Last week, in TRUE DOCTRINE, Part 4, we took a look at the Biblical
definition of doctrine. We learned that it ALWAYS comes from the Father,
it is ALWAYS in keeping with Jesus' great command, to love the Lord with
all our hearts, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. And we were also
given a helpful list of doctrinal items: sobriety, reverence,
temperance, soundness in faith, love, patience, etc.
Now I believe that these teachings are part of the doctrine of most churches. But do we put enough emphasis on them? Or are we too busy trying to convince other Christians of our own interpretations of Biblical Truth?
It's food for thought! But on this Pentecost Sunday, the day we celebrate the fruit of unity in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the church of Jesus Christ, let's take a look at the Biblical warnings for NOT emphasizing true Biblical doctrine.
We get our first glimpse in the book of Jeremiah. Consider this text: "But they are altogether dull-hearted and foolish; A wooden idol is a worthless doctrine." (Jer 10:7 NKJV)
In this context, where Jeremiah is speaking out against idolatry, we
find the term, "worthless doctrine". An idol is to be considered a
Now we don't have idols in our churches anymore, do we? I have visited many Christian churches, and there is never an idol made out of wood or stone as was seen in Biblical times. But I believe it is fair to say that many churches have turned their pet denominational beliefs into idols.
No, I don't mean there is a corner monument dedicated to whatever doctrine is emphasized by that denomination. Nor do I mean that these doctrines are not Biblical and shouldn't be taught. But when we put our emphasis on teaching about our specific interpretation of some Biblical passage, even when it is actually a very correct interpretation, instead of emphasizing the Biblical list of true doctrines, are we not setting up our "doctrine" as a sort of idol? When we begin to see ourselves as superior to other Christians because of our belief in some specific doctrine, has not that doctrine become an idol? And as Jeremiah so eloquently states an idol: "is a worthless doctrine."!
Another hint comes to us from the book of Romans: "Now I urge you,
brethren, note those who cause divisions and offences, contrary
to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them." (Rom
In other words, teaching things that are contrary to true doctrine causes division and offence. Friends, I don't believe I need to spell out for you the evil workings of division and offence! We see this so vividly in our day and age! God's church is NOT unified, and as a result of our division and offense, the Gospel is NOT going forward in the way that it could!
So what else can happen when we do not adequately emphasis the Biblical list of True Doctrine?
Let's consider one more text: "that we should no longer be
children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of
doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of
deceitful plotting . . ." (Eph
Friends, when we emphasize the wrong kind of doctrine, we are caused to be "tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine . . ."! The only way to stand with our feet firmly planted in the Rock, Jesus, is given to us in the verse prior to this one: ". . . Till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ . . ." (Eph 4:13 NKJV)
In conclusion of this series, there is one more important point. Let's look at the exchange Jesus had with the Pharisees of His day: ". . . The weightier (more important) matters of the Law -Right and justice and mercy and fidelity. These you ought [particularly] to have done, without neglecting the others." (Matt 23:23 AMP).
So what is Jesus saying when He says, "Without neglecting the other"? He's saying that it isn't wrong for us to teach what we see as Biblical Truth. But more importantly, we must NOT neglect what Jesus calls "the weightier matters", the true doctrine that is summed up so nicely by Jesus Himself: "right and justice and mercy and fidelity."
Friends, unless we are the pastors of our churches, we can't change
what is preached from our pulpits. But we can let the fruit of true
doctrine work themselves into our own lives. It is only when we
emphasize true Biblical doctrine, the doctrine of love and justice and
mercy and fidelity, we will stand as one, unified in Christ,
strengthened and empowered to show the Love of Christ to a hungry and
On this Pentecost Sunday, the day we celebrate the fruit of unity in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the church of Jesus Christ, will you join me in taking this stand?
In His love,
Lyn Chaffart, Mother of two teens, Speech-Language Pathologist,
Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter,
and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and
with Answers2Prayer Ministries,
(To access the entire "True Doctrine: A Pentacost Message" mini-series, please click here.)