Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Sound Doctrine – We Need to Hold To It

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.

img_0063-2A 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 writes in his second letter to Timothy. Continue reading

January 15, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Turning Our Back on God

2 Timothy 4:4

They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

Life ChangeMy how the times – they are a changing. I’m old enough to remember not locking our doors and leaving the keys in the car in the driveway. You can’t do that today. At least not in most communities. Do you live in an area where you feel safe doing this?

It seems like our society is going from bad to worse – and that shouldn’t surprise us. We live in a godless society – where even some of the religious groups aren’t sure about their view of God and moral absolutes. We are becoming a lost people.

In 2011 – the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords – an Arizona Congresswoman – as well as 14 others with 6 being killed – focused us on the darkness of our world and society. That was 8 years ago. It doesn’t seem that long. How many mass shootings have happened in those 8 years?

Comments were flying in 2011 about expecting this type behavior in other countries – but not in America. Fingers were pointed to the left and to the right – politically. Few people in the news hit the nail on the head. Behavior like this is a sign of a society that has turned their back on God. We are running as fast as we can it seems away from God. Continue reading

March 18, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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. Continue reading

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

God’s Word Not Ours!

2 Timothy 4:3-4

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.

IMG_0301This is one of the most prophetic words about today’s theological climate that I know. It hits the nail on the head concerning the theology of the day among some in the church. Around our home there is a saying when someone says something that is right on – and it goes like this – no truer words have ever been said. It seems that this passage is coming true in today’s theological landscape – no truer words have ever been said. There seem to be a number of folks that are leaving orthodox theology for what pleases their itching ears. Some denominations – some clergy – and some laity – are leaving behind truths that have been with us since the Scriptures were given by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  They are searching for a truth that pleases them – rather than – in my humble opinion – seeking what pleases God.

I’m a third generation pastor – my father and my grandfather were both Methodist pastors. My nephew is a fourth generation Methodist (now United Methodist) pastor. My son-in-law is a pastor as well. Our family has long stood on the Word of God as the inspired – infallible – inerrant truth. All human attempts to discredit or to teach something other than what is founded and grounded in the Word of God – is in error – and God will deal with them accordingly.   Revelation 22:18 – I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. Continue reading

February 12, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

21-Day Prayer/Fast – Day 4

Psalm 119:2

Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart.

01032015 RayPsalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible (a trivia question for sure).  Psalm 119 is the reading for today and you can read it here.  It is the Bible that gives us instruction and teaching about the statues of God – about the character of God.  2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God‑breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.  It is a love for the Word of God that should be in our hearts.  This love for God’s Word should shape our attitudes.  A deep desire to know more of God by knowing more of His Word.

Having a heart for God and for God’s Word is essential.  I will pray this for us during this prayer/fast – that we develop or grow our heart for God’s Word.  I pray for us to always have a heart for God and for His Word!  Search us Lord and know our hearts!  Deepen our love for You and for Your Word. Continue reading

January 8, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, Fast, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology, Vision | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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