Westminster Larger Catechism Study

Does Biblical Doctrine Matter?

This is a hard one to read. Hits close to home. My personal Journey out of Richard Fosters style of Spiritual Formation, probably began 15 or so years ago, as I began to question these teachings and reading my Bible more diligently. Before that since the early 80’s I studied then and even taught them. Many are not convinced. And sincerely believe they are on the right path. The ideas are so foundational they are hard to change. I am not the best messenger.

Jeremiah 6:16  Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.

John Gill’s commentary on the verse is useful:

Jeremiah 6:16

Thus saith the Lord, stand ye in the ways, and see,…. These are the words of the Lord to the people, whom he would have judge for themselves, and not be blindly led by the false prophets and priests; directing them to do what men should, when they are in a place where two or more ways meet, and know not which way to take; they should make a short stop, and look to the way mark or way post, which points whither each path leads, and so accordingly proceed. Now, in religious things, the Scriptures are the way mark to direct us which way we should take: if the inquiry is about the way of salvation, look up to these, which are able to make a man wise unto salvation; these show unto men that the way of salvation is not works of righteousness done by them, but Christ only: if the question is about any doctrine whatever, search the Scriptures, examine them, they are profitable for doctrine; they tell us what is truth, and what is error: if the doubt is about the matter or form of worship, and the ordinances of it, look into the Scriptures, they are the best directory to us what we should observe and do:

and ask for the old paths; of righteousness and holiness, which Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and others, walked in, and follow them; and the way of salvation by Christ, which, though called a new way, Heb 10:20, yet is not newly found out, for it was contrived in eternity; nor newly revealed, for it was made known to Adam and Eve immediately after the fall; nor newly made use of, for all the Old Testament saints were saved by the same grace of Christ, and justified by his righteousness, and their sins pardoned through his blood, and expiated by his sacrifice, as New Testament saints; only of late, or in these last days, it has been more clearly made known; otherwise there is but one way of salvation; there never was any other, nor never will be; inquire therefore for this old path, which all true believers have trodden in:

where is the good way, and walk therein; or, “the better or best way” (x), and more excellent way, which is Christ, Joh 14:6, he is the way of access to God, and acceptance with him, and the way of conveyance of all the blessings of grace; he is the way to the Father, and to eternal happiness; he is the living way which always continues, and is ever the same; and is a plain, pleasant, and safe way, and therefore a good one; there is no one better, nor any so good; and therefore this must be the right way to walk in, and to which there is great encouragement, as follows:

and ye shall find rest for your souls; there is rest and peace enjoyed in the ways of God, and in the ordinances of the Gospel; wisdom’s ways are ways of peace, which are the lesser paths; and in the doctrines of the Gospel, when the heart is established with them, the mind is tranquil and serene, and at rest, which before was fluctuating and wavering, and tossed to and fro with every wind; but the principal rest is in Christ himself, in whom the true believer, that walks by faith in him, has rest from the guilt and dominion of sin, from the curse and bondage of the law, and from the wrath of God in his conscience; and enjoys a spiritual peace, arising from the blood, sacrifice, and righteousness of Christ, Mat 11:28,

but they said, we will not walk therein; in the old paths, and in the good way but in their own evil ways, which they chose and delighted in; and therefore, as their destruction was inevitable, it was just and righteous.

(x) אי זה דרך הטוב “quae sit via melior”, Vatablus; “via optima”, Schmidt.

Judges 21:25  In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.Gill writes: every man did that which was right in his own eyes; there being none to restrain him from it, or punish him for it; and this accounts for the many evil things related, as the idolatry of Micah and the Danites, the base usage of the Levite’s concubine, the extreme rigour and severity with which the Israelites treated their brethren the Benjaminites, the slaughter of the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead, and the rape of the daughters of Shiloh. 

Doctrinal Truth Matters

A growing number of Christians wish to be “in the know” in the same way they perceive many other people in our culture to be. One way they attempt to achieve this is through pagan myths and ritual practices found in Eastern religions.

You say, “My church isn’t into any of that pagan stuff.”  No, but without being aware of it, Christians absorb all sorts of dangerous New Age ideas and practices in the books they purchase from local or online Christian book sellers.  There is also an abundance of unbiblical teaching on so-called Christian blogs and through contemporary Christian music. Countless believers are unaware that much of the so-called Christian music they listen to on the radio, sing during worship, at social gatherings etc., teach you bad theology – words that go from your lips to God’s ears matter. Worship must be done in spirit and in truth. Not to get too far afield, but while I’m on the subject of music, I need to warn you to steer clear of music coming out of Bethel Church in Redding CA, especially the mess called Jesus Culture; likewise, have nothing to do with Hillsong music. Hillsong promotes the unbiblical health and wealth gospel and it is teaming with wolves in sheep’s clothing. This “church” is up to its earlobes in scandals and it is currently under investigation. (More about scandal-ridden Hillsong below) Elevation Church music? Good grief, no! Please, no! Why? Because Elevation music is decidedly man centered. Some truth mixed with grievous error. Plus, EC’s pastor, Steven Furtick is a heretic.

Contemporary Christian music is an important topic but unfortunately I’m almost out of space, so I need to move on.

For a growing number of professing Christians, it’s all about elevating experienceabove doctrinal truth. But wait! Isn’t that what the Gnostics believed? Indeed, it is:

The Gnostics thought that one must directly experience the spirit to learn the truth, this being apart from the word. Stepping over into the supernatural, experience becomes the teacher and gives them real knowledge. What was and is now being taught is spirit to spirit communication that is completely outside the Biblical revelation given by the apostles. (Source)

Read full article here.

https://christianresearchnetwork.org/2021/04/21/the-mainstreaming-of-neo-gnosticism-in-evangelicalism/#more-98405

The Mainstreaming Of Neo-Gnosticism In Evangelicalism

Posted by Marsha West ∙ April 21, 2021

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