Did your ‘red flag’ rise high into the sky when you read that title? There are over 35,000 denominations of Christianity today and all of them think they teach ‘sound doctrine’. Some of it sounds real nice while others sound absolutely horrifying. Doctrine can sound like a harmony or just a bunch of clanging symbols causing noise pollution. Have you ever heard of a church that claims they use only the bible? Yep, they all say that. So how can 35,000 denominations think they have sound doctrine while they all differ and bicker about those differences? Any doctrine is possible, but what I look for is the fruit.
Does the doctrine bring about control, legalism, fear, anxiety, pressure to conform, anger, jealousy, or competition over who is living more right than the other? I view this as bad fruit. It’s as rotten as it can get. So I look for doctrine that manifests love, joy, peace, longsuffering, temperance, patience, and gentleness. If a doctrine pressures me to give up family relationships, live in fear for my loved ones, carry anxiety over which church my neighbor goes to, or causes me to be angry over someone’s life choices, then I feel the need to ditch that doctrine altogether. There is such a diverse amount of doctrines so I don’t think that one doctrine sums up all the others. I think each one needs to be examined on it’s own and at the same time look at how each doctrine strings together with the others. Anytime I come up against a ‘brick wall’, I backtrack and go through a different string of doctrines. My aim is to find all the teachings that best exemplifies the heart of Christ and see if they fit together and manifest the fruit of His Spirit.
photo credit Tom
Even though I can do this, any doctrine really is possible. The reason why I say this is because we take all of it by faith. We have absolutely no hard fast evidence at all. Just because the Bible has remained on earth for as long as it has is not verifiable evidence. I know people say that God preserved it for this long, but did God also preserve the Egyptian hieroglyphics too? Perhaps he did, but we don’t know that for sure, we take it by faith. I know this, mankind has preserved ancient writings for ages. One denomination takes the evangelical-fundamental perspective as sound doctrine, while the Reformers take theirs as sound doctrine, as do the Jehovah’s Witnesses. They can’t all be 100% right with the many differences they have.
There are many very good writers and theologians who have done excellent research about various doctrines and perspectives of the Bible so I’m not going to attempt to go down that road on this blog, but what I will do is share the view that I have of an All-Inclusive Savior that has transformed my life and redeemed me from the chains of legalism. I believe this doctrine is possible, because I have faith that all things are possible with God.