Perfect Doctrine

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, October 5, 2018 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

There is only one person who ever had 100% perfect doctrine: Jesus Christ. He was the only one who ever had it completely figured out. If we had it figured out, we would not need a Savior. Each of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. While we may have some things figured out, there are other things we get wrong.

One of my pet peeves throughout my life is hearing incorrect information. I have gotten much better at biting my tongue when I hear it than I have in the past, but it’s definitely not a mastered skill yet. As God has grown me extensively since joining Worldview Warriors, I have developed a strong sense of discernment for false teachings. For those who have followed me here at Worldview Warriors or seen me in action on Facebook, you will have seen my strong stance for truth.

However, while I admit fully and readily that I don’t have everything figured out, I am amazed at when I make a stand for what I do know to be true without question, other Christians will accuse me of the arrogance or thinking I have it figured out when no one else does. They want me to admit even the slightest bit of doubt or they call me arrogant and proud. That’s hogwash. Here is what is happening, and I will credit Eric Ludy and Voddie Baucham for helping to make it clear.

Eric Ludy has learned how to pray properly. That is something I have not mastered, even though I wrote a lengthy series on prayer two years ago. When Ludy prays, God answers and things happen. He is someone who reads the Bible, actually believes it, and pursues it with everything he has. Yet he is often surrounded by other Christian leaders who have not figured out “the secret.” Now get this: instead of encouraging him, supporting him, and seeking to learn his “secret,” they instead gather committees around him and ask him to stop praying. And yet when he gets his prayers answered, they still won’t believe and just say “that’s an exception.”

What is happening? Those who stopped believing are railing against those who still do because the faith of those who believe is convicting them of their sin of doubt and unbelief. Voddie Baucham also illustrates this point in modern churches. When a young man gets that fire and is digging into Scripture and church history and developing his prayer life, the church gets around him and says, “You’ve been called to preach” when they should instead be recognizing him as “This is what a Christian should be looking like.” The church will send this young man off to seminary so he gets his formal theology degree so he is separated from the rest of the congregation so they can remain in the mediocrity.

What is it that makes people dislike sound doctrine and actually pursuing Christ? There is a simple answer: doubt. They don’t believe it. And not only do they not believe it, they don’t want others to believe it because it puts them into a bad light. The lazy student has always hated the smart student who longed for the test. There is a constant pull to bring those above us down to our level, rather than taking on the challenge to rise up to their level. The same is true in Christianity.

I have people around me who long to have to knowledge that God has granted me to have. I have seen many others try to knock me down several notches for no other reason that speaking the truth that they don’t believe. How do I know they simply don’t believe it, rather than the message is unclear? Let’s take a look at what clarity means and entails.

C.S. Lewis had many famous lines, and one of them is this: “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?”

Lewis was arguing the issue of what good and bad are, but I’ll apply this to the doubt of sound doctrine. How can we know if we are short or not have perfect doctrine, unless we know what the standard is? In a test, how do you know you did not get a perfect score unless you know what a perfect score looks like? This is precisely what the doubters are trying to get the believers to confess. They are trying to justify their doubt by saying the standards are not clear. In effect, they are blaming God for their lack of belief, for not giving them clear enough instructions. Is this not what the teacher of the law said when he asked “Who is my neighbor?” He knew full well what the law actually said, but he wanted to justify his shortcomings in meeting the law by trying to declare that it was not clear.

Sun-Tzu said this: “If the instructions of the general are clear and they have been clear, it is the fault of the subordinates that the army is routed. If the instructions are not clear, it is the fault of the general that the army is routed.” Again, the doubters are trying to pin their confusion and unbelief upon God, not themselves. They despise any who stand firm and demonstrate that the instructions were clear. In a basketball class I took in college, during one drill, I listened to the coach who described what he wanted done. The first half of the class did something completely different and I followed the directions correctly. Only two after me also followed. The coach called out the entire class except me and the two others for not listening to directions. The instructions were clear because I and two others got it. The rest got in trouble for not listening and not following.

I am not suggesting I have it all perfect and lived out in my life. But I want to emphasize there is a distinction between those who do not have it perfect and yet yearn towards perfection, and those who do not have it and prefer to stay in mediocrity. It is perfectly fine to be in a state of imperfection, constantly messing up but also constantly longing and yearning for more of Christ. It is NOT perfectly fine to stay in that state, however. It is NOT perfectly fine to make excuses for being in such a state. And it is NOT perfectly fine to say, “We are all sinners, just forgiven,” while living in a lifestyle of sin, however you want to live, and pointing any direction except towards Christ, even while claiming to do so. That is excusing the sin of doubt and it should not be tolerated in any of us.

I do not have perfect doctrine because I am not a fully redeemed Christian yet. However, I know what perfect doctrine is and I am not afraid to speak it and to pursue it. Many other Christians do not like me because I get it. The only reason I get it is because I believe God says what he says and means what he says. I stumble all over the place in trying to get there. I say things I should not say. I can get arrogant at times. I mess up on the “love part” all the time. But I am pursing towards perfect truth. I still see through a glass darkly, but the standards of what God wants and what he expects are crystal clear. We will be held accountable to it. It is not God’s fault we get them wrong; it is our fault. Let us stop blaming God for our shortcomings, confess our doubt to be the sin that it is, and repent, actually believing God and pursuing his perfect righteousness. We will have foolishness still in us, but let God draw it out and deal with it. Being conformed into the image of Christ includes being made perfect in doctrine and in deed. Let us pursue that and when someone gets it far better than we do, let that encourage and inspire us to press forward. I want nothing to do with mediocrity. Let God work with us to get it out.

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