Saturday, May 22, 2010

Do We Need Sound Doctrine?

My previous post has generated quite a discussion in the comments section. It seems too big, and too important, an issue to leave there. So I am posting this one. My conviction is that we DO need sound doctrine, and will find it in the written word of God, as revealed by the Holy Spirit. Otherwise, we might end up following people like the one above, or like this one

or any one of a plethora of false prophets/teachers that abound today. Not to mention the multitude of scriptures that tell us how necessary the written word is. Yes, Jesus Christ is the Word in the flesh, but He speaks to us through the Bible. If I don't know what He is saying there, I will believe anything my itchy ears want to hear. The proof of that is out there; it is happening just as He said it would:

"But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgement from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep." (2Peter 2:1-2)

Contrary to post-modern belief, there IS such a thing as truth. And yes, it is black and white. Jesus prayed a beautiful prayer on our behalf in John 17. This is part of it:

"But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves. I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth." vs. 13-17


Anonymous said...

Is it enough to "believe in Jesus" in some amorphous sense that divorces "faith" from any particular doctrine about Him, or is doctrine...and the content of our faith...really important after all?
Scripture plainly teaches that we must be sound in the faith...which is to say that doctrine does matter (1 Tim. 4:6; 2 Tim. 4:2-3; Tit. 1:9; 2:1). It matters a lot.

"If anyone advocates a different doctrine, and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing" (1 Tim. 6:3-4).

Sound, biblical doctrine is a necessary aspect of true wisdom and authentic faith. The attitude that scorns doctrine while elevating feelings or blind trust cannot legitimately be called faith at all, even if it masquerades as Christianity. It is actually an irrational form of unbelief.

God holds us accountable for what we believe as well as how we think about the truth He has revealed. All Scripture testifies to the fact that God wants us to know and understand the truth. He wants us to be wise. His will is that we use our minds. We are supposed to think, meditate, and above all, to be discerning.

The content of our faith is crucial. Sincerity is not sufficient.

Consider, for example, these well-known verses. Note the repeated use of words like truth, knowledge, discernment, wisdom, and understanding:

"Thou dost desire truth in the innermost being, and in the hidden part Thou wilt make me know wisdom" (Psa. 51:6).

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments" (Psa. 111:10).

"Teach me good discernment and knowledge, For I believe in Thy commandments" (Psa. 119:66).

Make your ear attentive to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding; for if you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding; if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will discern the fear of the Lord, and discover the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding" (Prov. 2:2-6).

"The beginning of wisdom is: acquire wisdom; and with all your acquiring, get understanding" (Prov. 4:7).

"We have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding" (Col. 1:9).

"In [Christ] are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Col. 2:3).

"All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness" (2 Tim. 3:16).
God's Word makes it abundantly clear that He wants us to use our minds. And one of the most vital duties facing every Christian....especially in an era (such as ours) when the church is overrun with contradictory ideas and spiritual the duty of discernment.

Maureen said...

"Sound, biblical doctrine is a necessary aspect of true wisdom and authentic faith."

Amen! What is doctrine, except truth as revealed in scripture? My doctrine defines my faith, in that it defines Who I put my faith in. My faith is not in doctrine, but in the Person and Work of Christ, as revealed in scripture.

Anonymous said...

I must confess Maureen....I'm starting to get into that Benny Hinn video:-)