Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sensual Silliness a Failure of Doctrine

The soundest and safest Christian reflection consists in "what you have received, not what you have thought up; a matter not of ingenuity, but of doctrine; not of private acquisition, but of public Tradition; a matter brought to you, not put forth by you, in which you must not be the author but the guardian, not the founder but the sharer, not the leader, but the follower."

-- Vincent of Lerins, quoted in Christopher Hall, Learning Theology with the Church Fathers (Intervarsity, 2002), 27.
In Jude 3-4 we read the urging to resist the perverters of grace into sensuality by contending for the faith once for all delivered. In 1 Timothy 1:8-11 we learn that sensual sins, passions of the flesh, are contrary to "sound doctrine" and "the gospel of the glory of the blessed God."

What we learn in these passages and others is that bad doctrine doesn't just affect what we know, but what we do. A wonky theology leads inevitably to wonky behavior.

And so is it really a huge leap to note that the purveyors of so much sanctuary silliness and churchy tomfoolery aren't exactly known for their love of doctrine? They are known for their dynamic ways, their innovation, their spectacle, but not a one of them is known for being a strong proclaimer of God's Word.

The reliance on gimmicks and showmanship is a distrust of the gospel's power, which is condemnation. What does it profit a pastor to gain the best seller list but lose his soul?


Bobbi Brown said...

Doctrine has always been important to me but my Assembly friends have taught me about love and mercy. We may not see eye to eye on "tongues" but we do agree on Jesus!

Dubbahdee said...

I once heard a speaker say "beware the man who makes his living manufacturing antiques."