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Posted by onyx 
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February 23, 2012 10:00PM
6 votes were received.
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is Doctrine important?

A question in my head lately:

What doctrine is vital?

doc·trine (dktrn)
1. A principle or body of principles presented for acceptance or belief, as by a religious, political, scientific, or philosophic group; dogma.
2. A rule or principle of law, especially when established by precedent.
3. A statement of official government policy, especially in foreign affairs and military strategy.
4. Archaic Something taught; a teaching.

Is there a doctrine that you hold above all others to be sacred, intractable, unshakeable? Why? And what is it for?

Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.
- Lenny Bruce
Re: Doctrine
February 23, 2012 10:15PM
For me in the past I would held a strong doctrine of this what I believe, but now I'm not sure what I believe, I don't claim to know god or thus limit who he can be.

I am open to change to be affected by the views and beliefs of others and the highlighting of the short falls or horrors of the god or faith I have created in my understanding.

Maybe this is just another doctrine just as being out of the box is in reality just another box, in which case I am happy to change my vote.

I do hold true to the idea of love being the existence of god, but don't understand that enough nor want to to tie it down to a doctrine.
Re: Doctrine
February 24, 2012 04:47AM
Great topic brother! smileys with beer

My personal reply is in brown, Scripture in Red and a bit of my research information in black.

If doctrine is simply defined as "that which is taught” you betcha.

What doctrine is vital you ask?

Simply put, “LOVE”.
Romans 13:10 Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God's law. 1 Corinthians 13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. I John 4:8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. “I basically make the statement that a “sin offering” is not made to God, but to sin. I go on to describe sin as a beast who wants to devour you. Imagine camping with your family and you come across a grizzly bear. You had better have an offering for that bear, or it’s you he will devour. Christ basically threw himself in front of the beast of sin and allowed it to devour him instead of us. He saves us from sin. Modern day Christianity has twisted the story around to mean something entirely different. Today we’re told that God was so enraged over our sin that He had to kill someone.” Read Darin Hufford’s article here: [freebelievers.com]

“The finding of the Barna Group’s research ‘unChristian’ was this. Many people ultimately reject Christ because of Christians. We are hypocritical and judgmental. We choose to find fault rather than finding reasons to love unconditionally.” Mitch on Face Book.

"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction." Blaise Pascal

“But there are not a few who would be indignant at having their belief in God questioned, who yet seem greatly to fear imagining Him better than He is.” George MacDonald

Why is this and what is the root cause?

“Andrew Jukes said, ‘For our views of God re-act upon ourselves. By an eternal law, we must more or less be changed into the likeness of the God we worship. If we think Him hard, we become hard. If we think Him careless of men's bodies and souls, we shall be careless also. If we think Him love, we shall reflect something of His loving-kindness.’

How true this statement is! I have seen this in my own life. If we worship a God who torments most of His creation forever, then why shouldn't we act the same way? Most of the Church is so quick to judge and condemn others, but we are unable to see that we are only acting out the theology we've embraced!” Ken Eckerty

Let’s also review a bit of history in “THE SALVATION CONSPIRACY: How Hell Became Eternal" by Dr. Ken R. Vincent: [www.tentmaker.org]

Here below is information that may help us all understand the heart of the matter:

“Embracing a theology of universal love requires far more than a change of beliefs. It alters our perception of every human being in the world. . .Instead of consigning the ignorant, cruel, or self-righteous to hell, we eagerly anticipate their transformation. Instead of hating them, then, we. . .learn to love them.” ~Philip Gulley and James Mulholland from their book, ‘If God is Love’.

