The balance between sound doctrine and love is imperative. Doctrine is important, and the Word will always be our final authority, keeping us on course; but love must always remain our means of travel.
There are those who say that all we have to be concerned about is full-fledged ecumenism among all churches and denominations, regardless of what they believe or do not believe. Keep in mind, however, that the apostle Paul spent half of his life defending the faith that he preached because of the apostasy that began to creep in and destroy so many churches. As you read the writings of Paul, you will see that he was a man aching with such a burden for the purity of the faith and the truth of the Word of God.
Church history clearly shows that when the Word of God is not taught and commitment to doctrinal purity is not maintained, the Church enters into a dark age. Examples of this are found throughout the centuries. Had it not been for Martin Luther, who in the sixteenth century stood up to defend the purity of doctrines, risking his very own life, the Church might have remained in utter darkness. The Reformation, which was the fruit of his life, took place because of the preaching and defending of God’s Word.
Even today, all over the world, the Church at large is once again moving toward another dark period due to the liberalism being taught and perpetuated in great numbers in many theological institutions. Not giving heed to sound doctrine will lead to syncretism and pluralism. And these have become some of the most serious, destructive forces throughout the church today.