What is the core of Doctrine in Christianity?
That Jesus Christ was the son of God, who was wrapped in flesh to be born of a virgin to walk on the earth with mankind, establish the New Covenant and die on a cross for the redemption of ALL Creation, and HE is the only way to heaven.
Every evangelical denomination will hold to this core teaching.
There are many other “Doctrines” in Christianity today.
From the “Core Doctrine” to the “Lesser Doctrine” of the Baptist churches, the sixteen fundamental truths of the Assemblies of God, to five point Calvinism, EVERY evangelical denomination will claim they believe Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and He is Lord over all creation.
But, the Values of the Bible, the Teachings of Christ, the books of the Prophets, Apostles, Moses and the Jewish Law, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the work of the Spirit, whether or not God speaks, the Redemption of Israel, the Tribulation, THE BIBLE ITSELF, have all been misinterpreted, taken out of context, and twisted into heretical opinions and teachings.
With so many voices screaming around us, and so many different opinions flying through the air, what do you believe? Who is right, and who is wrong?
How do you tell what is “of God” and what is not in a time when the Body of Christ is divided against itself?
I am non-denominational in my “church” standings. I lean towards the Baptist denomination, because they’re the ones that have it the most “right”. They don’t have everything right, but they believe the Bible is the authority of Mankind, even if individual churches don’t believe everything in it to be true. Like Calvinists, they are REALLY good at using the Bible to back up all of their points. Which is awesome! I Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
But what I’m having trouble with is the legalistic, close-minded approach many individual congregations take to the Scriptures. Everyone has their own “boxes” they fit God and the Spirit into. What I find in many churches (especially some of the fundamental, traditional Baptist churches, Bible churches, and some other denominations) is that they go BY the bible, and only the bible. The Spirit doesn’t have the freedom to move inside of the church and create a broader spectrum for Believers to grasp and understand.
Just because God saw to it that the Torah, the Jewish Chronicles and Histories, the Hebrews Psalms, the writings of Solomon, the books of the Prophets, the accounts of Christ, and the letters to the Churches were all bound together in a canonized book, so there would be no more confusion and carpal-tunnel from faithful scribes recording the letters over and over again….. Just because God saw fit to give mankind these things in ONE book, He did not negate His right to move in the Spirit and reveal even greater things to the World.
Now, I don’t want to sound like a Universalist here, I believe FIRMLY that Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to Salvation (John 14:6) , and the Holy Spirit is the Seal of our Salvation (Ephesians 1:13-14).
However, I do believe that there is more prophecy, beyond the Bible, that God has for America, Australia, New Zealand…. If you haven’t noticed, the Cradle of Civilization was all in the Middle East. All of the Old Testament prophecies are in relation to the coming Messiah, and the Nations surrounding Israel. (Save for Daniel and Ezekiel, which have prophecies marking the end of days, and do include the rest of the world at times. E.g. the vision of the statue made in different materials, which was fulfilled through the Egyptian, Greek, Persian, Roman, and British empires, and still today with the bits of clay here and there. And Ezekiel where the wars and rumors of wars are prophesied about that will take us into the end of days… and beyond, when every man in Israel will have a job for the next thirty years after the War of the Lamb [in Revelation 19], during the 1000 year reign where Jesus comes down to rule the earth)
I believe that there are SO MANY THINGS God has to say to individual believers. And the reason why He says we need two or three prophets in the Church to agree and affirm a Prophecy given to one of them (I Corinthians 14:29) is to test whether the Word is from the Spirit. Based off of the Consistency of God lined out in the Scriptures, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we can know whether or not a Word from a Prophet is true.
Since controversies arise in relation to the Gift of Prophecy and the active calling of Prophets, (as well as what I call paranoia of False Prophets) most believers (especially again the fundamental traditionalists, who claim the Bible is *all* we need from God) will deny the existence of it, and use I Corinthians 13:8-9 as an excuse to ignore they exist. (They also use I Corinthians 13:8-9 as a reason to cut down the gift of Tongues. But they haven’t exactly studied it to put it into context either. I have a study on it that I will be posting later)
If God really did end these gifts, then why does He go on, through Paul, into Chapter 14 to tell the Believers how they should use Prophecy and Tongues?
These practices remind me of the Amish and their way of shutting out the World to keep from straying from God.
Should a Christian box off their mind and God, telling Him that He can only work the way THEY want Him to, or should they believe that God wont give them more they can handle, and slowly stretch their Faith in Him?
I didn’t come to believe everything I did in one night. God stretched me, grew me and gave me understanding a little at a time. Jesus grew in Wisdom and Stature, little by little. I mean, He was Jesus – He already KNEW everything because He was Deity wrapped in flesh, but even so, the writer of Luke says even Jesus grew in Wisdom.
I promise you God wont lead you astray. If the Bible is His Word, written as Holy Men of God were carried along by the Holy Spirit (I Peter 1:20-21), then He isn’t going to act outside of what has already been Established by the Old Testament, and the Gospels of Christ. Jesus HIMSELF quoted the Law and the Prophets again, and again. They already knew the Truth, because they’d been told generation after generation the stories of the people who had gone before them, and the great and wonderful things God had done for the Children of Israel.
If God incarnate, wrapped up in flesh, did not try to lead the people astray in His own teachings, but re-established God’s Word again and again, then wouldn’t the Holy Spirit do the same with you?
Don’t let Fear hold you back from serving God the way He designed you to serve Him.
*I* worship God in Nature, in Worship, in Dance… With the Elements. I don’t worship the Elements, I worship and serve the Creator of the Created things 🙂
I don’t hinder the Spirit, and I go and do where He leads. I speak as He prompts, and I trust that His Word will not return to Him void. (Isaiah 55:11)
Only the Lord knows the hearts of Mankind (I Samuel 16:7), yes? Let your heart trust and rely on a God who has remained the same from the Beginning of Time until now.
The One that will never Leave or Forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6)
The One that Knows the Plans He has for you (Jeremiah 29:11-13)
The One that give you Strength when you can’t go on (Isaiah 40:29)
Stop relying on the teachings of Man, only capturing pieces of the Word of God. Study it for yourself and let the Spirit guide you into the Truth that you seek. Mankind was given the responsibility to spread God’s Word. They’ve been doing it for over 2000 years now. Since it was given to Humans, Humans have contorted Scripture to say what they will it to. Human teachings have created controversies in the Church and division among the Body.
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” II Timothy 2:15 NASB
Another version translates it into “Carefully Study”.
Either way, ask, seek and knock, and the doors will be open to understanding deeper what so many choose to never look for at all.