“When, as a last resort, God allows a sinner to experience the logical end of separation and self-worship, namely the loneliness and terror of the outer darkness, then the resulting horror will at last shatter any illusion that some good is achievable apart from God; it will finally elicit, therefore, a cry for help of the kind that, however faint, is just what God needs in order to begin and eventually to complete the process of reconciliation.” Dr. Thomas Talbott, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon and author of:
"The Inescapable Love of God": [www.thomastalbott.com]

Preface, the Table of Contents, and the first chapter:


Chapters three, five and eleven:

3. A LEGACY OF FEAR AND PERSECUTION [www.thomastalbott.com]

5. ST. PAUL’S UNIVERSALISM [www.thomastalbott.com]

11. GOD, FREEDOM, AND HUMAN DESTINY [www.thomastalbott.com]

The book "Raising Hell" is what I am currently reading: “Lastly, perhaps you’re relatively happy with your flavor of Christianity, but have never known what questions to ask. I hope this book will challenge and grow your faith, whether you fully embrace the message or just listen to the evidence presented. Dare to ask. Dare to question. Dare to open your mind to the possibilities of a bigger God than you’ve ever heard about before. It could be the greatest decision of your life! Perhaps you’ll find, just as I did, that it’s time for all hell to break loose. Let me take you on my journey…” Julie Ferwerda’s website: [raisinghellbook.com]

Julie Ferwerda’s free book in PDF online: [www.hellhoax.com]

In conclusion, "Live Loved and Love Others" is vital doctrine IMO.

Big Hug!

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ
and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 2Corinthians 5:18 NIV

Edited 10 time(s). Last edit at 02/24/2012 06:05PM by Nomad Dave.
Re: Doctrine
February 24, 2012 08:04AM
I am someone for whom principles, morals, justice and values are intrinsically really important, so for me 'doctrine' as defined as being 'what I believe' and 'why I believe it' is important too. That's quite an issue being out of the box.

I was brought up mainly with the 'Apostles Creed' and the 'Our Father Prayer' as doctrine. It was hard and fast, written down in black and white. Do I believe that doctrine now? I don't know.

Then I moved into more liberal fundamentalist ICs and there was no real doctrine per se...more like whatever was the flavour of the day from the preacher and their circle of influencers (ie the authors of the books they read, or the prophets, and self-appointed chosen few) shaped your thoughts about God.

Now, here I am, questioning what I believe. Yes, I do believe there is still a God (I'm tenacious and stubborn). Yes, I know that He has answered one or two prayers in my life for what I wanted (and I am grateful for those). But what else ..... ?
Re: Doctrine
February 24, 2012 06:09PM
Hey wifey they sound a pretty good set, worth hanging onto.

In my learning to doubt, I am getting a sense that I need not only doubt god but the reality of do I really believe the things I may claim or even think I believe. Peter Rollins (sorry he will keep coming up from me at the moment) says that if he says he believes slave labour is wrong but puts it to the back of his mind when shopping then he doesn't really believe that it is wrong. He both says this to challenge himself to reverse his thinking to how he acts behaves is more of a reflection of his beliefs but also to higlight the horrors of his own short comings not to beat himself up about it but to more gain a better sense of humanity.

On doubting the existence of god, I guess I have come as close as most, but when god doesn't exist there was still love and I have not been able to separate the two.

Living Loved Loving Life

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/25/2012 01:39AM by J(uk).
Re: Doctrine
February 25, 2012 01:19AM
I’m thankful for the wise counsel encouraging me to change my posting style and content. I’ve tried to put this in my own words. Please feel free to let me know if I’ve communicated this reply in such a way that is personal and understandable.

I grew up with a friend named Tom. And interestingly to me, he refused to believe anything without direct evidence, he was a skeptic and a self described agnostic. Very much a “Doubting Thomas”, the term coined from the Scripture account of the disciple of Jesus who doubted Jesus’ resurrection (John 20:24-28). Thomas said that unless he sees the nail marks in Jesus' hands and puts his finger where the nails were, and put his hand into Jesus' side, he would not believe.

We’re then told that a week later, Jesus walks through locked doors and says, “Be at peace.” That would be unsettling having someone enter your house by walking through a locked door! Jesus then tells Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Then Thomas said to Jesus, “My Lord and my God!”

