Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Sound Doctrine and Truth

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.

In this day and age – sound doctrine and truth are under attack – always has been – always will be. The Bible is under attack – and the attacks are not all coming from outside the church. There are whole denominations – pastors – and laity – calling themselves followers of Christ – who are putting aside sound doctrine and truth. There are those who want to redefine sin – creation – and human design. Some want to re-write the Bible or delete parts that don’t sit well with them.

This is not a battle between conservatives and liberals. It is not orthodox folks verses progressive folks. It is Biblical doctrines and truths verses heresy IMHO. God’s Word is not something we can pick and choose – something we can decide to like or dislike with our feeble minds. The Bible is the Word of God – no other definition is needed. The Bible is the sacred text inspired by God and guarded by the Holy Spirit.

While some think they can redefine whatever they wish to suit their desires – their itching ears – God’s Word covers it all and will stand the test of time. While some wish to redefine sin – even redefine our human DNA – to their liking – we must remain faithful to the doctrine and truth that God has given us in His Holy Word. We cannot decide what we want – we must follow God’s Word.

While some are trying hard to remove God from our society and from our lives all-together – others are trying to yield our lives and even our county to God. 2 Chronicles 7:14 – if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. This is not a political battle! This is a battle for the very soul of our country. It is a battle for our souls as well!

Although I don’t always see eye with Paul Harvey – here is a video of a radio broadcast from 1965 that hits home today as our society becomes less and less faithful to God and God’s doctrine and truth.

I must confess that I have debated with myself and others about leaving the United Methodist Church for most of my ministry (40 plus years) – yet I have never debated leaving Jesus – even though I have sinned and fallen short many times. I also realize that all denominations have their issues these days with God’s Word – sound doctrine and truth. The United Methodist Church has mostly held to sound doctrine and truth – even as factions in the church have tried to sway the whole to ignore God’s Word. I have found men and women who wish to hold – even cling – to God’s Word in the pews of the United Methodist Church.

God warned us through Paul’s writings nearly 2,000 year ago that there would be those who didn’t hold to God’s Word – sound doctrine and truth. Here’s today’s passage in partial context. He was writing to a young pastor – Timothy at the time. 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: 2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 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. 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.

Some will call me old fashion. Some will call me stuck in the past. Some will call me names I can’t type. I will not bend to society – I will not cower to those who wish to change God’s Word to fit their itching ears. I will – until my dying day and I stand in the presence of God Almighty – cling to God’s Word – sound doctrine and truth – and God has revealed it in His Holy Bible and by the Holy Spirit to me – His humble servant.

This was a true statement for God’s people in the Old Testament – as God was calling His people to purity of faith. It is good for us today to decide – who will we really follow – God or the desires and gods of our own making? Joshua 24:14–15 – 14 “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

August 21, 2017 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Excellent word Ray. I agree wholeheartedly. It’s a tough standard to hold to in the UMC when even colleagues you have respected and even admire have drifted.
    Blessings to you brother.


    Comment by Dennis Whitmore | August 21, 2017 | Reply

  2. Accused of being stuck in the past and worse; holding fast to the scripture and from whence it came…seems like you’d make a great Catholic. But seriously folks: be like Pastor Ray, and you won’t be far from the Kingdom.


    Comment by Michael Woodruff | August 21, 2017 | Reply

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