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Self-Appointed – The Doctrine Police

August 15, 2007

I originally posted this back in 2007, but I thought that I would resurface it today because it is just as appropriate now as it was then. I think the Father takes our attitude toward our brothers and sisters seriously, and it is dangerous to start judging who’s REALLY saved and isn’t, and who’s REALLY repentant and who isn’t. God’s a real big God, and He’s perfectly able to take care of His household without my help.

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doctrine-policeOne of the things that the Internet has spawned is a number of self-appointeds who believe it is their God-given call to do whatever it is they do for the good of the Body of Christ. You have the self-appointed prophets who are full of revelation but lacking in fruit or love. You have the self-appointed doctrine police who know that what they believe is the one and only true faith that was once for all delivered unto the saints.

Ephesians 4:11-13 states:

It was he [Jesus] who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

There are some important points in this passage that need to be considered. First of all, doctrine police is not something Jesus gave to His church. Look at the list again. Doctrine police isn’t an office. Nope, not there.

Secondly, does the passage say “until we all reach unity in doctrine?” No. The purpose of the five-fold ministry is to bring the body of Christ into unity of the faith and help them attain the fullness of Christ.

What is the faith referred to here? It is not the intellectual acceptance of certain truths about Jesus Christ. The word translated faith in this verse is pistis (Strong’s 4102) which means:

  1. conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervour born of faith and joined with it
    1. relating to God
      1. the conviction that God exists and is the creator and ruler of all things, the provider and bestower of eternal salvation through Christ
    2. relating to Christ
      1. a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through whom we obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God
    3. the religious beliefs of Christians
    4. belief with the predominate idea of trust (or confidence) whether in God or in Christ, springing from faith in the same
  2. fidelity, faithfulness
    1. the character of one who can be relied on

In this context, the faith referred to here is a belief and trust. In this context, doctrine is not part of that equation.

The gospel is the Good News of Jesus Christ, that in Christ God was reconciling Himself to the world and no longer counting men’s sins against them. This is the message we are to preach.

The correction that was brought in the New Testament for doctrine almost always had a sexual element to it. I Timothy 4:1-5 speaks of doctrines taught by demons. What were those doctrines? These deceivers would be those who forbid people to marry and abstain from certain foods. Jesus rebuked the Church of Pergamum in Revelation for holding to the teaching of Balaam which enticed Israel to commit sexual sin. The Church of Thyatira was rebuked for tolerating Jezebel, who “calls herself a prophetess” and leads believers into sexual immorality.

The self-appointed doctrine police are easy to spot. They rarely, if ever, commend the beliefs of any group. Their doctrine is perfect, otherwise they would not be fit to judge other ministers, ministries, teaching, etc. From that place of self-righteous superiority, they can then pass judgment on all others. They have endless lists of people, ministries, churches, teachings that are incorrect, but rarely have I seen a listing of approved or safe churches or groups on any of their sites. They are focused on what is wrong rather than what is right.

When Jesus confronted the Pharisees of His day, He rarely hammered them for their wrong doctrines but rather their wrong hearts.

I was once part of the doctrine police. I felt it was my God appointed task to expose the errors and sins of other groups. In focusing on what was wrong in other ministries, ministers and so on, I lost sight of the simple truth that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the worst. Jesus told us to first pull the plank out of our own eye before we attempt to take the splinter out of our brother’s.

The self-appointed are rarely in right relationship with leadership within their own church and have that leadership’s approval in what they do. This is especially true of the self-appointed prophet.

The five-fold ministry is supposed to be in relationship with one another. In the book of Acts, Paul and Barnabas (apostles) were sent out on their first journey based on revelation given to the prophets and teachers while these prophets and teachers were worshiping together. This is a beautiful picture of how these ministries are supposed to be linked together in the local fellowship.

When reading on the Internet, take these things into consideration as you decide how much weight to give to accusations and “discernments” brought by others. Is the author of what you are reading in right relationship with leadership? Does their leadership know and approve of what they are doing and saying? Does what they say build up the body of Christ or tear it down?

The issues are source and motivation. Much of what is passed off in the Body as “discernment” comes from having two eyes and a carnal mind, as Francis Frangipane is fond of saying. It is no accident that in the middle of Paul’s teaching on spiritual gifts and order in worship, he goes into a serious teaching on love. Knowledge will pass away, prophecies will cease, but love will remain.

Is the motive behind what is being said love for the individual involved or hatred of error? Love comes from God and hatred comes from satan. What’s the motive? Is the desire to see the person involved in the “error” repent and be restored? Or is it the driving need to prove they are right in their doctrine? Which is the heart of Jesus?

That’s easy. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. That’s the heart of Jesus. While we were not only in error, but were active enemies of His kingdom, Jesus gave His life for us.

Until we have wept before the Lord and fasted and prayed for our brothers, until we have warned them day and night about the errors they are walking in, we have no right to bring public “correction” to them. Jesus does not live ever more to correct the doctrine of the saints, but rather He always lives to intercede for them. That is His priority.

Why not be like Jesus?