We’re also told in Philippians 2 that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. Therefore, IMO it is very clear that God will do whatever it takes to bring everyone to the knowledge of the truth whether it be in this life on earth or after we leave this life and have transitioned into the next. God is simply amazing! Happy Dance

Cynthia smiles. “It takes a whole lot more than willpower to get anything done in the human heart. You gotta allow yourself to receive something you can’t find on your own. . . What if there was a place safe enough to tell the worst about you and still be loved just as much, if not more, for sharing it? Do you know what happens?. . .And do you know what that safety is called? It’s called an environment of grace.” Bo's Cafe (Page 89 and 90)

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ
and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 2Corinthians 5:18 NIV

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/25/2012 01:58AM by Nomad Dave.

Re: Doctrine
February 25, 2012 03:20AM
My friend Kent posted the quote in brown, today on Wayne Jacobsen’s pod cast blog. I’d really be interested what you may think about it. It compares the difference between belief and faith.

This sentence stood out to me, “Faith recognizes doubt.” Jaques Ellul (1912-1994) was a Professor at the University of Bordeaux and had faith in the Ultimate Salvation of everyone:

“Am I a pessimist? Not at all. I am convinced that the history of the human race, no matter how tragic, will ultimately lead to the Kingdom of God. I am convinced that all the works of humankind will be reintegrated in the work of God, and that each of us, no matter how sinful, will ultimately be saved. Salvation is universal because the love of God encompasses all. If God is God and if God is love, nothing is outside the love of God.” Jaques Ellul

“Belief provides answers to people’s questions, so as to find assurance and provide a solution; so as to fashion for themselves a system of beliefs. Faith is not to supply us with explanation, but to get us to listen to God’s questions. Belief talks and talks, it wallows in words, it takes the initiative to explain. Faith listens patiently.

Belief brings people together, joined in the same institutional current, oriented toward the same object of belief, sharing the same ideas, following the same rituals, enrolled in the same organization, speaking the same language. It has the social benefit of consensus and identification.

Faith individualizes. It has to do with a personal relationship with God in which God confers each with unique identity. Faith separates people and makes them unique, set apart for what God wants to do.

Belief is antithetical to doubt. It is the basis of fundamentalism; people unbending in their convictions, intolerant of any deviation. In their articulation of belief they press rigor and absolutism to their limits. Belief is rapidly transformed into passwords, rites, orthodoxy.

Faith recognizes doubt. Faith puts to the test every element of my life and society. It leads me to question all my certitudes, all my moralities, beliefs, and policies. It forbids me to attach ultimate significance to any expression of human activity.” Jacques Ellul, Living Faith.

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ
and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 2Corinthians 5:18 NIV

Edited 10 time(s). Last edit at 02/25/2012 04:01AM by Nomad Dave.
Re: Doctrine
February 25, 2012 10:00PM
mmm Interesting question

Hi all - sorry its been a while.

I 'voted' No. While Brother Dave wrote about an all unlineing quote from Jesus - I like quoteing him ;D - the Love rule or some call it the "Royal Rule of Love" I believe really covers it! I may not be the greatest at it - but i'm learning.
While we still see and hear people talk about what they believe and teach it all must be compared to the "Makers" heart of everything - me thinks. Father.

So what if I dont pray the 'beneidiction pray' or use the 'right words' or 'do things in a differnet way to than some' - what do you really think my DAD looks at most of all...My Heart.

'A bad tree can not bear good fruit' - therefore the tree must be 'planted' in good soil, the soil will encourage good fruit and it might need some 'tendering' from the 'ground keeper' every now n then! Then let the birds of the air come and makes theirs nests!

As another bro would say "peace out" winking smiley

Paw marks in the "sand" of my life.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/25/2012 10:04PM by Lionhearted.
Re: Doctrine
February 25, 2012 10:31PM
Me thinks actions speak louder than words, if I say I have faith that a bridge will take my weight rather than believe it will but never try to cross that bridge does it matter?

I want my beliefs or faith to reflect my actions and the other way round rather than having clever constructed arguements that back up something not tested.
Re: Doctrine
February 26, 2012 09:13AM
Thank you LH and J. You both motivated me to put this reply together:

One man’s caviar is another man’s cat food. Something one person likes very much can be something that another person does not like at all. I never understood why until I studied the four personality types. Yes, I know about the other systems that include more types but I like the four because it is easy to understand, remember and visualize.

