Indoctinated to Death!
by Janet Oettgen

"What doctrines are necessary to share with others?" the Sunday school teacher asked. I cringed. I dislike the word "doctrine". The dictionary definition says "In a general sense, whatever is taught; whatever is laid down as true by an instructor or master."

In my experience, this word has come to mean a set of beliefs devised by man. Each church has its own doctrine, and everyone thinks that theirs is right. Don't get me wrong; I'm not afraid of the word "doctrine", or of listening to the teachings of others. It's just that for most of my life, I was taught the doctrines of the well-meaning folks around me. Much of what they believed was man made, incomplete, or misleading in some way. These were God-fearing people -- and many of them loved me -- but their goofs became my givens.

Jesus (THE Master!) mentioned the word "doctrine" twice.

John 7:16: "Jesus answered them and said, 'My DOCTRINE is not Mine, but His who sent Me.'"

John 7:17: "If anyone desires to do His will, he shall know of the DOCTRINE, whether it is of God, or I speak from Myself."

My only plumb line for the truth of "doctrines" is the Word of God and His Spirit. Many helpful books have been written to guide and encourage us to grow spiritually, however, it is Christ in us Who reveals and confirms truth, exposes error, and satisfies our hunger for Himself. I can only share with others what He has given me -- Himself!

Don't take my word for it, though ... check with Him yourself!

Eph. 4:13-15: "And this until we all come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a full-grown man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; so that we no longer may be infants, tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine, in the dishonesty of men, in cunning craftiness, to the wiles of deceit. But that you, speaking the truth in love, may in all things grow up to Him who is the Head, even Christ."

Copyright Janet Oettgen
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