“I can’t find a church with good doctrine.”
–People who have weird doctrine
I’ve heard many complaints that people can’t find a church with good doctrine. They always say this with a wink-wink, nod-nod expression, a wry smile and a nod of the head, as if everyone knows bad doctrine is the only thing that exists in churches today.
I’m fully aware of the bad doctrine that is in the church. You don’t have to use much energy to convince me of the doctrinal wasteland that is the American Church.
At the same time, let me also say this: Every single person who has said this to me has doctrine I would not consider to be good.
For instance, I happen to be a pastor of a church with good doctrine! How come you aren’t coming to my church?!
The idea that people are searching churches for “good doctrine” is laughable to me. Exactly what do people mean by “good doctrine?”
As far as I can tell, “good doctrine” means, everything I already believe.
Paul warns that as the age continues people will not be interested in hearing sound doctrine, because they are looking for teachers who will scratch the itch in their ear: they will only listen to people who tell them what they already believe!
People who only go to churches with “good doctrine,” by which they mean only churches that tell them what they want to hear, are the exact reason why you can’t find churches with good doctrine!
Plus, if the church exists to tell you what you already believe, then why do you need a church? This is a primary reason why many “christians” don’t go to any church.
Doctrine is not in theology books or taught by an enlightened few with special decoder rings. Doctrine is the pages of Scripture. Preach the word in season and out.
Guess what happens if you truly preach the words on the Bible’s pages? People get mad and leave. Every. Single. Time.
Because if the Word is preached, it will challenge everything you believe because the majority of Christians have not gotten their doctrine from the Bible, but from a denomination, institution, or theologian.
There are churches that teach the Bible. Never in a million years would people who want “good doctrine” go to them.
Never once have these searchers for good doctrinal churches ever struck me as being deeply doctrinal people. They are people deeply embedded in a particular doctrinal camp. They aren’t students of the Bible, but students of a particular branch of doctrine. Doctrinal camps take one doctrine and press it out of place, as if it’s the only doctrine in the Bible. Churches with “good doctrine” will preach this one point every day OR ELSE they have bad doctrine!
One reason you can’t find a church with your “good doctrine” is because your doctrine is weird.
There are certain people who when they tell me they can’t find a church with “good doctrine,” I say a prayer of thanks to our loving Father above. Perhaps true doctrine is prevailing after all!