Monday, January 5, 2009
I apologize for the lack of posts lately. I've been very busy finishing up exams for law school, traveling from coast to coast, and recovering from a minor surgery that I had last week. To keep the blog going and to introduce people who may not have read some of the past posts to those actual posts, I'm going to print some of the archives here for a bit. There are some exciting things happening that I'll keep you updated on accordingly. One is that I've been invited to cohost Apologetics.com with Lindsay Brooks, and our guest is going to be Dr. James White. The topic is going to be his upcoming debate with Bart Ehrman. Think of it as a "pre-game show" of sort. Also, the Crosstalk interview has been rescheduled, but it's still pending as to when that will be. On a final note, we've produced a new Youtube group for Reformed Brothers and Sisters on Youtube. You can access it by clicking here. When you get there, request to be added, and I'll let you through (given that you are, in fact, Reformed). Right now there are 28 members, and the discussion board stays pretty active.
Thanks everyone for your patience and support (who gives it). Here is a post from over a year ago about doctrine. I pray you find it edifying.
It's the "cry of anguish" from the culture. They insist that we shouldn't preach doctrine, just love, but is this possible?
The Greek word for doctrine is didachē (did-akh-ay'), and it means "teaching; that which is taught" so basically when someone says, "Doctrine divides! We shouldn't preach doctrine, just love!", they are preaching doctrine. They are providing a teaching that says, "We shouldn't preach doctrine, just love!" Believers, however, bring the false doctrine to light because those who teach false doctrine are not presenting doctrine (or teaching) in accordance to Scripture which is why there is so much hostility from them. Think about that for a second...
The emergents have doctrine. Their's is, "We can't really know what the Bible teaches about homosexuality." That is doctrine. That is teaching. Is it true, though? Is their doctrine true? Let's look to Scripture:
If a man also lies with a man, as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
According to Scripture, their teaching (or doctrine) is in complete contradiction to what God says. Why do they get so angry at those who decry their cry for "peace"? Well, it's because the sound teaching or doctrine contradicts their false teaching or doctrine. Keep that in mind. Christ, Himself said that he didn't come to bring peace but a Sword. That's sound doctrine. The debate isn't really there because one camp is teaching doctrine and the other isn't. The debate arises because one camp is professing false doctrine and the other camp is professing true doctrine. Understand that, and your courage will grow. There is no neutrality. Our Lord made it very clear that you're either with him or against him. He who doesn't gather scatters.
When you go to one of Osteen's services or watch him on television, he is teaching, is he not? His teaching or doctrine mainly consists of self-esteem and "personal fulfillment", though; not the teaching or doctrine of Scripture.
The non-seeker sensitivites hold to doctrine. That may come as a shock to some of you, namely non-seeker sensitives, but they do. They teach things like, "God is all about the numbers." and "We need peace at all costs, truth only if possible." That's doctrine or teaching whether they will teach you that it is or not.
Satanists have doctrine. The father of Satanism, Aleister Crowley, tought doctrine. He said things like, "Do what you will shall be the whole of the law." It is doctrine, but it is Satanic, demonic, and false doctrine.
Britney Spears has doctrine. She's said, "When you're comfortable with someone you love, the silence is the best. And, that's how me and J are." She held to this doctrine, but apparently there should have been more communication between her and J. It wasn't wise doctrine.
The point is, doctrine is everywhere, regardless if you label it so. It is true that the Bible is full of doctrine, but the difference between the doctrine of Scriptures and the doctrine of the world is the same as the difference between darkness and light. When one comes to Scripture, eats of Christ and drinks His blood, they are receiving sound doctrine or teaching. When Christ says, "Sell all you have and give the money to the poor," He is professing doctrine the same as 50 Cent is professing doctrine when he says, "Get rich or die trying." One difference between the two, though, is that 50 Cent will stand to be eternally judged before Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ will never stand to be eternally judged before 50 Cent. Jesus Christ's doctrine is true because he is truth, the eternal Son of God. Christ is come in the flesh.
Paul the Apostle gave many warnings, but this I seem to think wraps the entire issue up in a nutshell:
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them who cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine (didache or teaching) which you have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the innocent. For your obedience is well known unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and innocent concerning evil.
Note what he says. He does not say, "The doctrine is dividing the true believers between the true believers." Rather, he says that there are those who cause divisions within the believers by presenting doctrine that is against the sound doctrine that has been brought forth. This is key, and it is vital to understanding. Our cry shouldn't be, "Doctrine, doctrine, doctrine!" It should be "Sound doctrine, sound doctrine, sound doctrine!" because doctrine is everywhere.
You see, those who always make the claim, "Doctrine divides!" as always, never tell you the complete truth because if they did, their evil deeds would be brought to light. The truth is stated in it's entirety here:
"True doctrine divides... the believers from the unbelievers!"
That is the true teaching of Scripture. So when people who are opposed to what the Bible teaches chides those who hold to Scripture as their final authority, "All you do is preach doctrine," what they are really saying is, "All you do is preach sound doctrine." I know what several of you who read this will think: "Oh these people who are always talking about the Bible are so arrogant to think they've got it all figured out...", but what's really arrogant? Is it obeying God and his Word or thinking that your subjective opinion overrides God's commandments and laws and should be considered in a "conversation" over God's Word? It's definitely the latter. Light and darkness can never have agreement. What agreement can a believer have with an infidel? (2Cor 6:14-15)