A few posts back, I wrote about ordinances and how they harm the church, the new man. I think it is fitting for me to now talk about doctrine, which always goes hand and hand with ordinances.

Ordinances originate (usually) from doctrines. Doctrines are a set of beliefs and interpretations of the Bible. In the eyes of most Christians, doctrines are wonderful and ought to be studied, formulated, and preached from the pulpit. In fact, most serious Christians believe that growth and maturity in the christian life is a matter of learning the Bible and its doctrines fully.

The unfortunate result of this mindset is division of the Body and numbing of the function of the one new man through the many members.

The Purpose of the Bible

As newborn babes, long for the guileless milk of the word in order that by it you may grow unto salvation.

1 Peter 2:2

The Bible is suppose to be food to the believers. The words on the page were never intended to function as a textbook that we study and extrapolate doctrine. The words were intended to function as a means of extracting the Spirit from the pages:

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words which I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.

John 6:63

The means by which we extract the Spirit from the Word is by prayer:

Receive the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which Spirit is the word of God, by means of all prayer and petition, praying at every time in spirit and watching unto this in all perseverance and petition concerning all the saints

Ephesians 6:17-18

The Word was meant to lead us to Christ (Jn. 5:39-40), who is the bread of life (6:35). Paul came ministering not doctrines or teachings, but food and milk to the believers (1 Cor. 3; Heb. 5). Oh how far we have gone astray!

Satan’s Tactics

That we may be no longer little children tossed by waves and carried about by every wind of teaching in the sleight of men, in craftiness with a view to a system of error

Ephesians 4:14

The winds of teaching are what prevent the oneness of the believers and the growth of the new man (v. 13). Satan rarely attacks the church openly in an obvious way. Rather, he uses the Bible itself to distract, occupy, and ultimately divide the members of the Body.

Anything the distracts from the central line of the Bible, Christ and the Church, is a wind of teaching that comes from the enemy. As much as it kills me to say it, we must be incredibly liberal. Liberal when it comes to varying beliefs and doctrines.

Paul’s Liberality

Abstain from things that have been sacrificed to idols

Acts 15:29a

Therefore concerning the eating of things sacrificed to idols, we know that an idol is nothing

1 Corinthians 8:4a

How do you reconcile these passages? I enjoy contradictions and paradoxes in the Bible. They are not something to trouble the believer, but should intrigue and excite the seeking spirit within. Paul was liberal with regard to doctrine! To one he could forbid the fellowship with things sacrificed to idols. To another he could encourage the free participation in all things.

To the Corinthians, Paul could encourage the abstaining from marriage for the needs of the Church (1 Cor. 7). To Timothy, he could encourage marriage and rebuke those who forbid it (1 Tim. 3:2; 4:3). Another seeming inconsistency! Paul was liberal in regard to doctrines.

Ground to Exclude

I wrote to you in my letter not to mingle with fornicators, but not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous and rapacious, or idolaters, since then you would have to go out of the world.

1 Corinthians 5:9-10

A man that is factious, after the first and second admonition, reject.

Titus 3:10

For many deceiver are entered into the world who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

2 John 7

We have ground to exclude on very few bases biblically. There are really only four things we cannot tolerate in the Body of Christ: idolatry, fornication, division, and the denial of the deity and incarnation of Christ. Everything else we must be liberal concerning.

If some want to practice foot-washings, we shouldn’t say that it isn’t biblical or divide concerning it. In fact, there is ground to believe believers should wash each others’ feet (Jn. 13). If some sisters in the Lord are lead to wear head-coverings during church meetings, we mustn’t resist such or insist. There is ground biblically for head coverings (1 Cor. 11).

In Sum

Doctrines are often used by the enemy to distract, occupy, and divide believers. We must take the Word of God as food and Spirit, not as dead letter (2 Cor. 3:6). We have no ground to insist or resist fellowship with others on the basis of our doctrinal preferences.

Recently I was reading 1 Peter 2 and came across verse 24: “Who Himself bore up our sins in His body on the tree, in order that we, having died to sins, might live to righteousness; by who bruise you were healed.” Just a couple years ago, I would have read this verse in a very dead letter, doctrinal study viewpoint. I would have begun to dissect the verse and figure out what exactly it means for the sins to be borne by Christ IN HIS BODY. I would have been contributing to the formulation of doctrines on the penal substitutionary atonement of Christ .

I almost fell into this old habit as I read this verse, but then the Lord lead me to turn to my spirit and begin praying over and enjoying the rich and wonderful Spirit in this verse. The Lord bore our sins in HIs body on the cross! He did this that we might live to righteousness! This righteousness is possible because not only were our sins borne, but we were actually healed! Praise the Lord for His wonderful death! May we all be saved from the winds of teaching and doctrine of the enemy to the living Person of Christ in the Word of God.


3 thoughts on “Doctrine

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  1. I must challenge you here, my friend! Is not this a belief a doctrine? “The unfortunate result of this mindset is division of the Body and numbing of the function of the one new man through the many members.” I think there is some issues with your thinking here. Having the notion that doctrines cause division of the body seems to be a doctrine in and in itself. Therefore, we should be “incredible liberal” towards this “doctrine” as well. I have followed your blog here for a few months now, and it seems like this is a doctrine that is not held in a liberal manner. Very interested in your response, and hope this helps spur deep thought!

    In Christ


    1. Hey Josh! I appreciate the comment and the thoughts you’ve given. Maybe it’d help if I put it this way: doctrines have the tendency to produce division rather than the building up of the Body of Christ. That’s why I said “Doctrines are often used by the enemy to distract, occupy, and divide believers. We must take the Word of God as food and Spirit, not as dead letter (2 Cor. 3:6). We have no ground to insist or resist fellowship with others on the basis of our doctrinal preferences.”
      I by no means want to say doctrine is evil and should be avoided. The Bible is a book full of wonderful doctrines such as the redemption, justification, sanctification, confirmation, transformation, and glorification. I study them diligently and love to have fellowship regarding them. What I’ve noticed in my experience with other believers and what I have definitely been guilty of in the past is dividing over issues of doctrine and allowing them to distract me from God’s central purpose and desire as revealed in the Scriptures, which is the building up of the Church, the Body of Christ. Doctrines are clearly used by the enemy to frustrate God’s building of His Church as revealed in Ephesians 4:13-16, particularly verse 14. What I’ve written in my blog is simply a warning to believers as well as to myself to not use God’s Word primarily to study as dead letter that results in division. The Word is suppose to be food to believers and what we use to have fellowship and prayer with one another. If you disagree with me in regards to the 5 T’s of Calvinism or the cessation/continuation of the spiritual gifts, I don’t want that to be something that results in division, particularly in “where you go to church.” The Church should not be divided on doctrines. It should be liberal in accepting all genuine believers in Christ. If you take my post as a doctrine that you disagree with, I think you missed the point. Disagree all you want with any point in any of my blog posts, but if you are not able to have fellowship with me because of them, I think you need to consider before the Lord whether this is how He wants His people to be with one another. I feel that the Lord has been revealing so many things to me over the past 2 years of college that I can’t help but speak about and write about to my friends, family, and fellow brothers in Christ back home. I’d prefer to get together with you to pray and have fellowship concerning Christ and His Church that we could be His co-laborers and those actively contributing to the fulfillment of His eternal purpose! I don’t want to argue with you about anything you may disagree with. Let me know if you have any more thoughts. I really do appreciate the comment. Much grace.


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