Is Doctrine that Important/ The Distaste of Doctrine (Part 4)

FOUNDATIONS – (I suggest you read Part 1,2 and 3 before this for it all to make sense)

I recently brought a book, and the author was a rather popular guy in ‘Christian’ circles these days. At one point in his book he says, that he believes Jesus was born of a virgin, but if that was not true, he could keep being a Christian! Apparently Jesus being born of a virgin or not being born of a virgin doesn’t impact on His saving work on the cross. That’s a bizarre leap of reasoning don’t you think.

I realized while I was reading that for this guy doctrine won’t save yourself and others, so you don’t have to watch it closely. His faith is kind of blind, detached from reality, a reality where a ship needs certain parts to make a journey.

What if someone could prove today that Jesus really had an earthly father? What if there was irrefutable evidence and there was a DNA test to prove it. What if the gospel writers made up “cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ”? What if it was some ploy to appeal to secular Mithra cults at the time, whose gods also had supposed virgin births?

What if that part of our ship was left out?

Could a person still sail? Could a person still love God? Could a one still be a Christian?

Would you still want to travel the distance Jesus traveled?

Or does everything just shatter?

But it is so amazing if you consider the following:

Jer 36:30 says, “ Therefore thus says the LORD concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah: He shall have none to sit on the throne of David” right, but now look who is in Jesus’ genealogy in Mat 1:11 “ and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon. “ Fortunatly, this is the family line of Joseph who was Jesus adoptive father, but not blood father.

As we read on in matthew we see the wonder of the whole thing, Mat 1:20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

Mat 1:21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

Mat 1:22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

Mat 1:23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).

When the angel points out that this is fulfilling a prophecy he does it on purpose, because this baby has got to be able to pay for peoples sins, what man could do that, except the God-man, God with us.

So without the virgin born Jesus, we are lost in our sins, not saved from them.

This is because truth is fixed in reality, it doesn’t flex or bend or change, gravity will always stop you from jumping of a building and going up, unless you have some kind of flying contraptions attached to you. Traffic will always be dangerous if you are standing in a freeway, there is just nothing but that reality. The natural laws God made to allow the universe to run and work, what an amazing God, a God is not a God of confusion (1 Cor 14:33).

This really made sense for me a while ago, in college I was doing a course in Pastoral counseling, and one of the issues I was looking into was how psychiatrists use medication, when I came across rather interesting information about a placebo (not to be confused with the band). What doctors do mostly with people who are hypochondriacs or psyco0semantically ill people, you know the kind that think they get healed at those ‘healing crusades’ on TV (people who think they are sick, but really aren’t) is give them something that looks like a drug, but really it is just sugar or some other harmless substance, and suddenly the people feel better and are able to get on with life. If man’s sickness of sin and brokedness was not real, then we wouldn’t need a real cure, one made up in my mind would b e just as good.

But in the real world death crushes families, people starve in poverty, countries make war, children are lost, women are raped, men are murdered. I see sin and its wages all around and it’s a problem in reality, and so whatever cure I’m going to grasp hold of has to come into this same reality and be different, not just some fancy idea made up in peoples heads.

I am far more concerned with what is true and right and can fix these problems, then with ignoring the cure in the name of false humility or anything else for that matter. You always defend the things you love, you delight in it and want to bring others to delight in it.

Imagine someone who came to a doctor with a deadly sickness, and the doctor gave them some lame placebo that does nothing, imagine the doctor said that the real cure is not that important, and it makes no different what ingredients are in you tablet. Would you fight that? Wouldn’t you complain to the superintendent of the hospital?

This is why Paul told Timothy to teach only what goes along with sound doctrine (Titus 2:1)

This is why God said that those who oversee and watch over the church “… must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.” Rebuke those who contradict it? Sounds harsh, but its important, life and death important.

The gospel was called ‘good news’ by the early Christians, but if you change that message and tell people something that is not real, then its not good news… it’s a lie.

Jesus never lied, he told the truth to the barest of reality, but not reality as natural man sees it all the time. One time His teaching was so hard and difficult that his disciples said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” and later some of those who had been following him turned back and stopped following Him (John 6:60,66).

