All Bad Church Doctrine is Intentional
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” 2 Timothy 3:16. All scripture is profitable for doctrine because it’s all God breathed. We are to use the scriptures as a reproof against bad doctrine, then we correct those who are promoting such doctrine, and we continue to use those same scriptures as instructions in righteousness. How can we ever expect to be considered righteous before our perfect God when we allow bad doctrine to sway our Christian Church?
Do we get bad doctrine from the Bible? Is God inclined to provide us with erroneous doctrines to confuse us? Doctrine, simply put, means that which is taught, it’s the act of teaching – it’s instruction. Jesus taught us His doctrines “And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” Matthew 7:28-29.
The only people who should be teaching in our Churches are those who have studied God’s word and who stand firm on the truth of His word. These folks would be under the authority of God Himself. But this just isn’t the case these days is it? Bad doctrine is abundant in our Christian Churches. All bad doctrine comes from the father of all lies, Satan, and of course it’s intentional.
Many of my brethren have written me complaining about their Church doctrine. So much so that I’ve begun to wonder just how many truly Christ centered, Bible believing Churches remain. For the reason stated above, many of these folks have told me they refuse to attend church services and have begun to hold services in their homes with family members and friends. What they no longer receive at their local Christian Church is afforded them in abundance at home – which is God’s truth from His inerrant Word.
Like I said, bad doctrine is intentional; it has been Satan’s plan since the inception of the Church to disrupt the flow of true information and subtly subvert that truth with his lies. Many pastors today have no clue they are propagating erroneous church doctrine. According to many of my readers their pastors don’t seem to have an inkling of what is correct and what is not, or they just don’t care. They’ve tried to confront the pastor but in most cases he, or worse yet she, simply states “I was taught by my professors in seminary, and they hold PhD’s in theology, what do you hold?”
We are all held accountable by God to know His word. If we are taught by someone who is off base concerning God’s word we too will promote the same fallacies when we begin to teach others. All Satan had to do was to get those professors to see things his way and voila the bad doctrine began. We’ve certainly been privy to a lot of bad doctrine over the past few years. With the invention of TV we’ve seen men and women manipulating the masses for nothing more than personal gain. The internet has become another foraging ground for those who, solely for personal gain, have devised ways to achieve their goals and it’s all done using bad doctrine.
“Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” Matthew 15:7-9. The doctrines of men have become common place in our Christian Churches; can Jesus be happy about such behavior? You decide. But while you are making up your mind remember how many times in the scriptures we are told to “…be ye not deceived”. “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;” Ephesians 4:14.
Why is it so easy to preach from the pulpit today and garner a huge following all the while teaching bad doctrine? Those of you who don’t know the answer to that question may well be part of the problem. “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;” 1 Timothy 4:1. Basically, giving heed means to regard as truth. These folks believe Satan and his minions of evil over God and His Word. Why? Because they are biblically illiterate and it seems they prefer their illiteracy over truth.
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4. Because of the many letters I receive these days from folks complaining about their pastor and others in their church leadership’s hierarchy who are leading their congregations down a very destructive path, I’d say we are well on our way to fulfilling the above prophecy.
I’m not able to attend every church service around this country so the letters from my brethren must suffice. But here’s a little tidbit some of you living here in the US might not be aware of. I’m not only inundated by letters from American Christians who are very concerned about their churches, but many letters come from my brethren in various countries around the world who have virtually the same complaint. Here’s a sampling of the complaints. “Why does my pastor teach from Rick Warren’s A Purpose Driven Life”? “Why is Rob Bell’s Velvet Elvis, or any of his books for that matter being taught to our congregation as the gospel?” And one of my favorites is “Why are we beginning to revert back to accepting and placing in our Christian Church many of the traditions of the Roman Catholic Church, doesn’t being a Protestant mean we stand completely apart from the RCC in all doctrine”?
I’ve had people write and tell me that their pastor reads the book “The Shack” from the pulpit and they want to know if this is doctrinal. Or why do pastors pass out books to their congregations entitled “Heaven is Real” not as a book of fiction but as a book that is actually supposed to represent Heaven to us?
