Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Sound Doctrine Doesn’t Change with the Culture

Hebrews 13:9

Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings (doctrines).   It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by ceremonial foods, which are of no value to those who eat them.

Life ChangeA number of people have debated Biblical truth over the years. Sound doctrine – even settled doctrine for 2000 plus years – is being debated by some well-intentioned individuals. People are trying to equate God’s love with some sense of an overwhelming acceptance of sin or even describing sinful acts as acceptable to God. The signs of the end are all around us dear readers. I read in today’s passage that sound doctrine is put up against ceremonial foods, which are of no value to those who eat them. We must feast on sound doctrine – rather than on what sounds good with today’s culture.

The example I want to use to help us get the point today is the obesity of our society. Far too often our children – and adults – are fed foods that are empty of value but full of calories. Junk foods –satisfy the mind and stomach – but do not add proper nutrition. These foods are filled with sugar – calories – and chemicals – that are not good for the body. The term junk food refers to items that may taste good – but have little – if any nutritional value. They are high in calories and often loaded with fat. Soft drinks – chips – cookies – candy bars – and much of the food from fast-food stops fit this category.

Our society has a hard time with our weight – because we fill ourselves with way too much feel good junk food. I believe we have the same problem with our theology. Way too often we turn our itching ears to false truths because they sound good. We’re warned about this position by God as Paul write in his second letter to Timothy.

2 Timothy 4:3-4 – For the time will come when men (and women) 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. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

It is very important that we search all that we are taught – from our pulpits – from the music we listen to – from the books we read – from the podcasts we hear – and measure them against the Bible – where we can find sound doctrine. As a pastor – one of the things God has commanded of me – as a shepherd of His flock – is to make sure I guard the flock. I pledge to you to do all I can to make sure you receive sound doctrine at our church. Help me – hold me accountable – as God does!

Acts 20:28-31 – Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.  Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.

There are folks in our pews – in our pulpits – leading conferences and denominations – who are deeply misguided in their understanding of God and God’s Word. I am not suggesting that I understand God completely or His Word. I’m suggested that we should not believe what we hear from the pulpit or read on social media or a blog post – simply because of the one who said it or wrote it. Each of us has been told to examine what we hear and read with God’s Word. Don’t be fooled – and don’t think because your pastor or others you respect say or write something – that it is truth. One of my favorite sayings is this – don’t believe a word I say because I say it (or write it). Examine what I say (or write) with God’s Word. If it is in agreement with God’s Word – you can trust it – not because I said it (or wrote it) but because God’s Word confirms it!

God’s Word or truth doesn’t change with the culture! The Word of God is to change the culture! We are not called to reconcile God to us – but rather we are to be reconciled – even transformed – after the likeness of God. A question we often ask in Bible study – as we discern together – is the timelessness of the truths of God – even as we understand the cultural context of God’s Word. I pray we are doing our homework. I understand from reading God’s Word – that sound doctrine doesn’t change with the shifting winds of the culture. Sound doctrine is timeless and absolute.

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

March 11, 2019 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. accurate thoughts;
    the incremental approach can change our understanding of God’s expectations 180 degrees from reality to suit our weaknesses and preferences, but the actual expectations will not change


    Comment by Richard Reynnells | March 11, 2019 | Reply

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