We are two South African brothers in the faith concerned with the lack of discernment in South African churches. The prosperity gospel, word of faith heresy and the teachings of the New Apostolic Reformation have led to a spiritual “famine in the land.” We examine popular teachers and teachings in the visible church and compare them to the word of God. Our intention is to promote sound doctrine and discern truth from error.
Why is doctrine important?
The word doctrine, derived from the Greek word didaskalia , means “teaching or instruction.” The word “doctrine” is sometimes seen as something negative, divisive, optional, reserved for the intellectual, yet nothing could be further from the truth. Those who believe doctrine is optional, unnecessary, or divisive, are themselves creating a doctrine. Doctrine is not in opposition to a spirit filled life, to the contrary, it is the basis for it. It is necessary to make this point because there are some movements and teachers within the visible church that claim doctrine stifles the work and the move of the Holy Spirit. Through creating this false dichotomy, they are able to persuade their hearers to accept their own unbiblical teachings. These teachings usually come in the form of stories (in which they feature) “signs and wonders” (which usually take on the form of bizarre manifestations) and you will notice that very rarely do they work through a biblical text and exegete scripture (exegesis involves the examination of a particular text of scripture in order to properly interpret it.) It is therefore quite ironical that those who accuse doctrine of being divisive in order to substantiate their neglect or twisting of God’s word, are actually the one’s being divisive. This is because good doctrine is in fact divisive, in a good sense: “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.” Romans 16: 17 – 18.
Paul’s instruction to Titus as an overseer, was to: “hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.” Titus 1:9
It is clear from this verse that sound doctrine is not optional, and that we should not be passive regarding sound doctrine, but rather “rebuke those who contradict it.” We simply cannot divorce sound doctrine from authentic faith, as faith is based on sound doctrine – not feelings, experiences, or teachings that “tickle ears” by appealing to the natural desires and worldly passions of hearers. Sound doctrine is essential for a sound walk with Christ: “ Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers” 1 Timothy 4:16
Those who teach false doctrine are not in some remote cave with a handful of followers, they are among us. “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies” 2 Peter 2:1
These false teachers are popular, many have large churches, thousands of followers, their teachings are sought after, their books on best sellers lists. They are the ones who have new “revelations” who present a Jesus who is able to help you fulfil your dream destiny. They present new methods, make great claims, and offer “impartations” “activations” “anointings” and will captivate you with their “smooth talk and flattery.” Their influence, claims, number of followers, likeable personalities, passion and sincerity are all “proof” in the eyes of their followers that they are anointed. Should we lay all the blame on these false teachers who teach false doctrine? No, in fact it’s the hearers who are the problem: “the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths” (2 Tim. 4:3)
We hope this page will be a helpful resource, as together we “search the scriptures to see if these things are so.”
STATEMENT OF FAITH
1. We believe in the verbal and plenary inspiration of the 66 books of the bible. The word of God is sufficient for “teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Tim 3:16-17. We reject any new “revelations” that render the word of God insufficient.
2. We believe that there is only one and true living God, eternally existing in three persons – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Each member of the trinity share the same nature and attributes.
3. We believe that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, came in the flesh (incarnation), clothed in humility yet retained his divinity. Jesus was fully human, and fully divine. He died for our sins, was raised from the dead ( bodily resurrection) and is at the right hand of the Father and will return in glory and establish his kingdom (literal return).
(Matt 1:23; Philippians 2:6-7; Acts 1:1)
4. We believe that men and women have inherited a sinful nature, and that there is no hope for fallen man apart from the redemptive work of Jesus Christ.
5. We believe that the redemptive work of Christ on the cross has made salvation possible. It is by the grace of God and through faith we are saved: “ For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8,9).
6. We believe that those who are saved, are members of the spiritual body of Christ – the church. Believers’ baptism and the Lord’s supper are the two ordinances that God has instituted for his church.
7. We believe that every human being will be resurrected, those who are saved to the resurrection of life where they will spend eternity in the presence of God, and those who are unsaved to the resurrection of eternal and conscious damnation. (I Corinthians 15:5-57; Rev. 20:11-15).