>> March 24, 2016
Doctrine is a scary word that brings about a myriad of thoughts, emotions and reactions. Some may yawn, or roll their eyes. Others might want to run and hide or grab their Bibles to prepare for a Biblical based argument to defend one’s own “doctrines.” While doctrine can cause division among denominations, if a body of believers doesn’t have some form of creed, code or guidelines, things could get scary fast.
I was born and raised in the Assemblies of God denomination. That statement alone often times causes other Christians to walk a wide path around me. Maybe they are afraid I will spontaneously shout out in an unknown tongue, or swing from a chandelier. I could possibly feel the need to jump a pew or roll around on the ground like a crazy dog with an itch on their back. I will say, I’ve never swung from a chandelier but I’ve often wondered if a suspended light fixture would hold the weight of someone dangling from one.
When I was growing up, our church services could get a bit lively. I didn’t really know any different. I thought all churches were like mine. Doesn’t every pastor desire (with passion and conviction) to see people saved from their sin and encourage people to come to the altar to confess their sins and accept the gift of salvation? Doesn’t everybody feel the need to reach their hands towards their Abba Daddy to be lifted up as they sing? If the truth of a song or the emphasis of a message stirs your heart, don’t we all shed a tear here and there? Don't others shout an “amen” when the preacher says something you whole heartedly agree with? Do we ask the leaders of the church to pray for our sickness just to let them know we have an ailment, or do we truly believe there is healing in the power of Jesus name? Even though Christians have been waiting for the return of Christ since the day He ascended into heaven, don’t we all believe He will still return like He promised?
Can’t we gather in one accord with fellow believers and pray until we receive the Promise of the Father that Jesus talked about in Acts 1:4? So, if I choose to grab hold of Acts 2:4 and firmly believe if the grassroots church in Peter’s day was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in other tongues, that it can happen today as well, my fellow believers might think me odd or doctrinally unsound?
Paul says in Romans 1:16:
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jews first and also for the Greek.”
I am not ashamed. Nope. Not ashamed of God. Not ashamed of Jesus. And I’m not ashamed of the Holy Spirit.
We used to joke that 1 Peter 2:9 was referring to the “Full Gospel” churches.
“You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”
As I study towards my ministerial credentials I am reminded that doctrine is a scary word for a set of beliefs. Discussing doctrine is even scarier. But studying the Word is required to have a better understanding of the core beliefs that were indoctrinated into my young heart and mind.
And after studying, I stand tall and proclaim with boldness that I am a peculiar person.