Journal of Heresies

My search for truth in a world of deceit.

Location: United States

I have what is probably an insatiable desire to search out the answers to what may be impossible questions.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Doctrines: Do they matter?

There is considerable emphasis placed these days on whether or not the believers we encounter adhere to certain doctrines. Most often the doctrines in question relate to the following: what type of being Yahshua (Jesus) was and is; how one obtains salvation; the role of "law;" baptisms (water and/or spirit); sin; and, tradition. When two believers meet for the first time, one often asks the other: "What church do you go to?" The unspoken question is: "What are your doctrines and point of reference?" The name of the particular church summarizes it all in a few words, that is as long as the person doesn't actually differ with their church in doctrine. People use doctrines to categorize each other and to determine their spiritual state. Some use them to decide whether others are worthy of fellowship. But, when everything is all said and done, what difference will it make if one is convinced that baptism is by immersion, and another that a sprinkling is enough? Will it matter if you believe Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one and three, one or three, one, two, three, or some other formula? Will 'Jesus' be the password into the pearly gates as is often suggested?

What if everyone is wrong? Will we all be tossed into the lake of fire in the end because we didn't get the words just right?

Many christians might be shocked to discover how the second and third century christian church was divided over most of the beliefs that today are considered to be the foundational tenets of the faith. The apostles never uttered the "Apostles Creed" which was written in 390 AD. The winning doctrines that became definitions of orthodoxy were the ones backed by various governments to the point of death. Although today in America creeds aren't signed or confessed at the end of a sword, churches continue to teach that if you do not confess their confession, you will suffer eternal punishment.

The apostles didn't have creeds. Yahshua didn't teach a magical incantation. Yahshua showed us a living faith in the Living God, a faith evidenced by mighty works, love, forgiveness, wisdom, obedience, self-control, patience, humility, suffering, compassion, and kindness.

Will the possession of the right doctrines matter much in the end? Only God knows. But, who was more righteous: the Samaritan (who at that time would be dispised for his doctrine) that helped the man who was half dead in the road, or the priest and levite that passed him by?


Anonymous Opie said...

How true! May we never forget this as we strive for righteousness in YHVH's eyes.

4:34 PM, February 04, 2006  

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