The apostle Paul admonished Titus to “speak the things that become sound doctrine”. (Titus 2.1) But there’s really a lot today that is preached here in America or taught on some websites that is really not sound doctrine. It’s often nebulous speculation on Bible themes, frequently mixed with a worldly agenda to compel Christians to vote for one political party against the other.
Fifteen years ago here in Austin, Texas I went to a large, well known evangelical church on a Wednesday night. It was packed with nearly 3000 people. The guest speaker was going to teach on a subject dear to my heart: Daniel chapter 9. But after his first 10 minutes of hurriedly speaking on the things I’d come to hear, he launched into what evidently was the main burden of his heart, a long discourse on a controversial opinion of Bible prophecy that dovetailed perfectly with his political views. I became incensed. At length it became the closest I’ve ever gotten to disrupting a church service in order to be some kind of voice of truth there.
This was a church I attended regularly, where the pastor had really been teaching the pure Word of God and many people were coming to hear the sound doctrine regularly coming from the pulpit. But on Wednesday night, the pulpit was being used for propagating speculation and controversy, mixed with a strongly secular political agenda. But the thousands of people there figured it was just as much the truth as what the preacher was telling them on Sundays, when it wasn’t. It was speculation and worldly politics from the pulpit instead of sound doctrine.
This was an older, mainline church with many wealthy members. I was a nobody; just a returning missionary, trying to find a home church. But I felt compelled to try to contact the pastor and I went to his office to express my views. He wasn’t there but his secretary took a note of my concerns. To my complete surprise, one evening I got a call from the pastor, the head of this church of around 7,000 people here. We talked for around 45 minutes.
I told him about my background of becoming a Christian through the Jesus Movement of the early 70’s. And then I poured out my heart to him about how I respected his teaching very much. But I felt that he’d allowed his pulpit to be used for speculation and politics when the members of the church would think that anything said there had the same degree of truth that he taught.
He took it really well, basically agreed with me and also agreed that what had been taught on Wednesday night, the “pre-tribulation rapture” doctrine as it’s called, was not really sound doctrine. It was just one of many disputed views on the subject of Bible prophecy and how it will unfold in times to come. Honestly I was stunned that he would even take time to phone me about it. It gave me a respect for that man that he would “condescend to men of low estate” (Romans 12:16), like myself.
And now, being back in the States again after more years on the mission field, I again find the same thing. I find in some places really strong and feeding sermons being preached, which I get a lot out of. But in other places there are the same spurious, specious speculations being taught, especially about Bible prophecy. And often it’s just an opening to supposedly lay a Biblical foundation for extreme political views.
It’s not only heartbreaking, it’s motivating. It motivates me to try to make the material on this web site to be “sound doctrine”. A Bible teacher should consider it essential to differentiate between their own speculations and what can be accepted as sound doctrine. Otherwise you are creating confusion in those you teach. Quite possibly you’re engendering unbelief when your speculation on current events as being a direct fulfillment of Bible prophecy turns out differently from what you taught your flock. This is what I wrote about in “The whites of their eyes”. There’s even a verse about “handling the Word of God deceitfully.” (II Corinthians 4:2) Like by using it to promote your political agenda?
My goal on this site is to lay out from Scripture what can be taken as much as possible to be sound doctrine, not politically-mixed prophetic speculation. So if I’m not political enough or campaigning for your candidate, maybe my articles and videos are not your cup of tea. On the other hand, it would do us all good to remember what Paul said that “our citizenship is in heaven” and our feet need to be planted on the sound doctrines of the eternal Word of God, not speculations and politics. God bless you!