Many people confuse church doctrine for Bible principle this is not necessarily so. Church doctrine is just like the rules in a neighborhood that has a Homeowners Association (HOA).it varies from place to place. The reason I prefer a non-denominational church and living in a non-HOA community are one and the same: God has enough principles for me to live as He wants me to and the government has enough laws for me to live so as not to offend my neighbors. Many of the people I am friends with prefer their denomination and though not as many I have a few friends who prefer to live in a HOA community.
How much of an individual can you be? If you live in a community that has a Home Owners Association there may be guidelines for lawn maintenance, house painting, parking and such. Whereas, if you leave in an non-HOA community you cut your grass when you feel like, paint your home the color of your choice, and park according to the laws of the county. Homeowners Associations discourage individuality and promote conformity.
It is easier to determine which are HOA rules and which are federal, state, and municipal laws than it is to determine which are church doctrines and which are Bible principles if you have not studied your Bible. For example: Which day of the week should you attend services? Adventist and Jewish individuals honor the Sabbath on Saturday. The Bible declares:
“So don’t let anyone stand in judgment over you and dictate what you should eat or drink, what festivals you should celebrate, or how you should observe a new moon or Sabbath days- all these are only a shadow of what shall come. The reality, the core, the import, is found in the Anointed One.” Colossians 2:16-17 THE VOICE
Like moving into a community with a HOA people join a church without fully appreciating the ramifications of the rules. I had a friend that painted her house the color she thought was required except it was slightly different, barely noticeable to the naked eye. This friend was cited because she had not purchased her paint from the designated store who had a contract to sell a particular color of paint to those homeowners. Another friend joined a church and was shocked to discover another member was told she could no longer be considered part of the church because even though she gave it was not ten percent of her income. The woman with who lived in the HOA did not have to repaint her home because she had an advocate point out their were homes that were not painted and other homes who had not maintained their property according to the guidelines. The other friend left the church.
“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as In my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:12-13
Church doctrine are guidelines the particular group of believers will follow just like the Homeowners Association has guidelines for the homeowners to follow. Most people will read the rules of the HOA before purchasing a home they would never move into a community that has rules that go against local, county, state or federal laws. Very few people will read the church doctrine, their statement of faith, and compare it to what is written in Scripture.
Philippians 2:12-13 tells us that salvation is an individual responsibility. Read the Book!