Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Doctrine: Introduction

2 Timothy 4:3

For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

IMG_0301Paul was writing to a young pastor – Timothy – giving him some instruction and encouragement. It is an encouragement to discuss and debate what we believe with others and to hone our understanding of God and God’s Word. It is not about what we think or feel – it is about what God’s Word says – IMHO – and so our doctrines should be grounded and founded in God’s Holy Word.

Maybe not on consecutive days – but over time – I will use this space to discuss doctrine and take questions too. I know that the readership of this blog is wide-spread over the spectrum of Christianity and even outside of Christianity. Readers are both pastor and laity – female and male – from the Western Hemisphere and scattered throughout the rest of the world – protestant and catholic – Wesleyan – Calvinist and/or Arminian. We will not all agree on doctrine for sure. Some may agree on some doctrines and disagree on other doctrines. A simple definition for doctrine is a belief or set of beliefs held and taught by a church, political party, or other group.

I believe that our theology – based upon our beliefs or doctrines – needs to be logical and flow from thought to thought. We cannot – IHMO – believe one thing in one area and another thing – contrary to the other – in another area. Our theology must be based on something that is basic or never changing. For me – the base of my theology – my doctrine – is my understanding of God – Father – Son – and Holy Spirit (more on that later).

According to today’s introductory passage – we cannot allow the society or culture or even the politically correct beliefs of the church to impact our doctrine. Paul warns his readers of this in today’s passage – found here in partial context. 2 Timothy 4:1–5 – 1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

God knew that cultural trends would try to impact His church – would try to influence sound doctrine. God gave Paul such a warning – not just for Timothy – but – for all of us. Our doctrines need to be sound so that when we apply them to social circumstances – we have a ground or base to operate from instead of allow emotion and feeling to sway us.

Some basic doctrines I will try to deal with in this space in the future can be found on the following websites and other sources.

I hope that we can read and discuss in love and understanding. I will try to move beyond doctrines when appropriate and discuss how our doctrines can be applied to social and religious issues of our day. I welcome loving responses and questions!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

March 19, 2015 - Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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