Sunday, September 16, 2007

Poll 3

I don't know if it's just me, or my poll questions, or the fact that I am posting less, or maybe offending more, but the number of people responding to my poll questions is dwindling. This will not discourage me. OK, it is discouraging me, but I will not stop posting polls.

The third poll question was inspired by a question Shane Rosenthal, producer of the White Horse Inn, asked at an evangelical pastor's conference. Wouldn't you know, the results he got were far worse than I got with the four who chose to answer the poll. Well over 50% answered "following Jesus."

If you think there is nothing wrong with the "following Jesus" answer, let me help you understand it a bit better. The first thing that must be established: what Jesus are you following? Is it the Jesus of the Mormons? He can't save anyone. Perhaps it's the Jesus of the Jehovah's Witnesses. He has not reconciled anyone to an utterly holy God in recent memory. Do you see where this is leading? When we start dialogging about which Jesus are we talking about, what are we discussing? You got it—doctrine. The word doctrine means teaching, and if we get our doctrine wrong, it does not matter how well we follow the example of Jesus. For example, if one follows the example of the Jesus of Mormonism, he will follow him straight into hell!

1 comment:

Mark M said...

Alan, you're way off on this one. I fear your time at the Bible Institute is turning you into an Instant Bible Toot*.

Doctrine is about teaching and learning. It results in knowledge about God.

Following is about relationship. It is choosing to know God.

It should be clear that relationship is more important than knowledge. The relationship should be based on knowledge of the truth, but the knowledge is of lower importance. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up (1 Cor. 8:1). Knowledge will pass away (1 Cor. 13:8).

Matthew 4:18-20 says:
As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him.

Imagine how that last part would read if you were correct:
"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and joined a doctrine study group where they learned all about Jesus. Meanwhile Jesus went on his way in search of disciples who would respond to his call.

-mark

*Credit goes to Paul Martin for that witticism