“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine….” “Preach the word….with great patience and instruction” (2 Timothy 4:2,3).
The best way to deal with bad theology in the church is for the pastor to always preach the Word.
Just hang in there, year after year, teaching and preaching God’s unchanging truth. The changes in your people will come as you remain faithful.
The word “orthodox” means “right thinking.” Straight shooting. Sound doctrine. Solid reasoning.
We think of heresy as something the bad guys do, the “spiritual gift” of cults, and the aberration of the rebellious. After all, aren’t all heretics nuts? (We interrupt to recommend a book. A half century ago, Walter Nigg wrote “The Heretics” to establish that the great heresies in church history were the work of some pretty smart people with real grievances, and not ‘nuts.’ Reading it was life-changing for me.)
As Walt Kelly’s comic strip ‘possum Pogo once noted, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”
There is enough heresy inside the walls of your church to start twelve new cults by breakfast.
In a half-century and more of churchmanship–pastoring, assistant pastoring,and denominational involvement–I have seen these heresies, beggars riding in king’s chariots, as the saying goes….
1) “If you are having trouble in your Christian life, clearly it’s because you are not saved.”
So–you struggle with temptations, with disciplining yourself to a daily time of prayer and the Word, with controlling your temper, and a thousand other things. “Obviously,” someone says, “You have never been saved.”
The solution is for you to “this time, get it right.” So, you go through all those spiritual contortions–praying, seeking, crying, pleading, and performing autopsies on yourself–hoping that “this time it takes.” You ask the pastor to rebaptize you because “if I was not saved before, it was not real baptism.”
Right thinking–“orthodoxy”–says it would help a great deal if you knew the Word. Christians struggle with temptation, they war against wickedness in high places, they fight a never-ending battle to conform their desires to the mind of Christ. Anyone teaching otherwise is a deceiver.