Thursday, December 01, 2005

Is Doctrine Important?

TBN president Paul Crouch has been quoted as saying,

"I'm tired of Scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites blocking God's bridges when the harvest is perishing out there and God's calling the body to come together. Let Him sort out all this doctrinal doo-doo! I don't care about it!" (Praise the Lord, April 2, 2001)

Popular Oneness teacher Tommy Tenney - has also written,

"Truth is where God’s been. Revelation is where God is….Unfortunately, the Church today spends countless hours and much energy debating where God has been...[God chasers] want to run hard and hot on this trail of truth until they arrive at the point of revelation, where He presently exists….God chasers don’t want to just study from the moldy pages of what God has done; they’re anxious to see what God is doing. There is a vast difference between present truth and past truth." (Introduction to The God Chasers)

Tenney also states,

“We’ve tried to cram doctrine down people’s throats...but people don’t want doctrine, they don’t want tracts…they just want Him!” (The God Chasers, pages 48-49)

Apart from the teaching of Scripture, however, people can’t have Him, because the Holy Spirit works through Scripture to reveal Himself to us (2 Tim. 3:14–17).

Additionally, the Bible does not tell us to give people whatever they want. Humankind, in its fallen state, doesn’t know what is best (Rom. 3:10–18).

Regarding the importance of doctrine, Martin Luther wrote:

The great difference between doctrine and life is obvious, even as is the difference between heaven and earth. Life may be unclean, sinful, and inconsistent; but doctrine must be pure, holy, sound, and unchanging. Life may show omissions and come short of what doctrine calls for. But from doctrine (says Christ, Matt. 5:18) not a tittle or letter may be omitted, however much life may fail to meet the requirements of doctrine. This is so because doctrine is God's Word and God's truth alone, whereas life is partly our own doing. On this account doctrine must remain
entirely pure. God will have patience with man's moral failings and imperfections and forgive them. But He cannot, will not, and shall not tolerate a man's altering or abolishing doctrine itself. For doctrine involves His exalted, divine Majesty itself. In the sphere of doctrine, therefore, forgiveness and patience are out of order. ("What Luther Says: A Practical In-Home Anthology for the Active Christian," comp. Ewald M. Plass - St. Louis: Concordia, 1994, 417.)