Monday, September 18, 2006

Wrong Doctrine = Wrong Behavior

"If you go wrong in your doctrine, you will go wrong in all aspects of your life. You will probably go wrong in your practice and behaviour; and you will certainly go wrong in your experience. Why is it that people are defeated by the things that happen to them? Why is it that some people are completely cast down if they are taken ill, or if someone who is dear to them is taken ill? They were wonderful Christians when all was going well; the sun was shining, the family was well, everything was perfect, and you would have thought that they were the best Christians in the country. But suddenly there is an illness and they seem to be shattered, they do not know what to do or where to turn, and they begin to doubt God. They say, "We were living the Christian life, and we were praying to God, and our lives had been committed to God; but look at what is happening. Why should this happen to us?" They begin to doubt God and all His gracious dealings with them. Do such people need 'a bit of comfort'? Do they need the church simply as a kind of soporific or tranquillizer? Do they only need something which will make them feel a little happier, and lift the burden a little while they are in the church?

Their real trouble is that they lack an understanding of the Christian faith. They have an utterly inadequate notion of what Christianity means. Their idea of Christianity was: "Believe in Christ and you will never have another trouble or problem; God will bless you, nothing will ever go wrong with you"; whereas the Scripture itself teaches that 'through much tribulation we must enter into the kingdom of God' (Acts 14:22), or as the Apostle expresses it elsewhere, 'In nothing be terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God. For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake' (Philippians 1:28-29). Our Lord says, 'In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world' (John 16:33). There is nothing which is so wrong, and so utterly false, as to fail to see the primary importance of true doctrine."

--Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Heresies

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Christians who are suffering do INDEED need comfort. They don't need anyone smashing a Bible on their head from the pulpit. The NT is clear that we are to comfort one another "with these words ... speaking the "truth in love" and "seasoned with salt." James tells us what to do when we are in trouble and when we are sick.

I wonder if Lloyd-Jones ever had a handicapped child in his immediate family, or a loved one with cancer, or an unexpected bankruptcy, or his roof blown away by storms over and over, or other trial in his life.

8:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, Mr. Anonymous,

I must admit that I am utterly shocked at your arrogance.

I don't know who you are but I suspect that the likes of me and you could not even hold a candle to the likes of Martin Lloyd Jones and many other christian giants of our faith.

Where's the respect and honor you should have for this man who lived a faithful life of prayer and preaching and obedience that we could only hope to emulate? Shame on you!

-KCO

10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, Mr. Anonymous,

I must admit that I am utterly shocked at your arrogance.

I don't know who you are but I suspect that the likes of me and you could not even hold a candle to the likes of Martin Lloyd Jones and many other christian giants of our faith.

Where's the respect and honor you should have for this man who lived a faithful life of prayer and preaching and obedience that we could only hope to emulate? Shame on you!

-KCO

10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, sir, NO shame at all. No disrespect for Lloyd-Jones, either. Nor for you. And I don't hold anyone in such a high regard as to think them infallible. I'm no Roman Catholic. And I don't light candles to anyone.

A difference of opinion or a fine-tuning of a preacher's approach to theology is no reason for accusing me of arrogance. Ironically, it was PRECISELY BECAUSE the Lloyd-Jones piece was rather arrogant that I made the comment. Why should he or we walk all over a suffering Christian who might question his troubles, and accuse that person of lack of faith? How many giants of the faith in Scripture had lapses? How about good old Job? Moses? Jeremiah? Is our God so small we cannot ask Him why something heinous may be happening to His children who have a faithful walk yet suffer terribly?

Get real. God can handle it. Read CAREFULLY what the man wrote: It IS true some believers are wrong to question or accuse God when the going gets tough all of a sudden. It is NOT true that some believers are wrong to question their plight. Questioning evil circumstances DOESN'T MEAN a Christian is rebellious or lacks faith. While God may or may not give that person an answer, the question doesn't constitute an indictment of that person.

THAT was my point. And yes, when fellow Christians have never faced disease or tragedy in their lives (and there are a lot of people like that walking around), it is possible and easier for them to point the finger at those whose plight they cannot relate to .... It is for that reason that Paul admonishes us to "weep with those that weep" -- just as we rejoice with those who rejoice. And James said the same thing: there was favoritism and injustice in the congregation when Christians (not the unsaved) deferred to those who had means and ignored those who were poor and needy.

That's all. Do not read into the commentary what is not there.

Thank you.

9:41 PM  
Blogger Kennyo said...

Anonymous,

read this, it may help.

This is a perfect example of how the RIGHT doctrine can produce the RIGHT behavior:

Heb 11: 39-40 through Heb. 12: 1-13


These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised.

God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.


ch. 12:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:
"My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son."

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?

If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.

Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live!

Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.

"Make level paths for your feet," so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.

1:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And ...? Hebrews 12 happens to be one my favorite chapters in the Bible; 12:1-2 was my life verse waaay back when attending Christian college.

I don't have a "doctrinal problem" in all this. Thanks for allowing me to post.

10:52 AM  
Blogger Kennyo said...

I'm just trying to help you out, you seem discouraged.

Is there something I can pray for?

Email me privately if you like--see the contact info in my bio.

-Kenny

10:58 AM  
Anonymous dPazos said...

Interesting! My pastor has preached on Hebrews for several weeks. His favorite book of the New Testament. You do well to quote and study it for it contains great theology. I suppose we could disagree as to the correct interpretation of Hebrews, but it remains an excellent book. I suppose suffering makes one more human. Note that secularization has occurred in many of the prosperous nations of the West during the past century. The opposite appears to be happening in the nations of the Second World and Third World. Perhaps so much material wealth causes man to forget God, or at least not be interested on a daily basis when he has a full stomach and many gadgets. Later Kenny!

12:15 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home