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Pet Doctrines

Iíve met many people over the years that have their one pet doctrine and thatís all they talk about and thatís all they see in the Bible. They manipulate Scripture in the hope that weíll see their pet doctrine in verses where it isnít.

The pet doctrine may well be a Biblical based teaching, but even legitimate teachings canít be found in every verse of the Bible. Over the years Godís grace has been big in my thinking, and in my younger days I found grace pretty well in every verse in the Bible, and maybe thatís one topic thatís almost in every verse, but of course Iíd say that because thatís a pet doctrine of mine.

In the 1970ís we bought our first Honda, and soon after we noticed Hondas all over the place. They were in parking lots, drive ways, and on the roads. We used to point them out as we drove by them until we almost got into an accident while looking at Hondas instead of the car ahead of us. We soon figured out it was time to stop counting Hondas and pay attention to the car ahead of us.

You can get in a doctrinal accident by seeing your pet doctrine every time you turn a page of the Bible. I think back in the 1970ís we saw shepherding and discipleship in many verses where they werenít. By doing this we taught everyone to be shepherds or pastors. Well, the idea that everyone should be shepherding others isnít New Testament thinking. We further confused the issue when we saw the concept of shepherding in discipleship verses. "Go and make disciples" doesnít mean "go and shepherd". The end result of this was a doctrinal accident which caused some spiritual injuries. Many people were shepherding others when they had no business doing so, causing damage to some along the way.

Good hermeneutics is bringing a balanced approach to Bible study and leaving our pet doctrines in the particular verses where they belong.

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