facts on every topic of doctrine.
We begin by looking at biblical content, but we also include the truth that we find in creation. As an illustration, when we are studying the nature of God, we must consider all the facts of God that are taught in the Bible about the nature of God. We will observe the information concerning Him, that we learn from His character, as these things will bring to light His marvelous hand in creation.
Second, we must classify the facts into a consistent whole.
This means that the verses which deal with the holiness and grace of God must be compared with those that teach the justice of God. Then we write the results of our study and findings into statements (tenets) that give a total picture of the person of God.
Finally, we must analyze all our tenets, making sure they are consistent so that we do not contradict ourselves or what the entirety of the Bible teaches.
We also analyze them to make sure our beliefs correspond to the reality of what God was trying to communicate to His creation. We will develop a set of tenets, which will lead us to sound doctrine. Now we must clearly and clearly express it so that others will understand the total revelation of God on each subject.
Therefore, we urge everyone to read and study all the tenets we have listed that form our doctrine. After such a study, they will, in turn, be able to communicate them to others, teach them with full confidence and understanding and finally lead them to a deeper, more meaningful relationship with Christ.