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Wordwise Insight, Issue #143
July 14, 2016


BIBLE INSIGHTS (and Reader Q & A): Is Bible doctrine a hindrance and unnecessary divider?

WORDWISE HYMNS: My Blog called Wordwise Hymns for you to check out!

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Down with Doctrine!

QUESTION: Doctrine only divides people. Why can't we just forget about doctrine and all love Jesus?

ANSWER: It was an evangelical pastor who voiced the question, adding as a supposed clincher, "After all, could Jesus catch a cold?" Apparently that was the level to which he felt doctrinal controversies inevitably descended. Did he also expect me to debate with him how many angels could dance on the head of a pin? This is foolishness.

Doctrine (didache in Greek) is a word often used (KJV/NKJV)for the truth of God shared by the apostles after the ascension of Christ. Those first won to Christ "continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine" (Acts 2:42).

In contrast, Paul lists a number of sins in his first letter to Timothy, characterizing them as "contrary to sound doctrine" (I Tim. 1:9-10), urging the young man, "Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine" (I Tim. 4:13).

"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine" (II Tim. 3:16). But the apostle warned, "The time will come when they [Timothy's hearers] will not endure [not tolerate, put up with] sound doctrine" (II Tim. 4:3-4).

Clearly, that day has come in many churches. "Give us something to tickle our ears. Let's talk about love. Don't get all doctrinal on us!" How sad. "But as for you [to Titus, this time], speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine" (Tit. 2:1).

Is our goal to draw a crowd? If so, announce that the pastor will ride a horse down the main aisle next Sunday, or perhaps stand on his head and whistle "Just as I Am." But if we are committed to honouring God and His Word the clear proclamation the Scriptures, in a context of sound doctrine, will be our aim.

Sad to say, in order to make God more acceptable to the unregenerate, and broaden the appeal of the gospel, too many are tempted to...

(To read the remainder of this article, click on Down with Doctrine.)


Come and Pay Us a Visit!

I have developed a blog that is called Wordwise Hymns. As the title suggests, it is about hymns, and church music in general.

But as many of you will know, a blog is especially designed to facilitate a conversation on its particular subject. Readers can easily post comments about what they see, and I'm able to reply. I hope you will take part in the discussion!

Through 2010, almanac entries dealt with what happened in hymn history on each day of the year. Beginning in 2011, I hope to analyze hymns from a biblical standpoint, linking to the material that has come before.

My hope is that the blog will add to the value of the website and this newsletter, and promote some profitable exchanges on the subject of sacred music.

What happened on this day in hymnology? To find out, click Wordwise Hymns.

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