We Must Teach Sound Doctrine
When we talk to others about God it’s critical we teach sound doctrine
Paul writes a letter of instruction to his protégé Titus. In it he devotes a lengthy section instructing Titus about how to teach others. Paul opens this passage with the simple direction that Titus must teach whatever’s appropriate for sound doctrine (Titus 2:1).
I like this phrase, “sound doctrine.” The concept of having a healthy foundation for our faith should guide the things we tell others when we talk about God.
Sound Doctrine: This idea of having a worthy creed implies that there is a basis for it. The Bible is certainly our primary source for our doctrine. We find further guidance in this by the direction of the Holy Spirit and in considering what others have to say about the Bible. If we say something contrary to what we find in the Word of God or how the Holy Spirit directs us, this isn’t a doctrine that’s sound.
Unsound Doctrine: If we consider sound doctrine, the opposite might be unsound doctrine. What does this entail? Unsound doctrine includes things that aren’t in the Bible, notions we make up or sound good. Our unexamined customs, practices, and traditions could fall under the category of unsound doctrine. We should avoid it.
Sound Heresy: Another opposite of sound doctrine might be sound heresy. What is sound heresy? It’s things that sound good, but aren’t. Sometimes this is people misquoting Scripture. For example, “The Good Lord helps them who helps themselves,” isn’t in the Bible, but many people think it is. It is, in fact, sound heresy, because people believe it even when they shouldn’t.
Another example of sound heresy comes from preachers who say things with such passion and so frequently, that we accept their words as truth even if those things aren’t supported by the Bible. We feel good about these ideas, but they aren’t relevant; they’re just sound heresy. We must seek to hold onto a sound doctrine. Click To Tweet
Instead we must seek to hold onto a sound doctrine, rejecting shallow doctrine as well as sound heresy. We should be like the people in Berea who check to see if Paul’s words are supported by what Scripture says (Acts 17:11).
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.