All in good humor here, but oh boy, did Failing Pastor trigger me today! Yep, he really nailed it in a post called, My Opinion About People Who “Can’t Find a Church With Good Doctrine”
So this has been my nemesis, my pet peeve, my aggravation du jour for about a decade now. I live in an area that is actually the second most secular county in the nation, an area just rife with addiction, suicide, 3rd world poverty, and assorted other human suffering.
I think the church is called to such a thing as this, for such a time as this. Right? Aren’t we preaching the good news, loving our neighbor, inviting people into a better way, once actually called “the way?”
You know what makes me crazy? When I see that people are literally dying and I try to talk to Christians about it, but I just come up against a wall of “good doctrine,” which really just means “my entire faith revolves around having my ears tickled and my worldview constantly validated.” That’s a harsh thing to say, but sheesh, it’s the truth in my world.
I have literally been in the midst of talking to somebody wrestling with a heroin addiction, inviting them to church, any church, and had “good Christians,” interrupt and say, oh no, don’t go to “that church,” with “those kind of people.” They’re not doctrinally sound. The woman is living on the streets enslaved to a heroin addiction, for crying out loud!
I started getting seriously angry about this problem and confronting people. Name the doctrine! Yes, name it! If you believe something is not “doctrinally sound” and you’re afraid to get your hands tainted by those cooties, then name it.
It absolutely crushed me to realize that 90% of those doctrinal purists, have absolutely no idea what doctrine even is and haven’t even picked up a Bible in years. They are slaves to utopian fantasies about denominations of their youth, slaves to politics, slaves to ideologies.
You are tearing down your own brothers and sisters in Christ because you believe the sole purpose of the church is to validate your own worldview and to affirm your politics. So pretty much like joining a country club or belonging to the Elks.
And people are dying of drug overdoes and children are being abused and people are sleeping in cars and on the streets, but hey, at least you can say you never got tainted by any “false doctrines.”
Tell me the Lord doesn’t have a sense of humor! I actually started hearing these things and literally gagging a few times, as if I had just drunk lukewarm salt water. Yep, spitting that stuff right out of my mouth every time I heard it. Talk about transference. It totally threw me for a loop.
God is good to me, even in the midst of my frustrations, and one fruit that I have born in this struggle, is a keen awareness that I have a really good understanding of theology and doctrine. I’m a bit of nerd actually. That was born of these struggles, these constant moments of study, of going, “But wait, did God really say that…?”
90% of those complaining about sound doctrine, don’t even know what their own churches believe. And “90%” is totally made up statistic by me, I am just saying, I call that bluff, I name it bovine poo. There are creeds, history, the Bible itself, and good chunk of doctrinal purist cops haven’t got a clue as to which end is up.
It’s been good too, because I’ve been stretched to be merciful, to be patient, to be forgiving. I literally want to slap that religious spirit upside the head, to ping the blind and foolish right between the eyes with a well aimed coffee cup. It is worse than nails on a chalkboard to me. It is like going to the dentist without any novacaine.
Jesus Himself said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments”
All of it.
That’s your doctrine. That’s your theology.
The Lord is not going to care that you loudly proclaim to be a postmillinealist, anti-paedobaptizing, hermeneutical, exegesis tulip tripper, He just wants to know, did you love your neighbor?