For the Love of Doctrine or Lack Thereof

One of the main problems in many churches is that they are at an extremely low point in terms of their knowledge of doctrine and teaching of the Word of God. I have heard it said time and time again, (even from pastors) that doctrine is a tool of Satan. The sad fact is that ignorance is the real tool of Satan, and men who say such things should not be pastors, because the minute they say, “Jesus died for your sins” they are teaching doctrine. There is true doctrine and there is false doctrine. True doctrine sets people free and false doctrine is Satan’s tool to make captives. Hence, we are to “gird our loins with truth”

We live in a time where we have the writings of some of the greatest men and women of God available at our fingertips, and the Word of God is available in almost every language and yet we still do not dive deep into it’s teachings because we are concerned it might cause division (something Christ told us to expect). We’ve started to turn churches into businesses where we must keep our customers happy, we trade evangelism for marketing plans, and in an effort draw people in, we replace objective truth with eastern mysticism. We try to give people an emotional experience, without telling them the truth about who God is and what we are. This is clearly seen in much of the new music in the church. Many of new songs focus on how we feel. Note to songwriters, if you want to write a song that is going to last longer than a few months before it becomes passé, you are going to need to start writing songs that speak of the eternal truths of God, like “A mighty Fortress is our God” or “Come Ye Sinners Poor and Needy.” Don’t get me wrong not all new music is like this, and style is not the issue; it’s content. And emotional worship is not the problem either, but when we write songs and sermons merely to try to get emotional for emotions sake we’ve missed the point. Not to mention the fact that because many churches are not equipped to teach deep doctrine, or simply do not do so in hopes of not causing division, they leave many in their flocks vulnerable to the enticements of many of the same vain philosophies that have trapped church members since it’s beginning, for there is really “nothing new under the sun”.

In doctrines absence, we fill our sermons with pop psychology that leads to sermon titles like, “Five ways to safety proof your marriage”, “Finding the Champion in You”, or “How to Guard Yourself From Hurt”. It’s not what these sermons say, that is wrong, it’s what they leave out, such as a deep understanding of the sinfulness of man, the atonement, the incarnation, vicarious sacrifice, and the exclusivity of Christ.

If this trend is not reversed we should expect to see a steady decline in the state of many American churches and American culture as a whole.  The church’s light will be dim, and the city on the hill will begin slide down into the valley.  There is no greater chastisement from God than when through His providence he brings a famine of his word to any nation. May we who are His children desire to know, live, and speak more of the truth.

Doug

4 thoughts on “For the Love of Doctrine or Lack Thereof

  1. So you said it, “the minute they say, “Jesus died for your sins” they are teaching doctrine.” Everyone has beliefs therefore everyone has doctorine. It becomes a question of what kind of doctorine people hold, if people hold the belief that teaching the truth is too divisive then obviously the church has to stand against those people.

    But I think these things was said 30 or 40 years ago. And I think your statement, “If this trend is not reversed we should expect to see a steady decline in the state of many American churches and American culture as a whole” is not the right current assessment. I think we’re past that point. There was a christian theologian who thought it was our duty not to fight the battles of past decades, but to understand and fight the battles that christianity and christians face in their own generation. In my opinion our fight is not against the decline of doctrine, it has already declined, but it is an offensive fight.

    If someone has true doctorine within him or herself they must always defend it. But I think (and I’m probably wrong) that our biggest problem as far as the church as a whole is that doctorine needs to be built rather than preserved. That is there is not much there to preserve and people don’t know the importance of true doctorine(including me)to begin with. And there doesn’t seem to be an offensive fight going on, as far as big picture is concerned.

    My eyes are tainted but I think your post missed the point. I mean to say I think your post is irrelevant.

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  2. K-loe,

    I agree with a lot of what you have to say, but I’m not too sure how pointing to a problem existing in many churches and calling for the solution is irrelevant. Remember Jeremiah and other prophets of the OT (and no I am not claiming to be a prophet) did not cease to preach to the nations simply because the problems had been around for many years.

    Though the problem may be obvious to you there are many who are unaware, and I pray the Lord will use this to begin to open their eyes, and challenge those who do see the problem to be more bold is speaking the truth. There is a lot at stake, and things could get worse if we do not stand.

    God Bless,

    Doug

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  3. “If this trend is not reversed we should expect to see a steady decline in the state of many American churches and American culture as a whole. The church’s light will be dim, and the city on the hill will begin slide down into the valley.”

    Where are we now? Where is America’s church? Is it on a hill shining brightly? What level is the lamp on? High? High-Medium? Medium? Medium-Low? Have we not slid into that valley already? Would a prophet preach Babylon is going to conquer Jerusalem, beware! After Babylon had already conquered Jerusalem. This message that we should fall in love with doctrine or we might go from shining on a hill to sliding down and becoming dim,in my opinion is a little late. I don’t disagree that doctrine is important, it is vital to the health of the church.

    It’s good to warn people about the dangers of not taking obedience to God’s word and faithfulness to his eternal laws seriously. But it seems to be tangled in with this false evaluation of the church in America. We look a lot like society because we haven’t taken His word seriously. I believe if we don’t admit that then we are concealing a wound that is already busted and bleeding. We are dim, but with his grace we can become strong and passionate. Thanks, sorry if I come across too harsh.

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  4. Hey K-loe,

    Thanks for your comments. I think your questions are quite good and possibly show that my post is not communicating exactly what I hope it would. I too believe that in general American Christianity is not exactly the that shining city on a hill, and has already slipped quite a bit. But though it is dim I do believe it is still shining where ever the truth is proclaimed and I see it being proclaim from many places. I do not yet see it in complete captivity, but that may be due to my constant contact with conservative Christians preaching the truth.

    If you will notice in the quote you used of mine, I stated that “If this trend continues” I am aware that this trend has been around for quite some time and has already done much damage.

    Though I really don’t know much about what you believe, I have a feeling that we might agree on a lot of things, but my thoughts were probably not as clear as I had hoped.

    God Bless,

    Doug

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