Which Doctrine Do You Follow?
I’ve been corresponding with a dear sister in the Lord, Ms Dee, the last couple of days and it became like looking in a rear-view mirror. What a long road I’ve traveled with bright and dark times. I realized more about my heart and what motivates me to search out the scriptures and write on the topics I have thus far. I’m not one who doesn’t have a past, a testimony of darkness and light ~ just like everyone else. For those who know the transforming power of God’s mercy, grace and forgiveness, we can look back and no longer carry the shame, but rejoice in deliverance.
We were all born into this world and certainly had no say-so as to what that world would be like. Regardless of the details of my life or yours, what it boils down to is innocence is sought to be taken; the Adversary is set out to destroy you from the time you are conceived in the womb. If you really think about it, it’s through PEOPLE that damage is done, why you become influenced to believe the way you do. Some are so controlled and manipulated by others they become controlling and manipulative of others. Very few people can look back without regret, me included.
Well, two years ago I attended church, as I had now and again ~ and every time I couldn’t get through the service without bawling. I guess I bawled my last good cry because that day, God reached into my soul and put His authoritative, loving hands around my heart, stood me up on my feet, washed me clean and assured me I was loved and He would give me the power to get on and stay on His path of life. Repentance was manifest. I knew it. There was no doubt. There was no turning back. I didn’t walk the aisle or say a prayer in front of the pastor; I didn’t become a member by signing some ‘statement of faith’, agreeing to uphold their doctrine; I didn’t get re-baptized or go through a six-week class; I didn’t write a check for 10% of my last paycheck. I went home, dove into His Word and began to write. HubPages was truly an outlet for my heart to spill out and reaffirm my faith and healing.
In Sheep's Clothing
No sooner did I begin writing, those of all kinds of religious beliefs flooded my way. Their doctrines were voices of differing ‘shepherds’, and what made them stand out like a ‘sore thumb’ was the element of enslavement ~ legalism, oppression, and downright spiritual abuse. Why? Because manipulation and control isn’t just in the ‘world’; it’s in the CHURCH! God knows I experienced all kinds of abuse from those who called themselves by His Name, beginning in childhood. How many children, wives and husbands, brothers and sisters, parents and grandparents are horribly abused by those who are otherwise viewed as ‘outstanding Christians’ by the church world? Oh, the secrets and the masks.
Let me tell you something, when a person has suffered from manipulation and control, the abuse of the Adversary is clearly recognized and simply cannot be tolerated. On the other hand, experiencing the true love of my Father and Husband brought (and is still bringing) freedom and life in the Spirit of Christ. NOTHING can be received within my heart that seeks to hinder, oppress, bind, restrict, depress, enslave, hurt, wound….can I think of any more descriptive words? Not only will I not respond well to such things for myself, but also to those regarding my Lord.
In all the Bible study I’ve done thus far I’ve discovered that many denominational doctrines are right on, while just as many are off the mark. Indoctrination and true doctrine is not the same thing. Indoctrination leads away from Christ, while true doctrine leads to Christ. The Bible will reveal whether one has been ‘indoctrinated’ or will confirm true doctrine. Whenever I write about my deliverance from indoctrination, there are those who are greatly offended because they refuse to budge from their long-held beliefs. That’s okay! Believe what you want. You DO have free will. Truly, my motivation is not to offend others, but to hopefully shine some Light and plant a liberating seed that will be confirmed by the Lord. After the next segment, I fully expect to have the down arrow (and the 'funny' button) hit a few times...and that's okay, too!
Doctrines of Men
Jesus said in John 14:6 “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” Now, imagine anyone ELSE saying that. Unfortunately, many do. Here are just a few examples:
Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Muslims all believe in one, single God (true); on the other hand, all are extreme about legalistic works and consequences. The worst common ground is their rejection of Jesus Christ as the only Way of salvation.
Oneness Pentecostals believe in the true God according to 1 Tim 3:16, while they enforce the holiness movement, including such things as women can’t wear makeup or pants; no televisions are allowed in the home; water baptism and even the gift of tongues is required for salvation. They are known as the "Jesus Only" group because they believe the name of God has always been Jesus, is Jesus and will always be Jesus. The Bible proves this to be false.
Baptism in the Holy Spirit is rejected by such denominations as Baptists. They believe tongues are of the devil and any miracles that come out of such a practice are not of God. Southern Baptists have a reputation of being racist, which certainly falls into the oppression category.
Calvinism/Reformed has impacted latter-day Christianity in some good ways, but they believe in double-predestination, that man doesn’t have free will. Just look up TULIP to know more. What a ‘loving’ gospel to tell someone that salvation may not be in the ‘Book’ for them and that God has already sealed their fate to a fiery hell by no choice of their own.