A pastor must be able to discern the truth, and as he teaches and preaches from God’s inerrant Word it will be revealed to the congregation that God is the author of the pastor’s message. Because many pastors are not spiritually discerning, bad doctrine thrives. “Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,” Colossians 2:18. God’s word is our doctrine. When men veer off the path that God has laid down for all humanity, it is intentional. Satan doesn’t want the Bible preached in our Christian Churches, nor does he want Christians reading the Bible. So, he has devised a way to replace the word of God with books that entice us away from the truth. It’s quite apparent by the biblical illiteracy permeating our Christian Churches that Satan has been very successful in his attempt to replace the Bible with other works. Not knowing sound doctrine themselves, many pastors have fallen for Satan’s enticements. Then they proceed to advance the doctrines of devils instead of the doctrines of the one and only true and living God. All this bad doctrine has been devised by the enemy of God to throw the Church for a loop. Intentional? You better believe it.
The last thing Satan wants the Church to do is to physically open their Bibles and become habitual at reading and studying God’s word. If Christ’s Church were actually literate, biblically that is, there would be many more Christians questioning bad doctrine as it enters their churches. Bad doctrine would be stopped at the front door, or in the case of a pastor who spouts bad doctrine, shown the front door. And that question from the pastor mentioned earlier “Do you have a PhD in Theology? No? Then where do you get off questioning me?” would have no effect on biblically literate Christian congregations.
Nowadays many people assume that if your name isn’t followed by alphabet soup you can’t be knowledgeable enough concerning the word of God to question those who have a PhD after their names. The question we must ask ourselves when it comes to studying and understanding God’s word is how many of Christ’s disciples had PhD’s after their names while they walked and talked and lived with Jesus for those three years? At the end they were given the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit guided them; some of them wrote down their experiences with Jesus and as they wrote they recorded Jesus’ own words. But all of them preached the truth of the Gospel and all but one were horribly martyred for their faith.
This may come as a shocker to many of you but I have no PhD after my name. I have no collage credits to boast of. I’ve never attended seminary or any Christian college, or secular college for that matter. I made it through high school only by the skin of my teeth and the help of a brother-in-law who wanted to see me graduate. But I’m convinced my teaching is in line with God’s precepts. Why am I so convinced? Only God Himself could be the force behind the commentaries I write. I couldn’t write a word without Him.
I’ve studied my Bible; I don’t mean I’ve just read it through a few times or something like that, but I’ve studied night and day for years. Yes, I studied the teachings of men who had been in the teaching ministry for many decades. My mentor was Chuck Missler of Koinonia House. I spent years studying his teaching materials. For years my eyes would pour over the many teaching materials Dr. Missler supplies. But ultimately the Bible became my greatest source for truth. Everything we read or study apart from the Bible – every Bible teacher’s lessons, all Christian authors and their books need to be filtered through God’s Word.
I went out into the wilderness – I moved my family to rural Missouri from the beautiful Oregon coast. Needless to say they were not very happy with my decision. But in my mind I knew I had to divest myself of all entanglements of this deceptive world to grow closer to God. I spoke to Jesus my Savior and Lord here in the wilderness and finally I came to the realization that my life was no longer my own. I had determined to relinquish all control over to Him. When I made His will mine and His direction my path, He took control. When this occurred God saw that my need to know Him was greater than any other need I had in my life, and through my determination and diligence to grow closer to God by studying His Word, He taught me sound doctrine -- His doctrine, not the doctrines of men.
God will do the same thing for you as He did for me when you completely turn your life over to Him. Hold nothing back that you feel you need to keep control of and you will be greatly surprised by God’s participation in your study times. God will give you spiritual discernment; yes you with or without a PhD after your name.
“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:14-16. Isn’t it interesting how Paul speaks about the natural man? The word of God is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to the born again believers in Christ who have the mind of Christ, His word is spiritually discernable. He does the instructing, the teaching, and it’s His doctrine, not man’s, by which we are taught.
Let no man deceive you into believing that you, a normal human being, are unable to comprehend the word of God, thus you need a man or women with a doctorate in theology to teach you. That they alone have the answers concerning the correct interpretation of God’s word. Those who allege such an exalted position are not led by the Holy Spirit to make such a claim. God will give anyone who asks for wisdom and knowledge concerning His word exactly what their heart desires. If it is your desire to no longer be a follower of all the satanic chicanery in the Christian Churches today, then ask God to teach you His doctrine. Study your Bible. Be a Berean “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Acts 17:11. Seek the truth for yourself daily to see if what you are being taught lines up with the Word of God.
All Bad Church Doctrine is Intentional, with Satan in the midst. The Word of God is our only true stability in a very unstable world. Study it with all due diligence and Satan must flee.
This commentary is from an amazing and anointed man of God, Ron Graham. I have the utmost respect for his viewpoint and his work. His work also appears at Rapture Ready.
God bless you all