The authors material that was most helpful to me was by Florence Littauer, Dr. Gary Smalley and Dr. Tim LaHaye. The characteristics are for observing and identifying, rather than judging. To help us understand others by understanding ourselves. The information provided was adapted and excerpted from online resources.

This summarizes the four types from Florence Littauer,

1. Choleric: This is the commander-type. Cholerics are dominant, strong, decisive, stubborn and even arrogant. A Choleric is focused on getting things done, but can run rough-shod over others.

2. Sanguine: This is the social-type. They enjoy fun, socializing, chatting, telling stories - and are fond of promising the world, because that's the friendly thing to do. A Sanguine gets on well with people and can get others excited about issues, but cannot always be relied upon to get things done. They love interacting with others and play the role of the entertainer in group interactions. They have a tendency to over-promise and under-deliver.

3. Phlegmatic: This is the flat-type. They are easy going, laid back, nonchalant, unexcitable and relaxed. Desiring a peaceful environment above all else. A Phlegmatic is neutral - they tend not to actively upset people, but their indifference may frustrate people. They try not to make decisions, and generally go for the status quo. They care about people and harmony.

4. Melancholy: This is the mental-type. Their typical behavior involves thinking, assessing, making lists, evaluating the positives and negatives, and general analysis of facts. A Melancholy is a highly talented person, they have brilliant ideas, although sometimes they can paralyze themselves with over-analysis. Lists and "doing things the right way" are characteristics of this personality type.


The Four Personality Types - Table of Equivalents and Learning Styles


Choleric.........Sanguine.........Phlegmatic.........Melancholy...........Hippocrates (370 BC)

Production......Connection......Status Quo........Harmony..............Jonathan Knaupp


Directive..........Interactive......Supportive.........Corrective............John Geier



Lion.................Otter..............Golden...............Beaver...............Dr. Gary Smalley

Rabbit.............Tigger..............Pooh..................Eeyore..............100 Acre Wood


Adapted from Florence Littauer in The Gift of Encouraging Words:

1. God could have made us all Cholerics.
We would have been set to lead, but so impatient that no one would follow.

2. He could have made us all Sanguines.
We could have lots of fun but accomplish little.

3. He could have made us all Phlegmatics.
We would have had a peaceful world but not much enthusiasm for life.

4. He could have made us all Melancholies.
We would have been organized and charted but not very cheerful. . .

“No one temperament can be said to be better than another. Each one contains strengths and richness, yet each one is fraught with its own weaknesses. . .” Dr. Tim LaHaye

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ
and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 2Corinthians 5:18 NIV

Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 02/26/2012 03:10PM by Nomad Dave.
Re: Doctrine
March 03, 2012 03:20PM
I used to think that Doctrine (and having the RIGHT one) was IT. It was the goal of every true believer. What set the INs apart from the OUTs. What God required of any thinking person (and being a "thinking person" was next to godliness).
I would logically think that people with less brain capacity were exempt from such rules (the mentally challenged, etc), but the rest of us HAD to pursue getting our "understanding" correct.

Maybe there IS a correct, maybe there isn't.
But (NOW) I don't believe it matters. People are so different and do their lives in so many different ways with so many different understandings of life,... I don't think God is trying to make us all believe the same list of "truths". There are truths that set us free, and I believe he wants those for all of us. But not a list.

I guess I (currently :-) ) am holding to the idea that God is a person. He is real. He Loves. He has a sense of humor. He would come over for a BBQ and throw the ball for the pooches. Of course he is so so so much more than this, but I can only begin to grasp him as a relatable person. And how do you boil down a person into a set of beliefs -- a doctrine. Well,... you don't. You just relate to Him.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/03/2012 06:47PM by Theresa7.
Re: Doctrine
March 06, 2012 08:56AM
Good Post!

I am in agreement; doctrine implies a nailing down, a solidifying of a concept. When actually he can be as elusive as the wind. Is there anything solid and concrete that we know of God? Except that he is love? (And love that is reliable and solid)

Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.
- Lenny Bruce
Re: Doctrine
March 08, 2012 07:50AM
(John 10:10 [NET])
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come so that they may have life, and may have it abundantly. See saw

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