This then brings me to Universalism, which teaches all will be saved and there is no such thing as eternal torment (nice ‘gospel’, though it doesn’t align with the full Bible). They don’t believe in free will either; thus, man has to learn (or be forced into) obedience through God’s judgments on the earth. And, if they don’t ‘learn righteousness’ that way, all but the ‘few’ will be purified after death through the Lake of Fire.
Catholicism is all over the world, one of the largest ‘churches’ on the planet. The Pope is believed to be God’s vicegerent on the earth, which gives him the authority to change or modify God’s divine law. They are primarily responsible for dividing the Shema into a three-person entity and promote works (i.e. repetitive prayers) in order to be a true ‘Catholic’. I find it interesting that the majority of ‘ghost’ and ‘demon’ encounters are experienced by Catholics.
From the Catholics came the Protestant Reformation, including Calvinism, the majority maintaining the trinity doctrine and pressuring people for money. Many hold to the authority of the organized church, do not acknowledge modern-day prophets and apostles and certainly keep women in their place.
Now Mormons ~ they and Jehovah’s Witnesses put ‘orthodox Christians’ to shame when it comes to doing good works, including door-to-door witnessing. But again, they do this because works are conditional for salvation. Because the Bible alone cannot support their latter-day doctrines, both have their own ‘literature’ from their ‘prophets’ to follow. I find it interesting that such a high percentage of JW converts come from Catholicism, which I feel is a direct result of the ‘church’ not encouraging their members to read and study the Bible for themselves.
Freedom in the Truth (Jesus Christ)
I could go on about various doctrinal hindrances, but the freeing truth is God never changed from one to two or three. Jesus was God (who is Spirit) in the flesh (1 Tim 3:16). He kept the Torah to a ‘t’ to completely fulfill it and forever accomplish all that God required (Mat 5:18; Heb 7:28). Works do not make us righteous; obedience to the One who is our righteousness is the work of faith (Mat 5:20; Gal 3:12; 2 Cor 5:21). God gives us a new ‘conscience’ and ‘writes His law on our hearts’ (Rom 2:15). The baptism of the Spirit is the ‘one baptism’ spoken of in Eph 4:5, just as there is one Lord and one faith. This doesn’t mean you will speak in tongues (1 Cor 12:30), but rather you have been submersed in His Spirit, baptized by Jesus (Mat 3:11; Acts 2). Women are not to be bound to submission and silence to males, and can certainly preach and even be apostles (Rom 16:7). Sexism and racism do not belong in the body of Christ.
God gave man a free will to choose life or death (Rom 6:16). God is no respecter of persons and will receive any and everyone who comes to Him (Acts 10:34; John 6:37). No man can ‘pay’ for his own sin, either through good works or ‘purification’ by judgments or the Lake of Fire. Jesus paid it all. Everything I’ve just stated can be backed up with the Bible alone. If some of this is offensive, I challenge you to study the Bible for yourself. Ask yourself whether what you ‘believe’ to be truth constricts or sets free. Does it lead to Christ or away from Him?
From My Heart to Yours
I hope this hub has given my readers more insight into the ‘eyes of my heart’. I am thankful God saved a wretch like me and delivered me from a ‘world’ that sought to ‘victimize’ me. I’ve gone from ‘victim’ to ‘victorious’. I know He loves me and I seek to share that same liberating love with others. If ‘so-called brethren’ (1 Cor 5:11) and non-believers want to stay enslaved to darkness (i.e. manipulation and control), it is truly their choice (John 3:19). When I receive attacks with hateful speech, accusations or encounter those who embrace prideful doctrines such as double-predestination and religious works, I respond straight-forward. Love rebukes (Luke 17:3), heals, unites and sets free, while pride divides and causes all kinds of strife and hardship. Satan wants nothing more than to influence people to RUN from God (Mat 23:13). Jesus came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). How would anyone victimized and hurt so deeply by the ‘world’ want to become part of a ‘church’ that’s just as bad, if not worse? In fact, judgment begins at the house of God (1 Pet 4:17). Why is it stated in the Word that believers can be ‘worse than an infidel [unbeliever]’ (1 Tim 5:8)?
True freedom only comes from Christ and in Christ. God’s form of freedom and worldly ‘freedom’ are total opposites. Surely, Satan will allure you to roam ‘free’ unto your own destruction ~ like father, like children (John 8:44). The LORD alone is our Shepherd. His rod and staff guide us to keep us on the narrow path that leads to life (Ps 23: Mat 7:13). Truly, we are all sinful, wretched and naked and blind (Rev 3:17; Rom 3:10; John 1:8). Only God’s holy blood will reconcile our sinfulness (2 Cor 5:21; Acts 20:28). No other god created you. No other god died for your sins. No other god will raise you from the dead. No other god will judge you or reward you on the last day (Heb 9:27). Embrace the Lord God. He loves YOU. YOU matter to HIM. He is faithful. What will YOU do with Jesus?
Rev 3:20 “'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.”
Blessings from my heart to yours ~ JD
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