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. jrcooke3039 permalink
    June 7, 2008 12:39 pm

    Excellent thoughts! Love reading your blog, provides great balance to some of the blogs of “Doctrine Police”. May God richly bless you!

  2. Polycarp permalink
    April 10, 2009 6:25 pm

    Where to start….

    First, Here Doctrine is essential to the Church, as the Church keeps it.

    Second, what exactly do you think the ‘knowledge of the Son of God is?” Further, we have fours gospels, one history book, and one truly prophetic book, and 21 doctrine books.

    Quickly, now, you did not quote the full passage. What were those offices for?

    And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head – Christ – from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV)

    Now, honest people will see that, indeed, the Ministry of the Church is to provide sound doctrine. (1st Timothy 1:10; 2nd Timothy 4:3; Titus 1:9; Titus 2:1) Are you honest? Or will you only read what you want to read?

    • rahabsplace permalink*
      April 10, 2009 8:47 pm

      So, are you an apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor or a teacher? That’s who He put in charge of both doctrine and correction of the church. It is the ministry’s job to equip the saints.

      The self-appointed take on roles that Jesus didn’t give them.

  3. Polycarp permalink
    April 10, 2009 9:02 pm

    Yes, I am a minister of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ, appointed by God.

    • rahabsplace permalink*
      April 10, 2009 9:43 pm

      Every Christian is a minister of the Gospel. I asked if you were part of the five fold ministry established by Jesus.

  4. Polycarp permalink
    April 11, 2009 4:49 am

    Yes, I am.

  5. April 12, 2009 7:24 am

    doctrines are essential..but power is just as essential,because without power,christian doctrines are just another set of rules.Doctrines in fact delineates the parameters for the operations and conduct of people with miraculous power, that is those who can do what Jesus has been doing and even the greater things.It is laughable to hear the doctrine police denouncing whatever they chose to denounce,when they do not have the first proof of trustworthiness from above.When the apostle Paul was confronted with people boasting about themselves, he said when he got there he would see what sort of power they had not what sort of doctrine.Jesus did not say the Holy spirit would give us doctrines to be His witness but power, and Paul said the Kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power..doctrines are about talking,sound doctrine cannot cause a blind man to see, but for those who can cause the blind to see need sound doctrine to guide their conduct. I suspect most of the doctrine policemen are all talk without an ounce of power.Power comes from the Lord and is given to those He trusts,not to those He saves..the Lord doing miracles for those who ask Him, is not like those who can do miracles for the Lord, when He asks them. Power is given to those who are mature enough to not mishandle it..Differences and disagreements about doctrines brought the worst of church history..one reason real miraculous power is withheld from most of the church,is because the Father is indeed a good father who does not give children a loaded gun. Look at what the catholics and protestants did to one another with just guns and swords..imagine what they would have done had they had miraculous power.I find most doctrine policemen are like armchair commentators..haven’t got what it takes to play the game so they can only cricticise.Power was withheld from the church because we did not repent of our loss of first love,repent of our tolerance of the nicolatians,balaamites and jezebellians,as well as the yeasts of the Pharisees,Sadducees and Nicolatians. You will find every wrong doctrine has it’s roots in one of these six poisoned seeds and most doctrine police belongs to one of them,each one accusing the other..just like the Pharisees used to fight with the sadducees in the sanhedrin.Absolutely agree with you on love and praying for one another, better still continously forgiving each others’ sins like Jesus said we should. Imagine if the spanish inquisitors fasted and prayed for their victims to repent and let them lived so that they could, instead of torturing them and killing them..how different the church would be..since it is easter..how different the church would have been if the eleven had believed Mary Magdalene and the other women’s message on resurrection morning.But power and doctrines are merely tools to express one’s motives, and in the end..it is our motives that counts the most before the Lord. Many of those who have never been permitted to have any miraculous power of their own will always quote Jesus’ warning in mathew 7:22 and accuse those who do have the power to do miracles as being of the other side,whilst failing to realise that no matter who your master is, you must first be trusted by that master before either one of them will give you miraculous power of your own.It is growth onto maturity that ensures we are not tossed about by mere doctrines, and if the maturity is there the power is there too. The problem with the church is that it is still populated by and large by children.The greatest power of course is love,and the glory of God,is- not only did Jesus die for us whilst we were yet his enemies,but He changed us His enemies to be his sons and daughters. When you can change your enemies,even the enemies of your gospel and doctrines to be your brother..that is the soundness of acceptable doctrine proven by the miraculous power of agape.Show me your doctrines and I will show you the power that approves my doctrines..for Jesus’ reply to john’s disciples was..the blind see, the lame walk…and the gospel is preached to the poor..with Him it was a display of power before the message.So..if the doctrine police can stop a storm like your daughter so the gospel can be preached, then they can speak.But then..if they had power they would not need to be doctrine police.they would be indeed true gifts of Jesus to His church.dr.Ed,Holy Spirit’s workshop.

    • rahabsplace permalink*
      April 12, 2009 2:36 pm

      All I can say is “Amen,” Dr. Kwan.

