False doctrine?

How does Scripture tell us to deal with “false doctrine?”  On the surface this seems to be an easy question.  When we make application it isn’t so easy any longer.  We have as our motto, “We will speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent.”  One of preaching brethren nailed it when he stated, “The truth is we will speak where the Bible speaks and where it is silent we have much more to say.”  Dealing with false doctrine is one of those times.

In the beginning of this article we must nail down some definitions.  Doctrine is easy enough.  Doctrine is teaching, so far so good.  False doctrine should be just as easy.  This would be teaching that is false. Wouldn’t it be grand if it were only that easy.  Unfortunately false doctrine usually means any doctrine that disagrees with our pre-determined understanding of Scripture.  Our personal interpretation of Scripture becomes the standard by which we judge another’s doctrinal views.  If his views don’t match our personal enterpretation of Scripture then his views are false doctrine.  What a mess we make when we go beyond what is written!

It has often been taught that if we will honestly read the Bible we will all come to the same understanding.  What we know as the “Restoration Movement” began as a unity movement about two hundred years ago.  The intent was to be united by teaching only the Word of God.  Since that time this unity movement has divided over the instrument, the missionary society, located preachers, Sunday school classes, how the money from the treasury can be spent, one cup or multiple cups, and a laundry list of other issues.  Division became so rampant within this unity movement that we made up rules  to prove our doctrines and bring unity. In some instances we are now dividing over the hermeneutical rules that we made up to keep us from dividing.  When will it ever end?

Did God foresee the problem we are now experiencing?  We must know that He did.  This is why He provided a way for us to deal with this problem.  With a few notable exceptions he set down a rule of how brethren are to deal with differences.  In Romans 14:1 Scripture says, “Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters.”  This is the rule God established for believers to deal with their differences. 

There are a limited number of exceptions to the above-mentioned rule.  In the book of 1st Corinthians God tells us through Paul to withdraw from those whose morality is so evil that even those outside the church would not participate in that type evil deed.  We are told by Scripture in Romans 16:17 to mark those who cause division in the Body and avoid them.  On a third occasion we are told in 2nd John 9-11 we are to refuse to take a man into our house, to welcome him, or to bid him God speed if he refuses to acknowledge that Christ came in the flesh.  In other words this is a line in the sand.  Do not extend fellowship to the individual who refuses to acknowledge the truths about Jesus the Christ.  There may have been another occasion or two that I have missed.  Even if I missed one or two the exceptions to the rule are extremely limited.  The basic way we are to deal with disagreements  is to accept him whose faith is weak without placing a stumbling block in his way. This rule is established by God.

Romans 14:13 says, “let us stop passing judgment on one another.”  Then in verse 19 it says, “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.”  Finally in Romans 14:22 God says through Paul, “So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God.”

If we would refuse to go beyond what is written and truly let God’s rules guide our lives instead of binding rules of man we wouldn’t have the division that exists today.  Instead of displaying attitudes of self-righteousness and false knowledge perhaps we would do better to have the attitude of the man who proclaimed, “God have mercy on me a sinner!”


5 Responses to False doctrine?

  1. Don Morrison says:

    Amen! Especially the mercy on me part, because I need Jesus’ grace more than anything else.

  2. Brad says:

    Another great post, Dell. However, I have a feeling you should get ready to be lambasted for it. 🙂

  3. Do you think?

  4. Jerry says:

    This battle has already been fought. Churches are automous. Work within your fellowship. Show them where they are wrong from your intepretation of scripture. Have fun!!
    The cure to all of this is burning the buildings and winning souls. (just kidding about burning the buildings…Not..)

  5. Jerry, we know it really is about souls brother!! Preach the Word and let God continue to use you. Love you brother!

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