So people today want to make the gospel massage so wide, they want to change the drugs ingredients so much, maybe so more people feel comfortable taking it, I mean, who wants stuff loaded with all kinds of crazy chemicals.. unless it will save you! But Jesus said, they way to life is narrow and hard, and few will find it (Matt 7:14).

  4 comments for “Is Doctrine that Important/ The Distaste of Doctrine (Part 4)

  1. Nils
    May 12, 2008 at 11:29 am

    Heya Mr T,

    Is blind faith always a bad thing? From personal experience, there are quite a few things in my life, that I would say I take on ‘blind faith’, which may need a little clarification – Blind Faith: I believe it because the Bible teaches it, yet I certainly don’t understand how it fits into the greater picture.

    Predestination for example, I believe the Bible emphatically teaches predestination, yet I am at a loss to explain His choosing methods and how He can work all things for the good of those who love Him, but not for those who don’t. (Human nature wants control and a fairness).

    I know it’s a different story than that of the virgin Mary, cause that guy explicitly believes something taught in scripture doesn’t matter. What I’m trying to ask in a really round about way is…

    Theres a wealth of knowledge in the Bible, and you’ve gotta start out someplace, i.e. not knowing a great deal, will your boat still go if you plug in a black box labeled engine, but don’t know exactly how it works?

  2. tyrellh
    May 12, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    Hi Nils

    Good question. What I mean by ‘blind faith’ is merely accepting something, but not being able to question it, or to put it differently; accepting something on the basis of some abstract authority that you must just assume it has. So for example, the things you set forward (i.e some tensions in the Bible) we accept, not by blind faith, since the things in Scripture which we are able to test (E.g. prophecy, some geography, some science, conformity of theme as in no contradictions) lead us to believe that what is written in areas which we can not test are also reliable and truth. Thus our basis for accepting Scripture, is not just ‘because’, but rather because it can be proven to be faithful in many areas, so that we have reason to have faith in other areas.

    At the end you mention the possibility of someone making a fatal mistake in building the boat. The theme of this article is Doctrine and its importance, however a related theme which I will be writing about as we continue leads to verse found in 1 John, which say that one who is saved, essentially will not be taken by false doctrine (bad parts) for too long, but will be brought into a sound orthodox understanding by the Holy Spirit.

    Hope that answers. Thanks for the read

  3. T Crosthwaite
    July 29, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    You are proceeding on the misconception that the Bible says he was born of a virgin. It doesn’t.

    What the Bible says is the father of Jesus was someone other than the man his mother married.

    This was unacdceptable for the Church fathers. On the basis of a mistranslation and twisting Jewish idiom into a Greek mould they upgraded his birth to something acceptable to the Greek mind.

    You may find these articles on virgin birth of interest and coming from an unusual angle

    (X)

    and, similarly the debate on TheologyWeb:

    Forum — General Theistics 101
    Thread — Does the Bible teach that Mary was a virgin when Jesus was conceived?

    (X)

    • tyrellh
      August 1, 2009 at 6:53 pm

      Hi T Crosthwaite

      Albeit the point of that article was not the virgin birth, let s continue on this discussion. The arguments I am assuming you will give and based on the link proceed on the misconception that the Bible was not reliably handed down to us, but was altered along the way.

      Now, while this fallacy has been successfully debunked in our recent history it seems it still has an appeal to many. John Warwick Montgomery said regarding this, “To be skeptical of the resultant text of the New Testament books it to allow for all of classical antiquity to slip into obscurity, for no documents of the ancient period are as well attested bibliographically as the New Testament.”

      – Virgin Birth is implied in Genesis 3:15
      – Isaiah 7:14 (for help in translating the word ‘Almah’ from Hebrew see its use in Gen 24:43 and Psalm 68:25). Further difficulty will be had in explaining how it is a ‘sign’ if it is not something significant.
      – Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:18, 20; Luke 1:35)
      – There are many other issues, like the New Testament use of ‘only Begotten’ etc, however these arguments are pointless if the text itself is not agreed upon and the Scripture is made to say whatever an individual wants.

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