  6. April 25, 2009 5:29 pm

    Sorry.rahabplace..delete this as you wish..but a respondant’s reply has been troubling me,and less it be thought to be personal so,please delete after you review as you see fit….concerning the five fold ministries..Paul mentions apostles,prophets,evenagelists,teachers and pasotrs..all are gifts from Jesus ,as such are all appointed by Jesus ,and not by men or self appointed.So,if one claim to be a five fold minister..here’s a little check list to see if you are man appointed,self appointed or a Christ given gift to His church.
    1.Apostles…Paul gives the best and clearest definition,for he is the only one who taught us about false apostles, and His seven signs gives the best security check for every one..an apostle is one who comes last in the procession like one condemed to die in the arena,he has seen Jesus,he has a gospel of his own that was not given to him by men or angels,he has a ministry of signs, wonders and miracles done with great perserverance..seven signs..six out of seven..you are men appointed,five out of seven you are satan appointed.
    2.prophets..of God ..has the message from God..but they do not know what to do with the message,and they are men or women who will deliver the message, with or without signs accompanying, but will never tell his listeners what it means or what to do about it…knowing time will prove him true.Rarely do their messages speak of good times to come, but are by and large corrections and warnings of hard times to come.Prophets in the OT were the highest office, not all were Jews.NT prophets operate in submission to the apostolic..that is they will work as a team if an apostle is available..or their prophecies are always in line with the Apostle’s words only..Jesus,our chief apostle. So prophecies like Jesus appearing on stage can be dismissed immediately,or even prophecies of victory in war,so the gospel can be preached,as some did in the Iraq War.
    3.Evangelists..preach the gospel with signs accompanying if they are Christ given..and they target the unsaved..an evangelist that preaches to the converted is self appointed, the size or success of the audience or outreach is never their concern..only the souls saved is.
    4.Teachers..have to be well instructed in the Law of Moses first..then they can bring out the new treasures of the New Testament..a Christ given teacher will know the simple basics ,such as the effect of drinking the blood and eating the flesh of Jesus from the Law’s point of view and will NEVER teach partial observance of the Law to make things seem easier to believers and disciples of Christ.(Lev17/John6).The really expert teacher know the exact Law which allowed Christ to become sin without sinning, and that is why it is Paul who against anything to do with circumcision, jewish traditions and Christ, the sin substitute.Any one who claims to be a teacher,given by Jesus yet teaches partial observance and practice of the Law of Moses is not Christ given, but self appointed,and is a man or women from James the younger, who brought the Church back under the curse of the Partial Observance of the Law in Acts 15.They also will not teach the Church to use James’ letter as part of their liturgy, because they know the letter was written for unconverted jews only.
    5.Pastors..Christ given pastors never rejects anyone who are given to them by Jesus..they know that it is not up to them to build up a large congregation, but rather the size of their flocks are determined by Jesus..they know their sheep by name, and know who is theirs to feed and who belongs to another pastor’s flock and will return that person to their assigned carer. Certainly if anyone is in sin, and refuses to repent after being confronted with the sin privately,then with another witness ot two, then the church, they know that the instruction to treat them as sinners and tax collectors..means that they have to preach the gospel to them all over again,and show them the love of God..as if they are sinners or tax collectors who have just walked into the church, instead of throwing them out. Jesus the chief Pastor never threw anyone away for sin..not even Judas whom He still called his friend,even after he betrayed Him.
    This is part of what is taught at the Holy Spirit’s workshop to the elect of the Lord, on how to know and help those who are truely in the five fold and warn those who are self or men appointed to come to repentance.So, how does the respondant who said he is of the five fold fit?More importantly..your friends, who have proven themselves in the hard work for the Lord..and are called apostles..do you know their gospel that they have recieved personally from the Lord? I am not attacking them..but like the Ephesians, I test everyone who say they are apostles but are not.This is not to say they are evil..no,just men sitting in the wrong office, because of ignorance. However I am really hopeful that men like Peter do have a gospel of their own which they have recieved personally from Jesus,when he saw Him face to face. Personnal gospel is not a prophetic message. It is a pillar doctrine of Christ or a pillar of the teachings of Christ(hebrews6:1-50.
    Thank you for your patience..and as I said, delete this as you wish, but the Holy Spirit troubled me to write this to you this morning.
    A good reason to delete this,is that I am named as a false prophet by the respondants because I teach of the failures of the twelve to listen to Jesus,when he told them to go to bethsaida(after the feeding of the 5000),and their disbelief of the women’s message on resurrection morning,so that no one went to galilee that morning,and it’s consequent efffect on the launch of the Church..which is part of the Holy Spirit’s Workshop teachings to prepare the church for the endgame,and see in Christ’s return. And what do I think of the ministries that are riled against and defended on these blogs? They are all essential for the endgame..regardless of whether they are true or false. What does it matter but Christ be proved true and glorified.And what do I think of Todd’s restoration..of course he should be restored with firmness and love,but what he will do with it,that’s his problem.How he should be restored,that’s Mr Joyner’s problem,because the Lord gave Todd to him. Dr.Ed manager, Holy Spirit’s Workshop.Sydney.

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  1. Defending Rick Joyner’s Ability to Formulate Doctrine « The Church of Jesus Christ

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