Lenten_ashes asked me this in another thread (that was for some reason closed so I can’t answer him)
Does Doctrine Matter? The answer is yes doctrine matters. However, it is not doctrine that saves us. It is Christ who saves us, not our doctrinal position on any given topic.
Doctrine is, at its core, intellectual understanding of spiritual matters. As humans, our intellectual understanding varies from person to person and is formed by a myriad of variables. In all these variables somehow the majority of Christianity has came to the same conclusions on a large amount of doctrinal understandings. Through the centuries the more detailed the questions asked the more difference the intellectual understandings and more different “camps” sprang up it Christianity.
But more important than intellectual understanding of spiritual matters is the reality of spiritual change/adoption in a person’s heart/life. God dwelling in someone via the Holy Spirit connects that person to Christ Spiritually. The Holy Spirit is how we are united with Christ and how we abide in Christ and He is us. When we are in Christ and He in us by the Holy Spirit then we are part of the universal church.
The Holy Spirit living and working in a person’s heart and life trumps all intellectual and religious understanding. When someone is made alive in Christ by the Holy Spirit that is God putting His stamp on that person and saying “He is mine and I am his”.
So a person can have all the facts straight and intellectually understand doctrine better than any person alive. But if they are not Spirituality united with Christ then they are just wasting their time. On the other hand someone can be spiritually united with Christ and intellectually not understand or have a wrong understanding about doctrinal matters and still be a “great, God fearing Christian” who is in Love with Jesus and has a spiritual burden to help his fellow man come to the same kind of relationship with Christ.