In the book of Titus 2:1 The bible speaks of sound doctrine and of course we’re aware that sound doctrine is doctrine that can be supported by scripture and has a solid foundation throughout the bible as established teaching. And course, if it were that simple we could all go home. Unfortunately, that’s not all there is to it, because men can twist scriptures to support their own teachings ideas and opinions all the while using the bible to do it.
I heard a preacher say one time that some people put their ideas above the WORD. The WORD says this but I don’t agree with that, thus making themselves God. Some put their ideas on the same level as the WORD, my thoughts are just as good as God’s; and some do what they should do, which is keep their opinions under subjection to the WORD.
So where does that leave us? Has God left benchmarks in the scripture to show what is sound and what is not? In a later post, I will go over the details of some false teachings but just to start us out, below are some basics.
Over the years of teaching and preaching and seeing pulpit disasters, I have come to several conclusions that I am going to share with you. First, it is a fearful thing to mishandle the Word of God or slant it or misuse it to my own benefit. We can be sincerely wrong, but God is faithful and won't let us stay wrong for long.
So, in order for a teaching to be an established teaching of the church of God, three things must be examined before we run around thumping our bibles:
1. It has to be in its proper context to be taught as a doctrine of the church. So many preachers and teachers take advantage of their position by not being careful in this one area. Whole denominations and groups and religious practices have been established from misrepresented scriptures. Preachers who are not careful in this area may satisfy themselves, but not God, and do irreparable harm to people’s souls practicing things that are taken out of context. Something being passed down to me from a “good brother” is not enough. Is it properly administered?
Read the scriptures above and below---sounds simple but many will not do this. Study the context of what is being said, and why it was being said, and pray. You will emerge from your quiet place with proper principle that cannot be slanted too far one way or the other.
(of recent years, some have taken Acts 2 regarding the disciples being labeled as drunk by the onlookers on the day of Pentecost and have started a whole holy laughter/unspeakable joy movement from it where people sit in services and laugh uncontrollably or act drunk
2. No one scripture can make a doctrine or a practice. There has to be a witness to this teaching or practice in other places in the bible: (does this teaching fit the character of God as displayed in the rest of the bible. God is not going to contradict himself, or place a heavy burden that His Word has not established in a solid way). Deut 17:6, Deut 19:15-18.
(I have heard people use the scripture in I Corinthians 11 to say that a woman cannot even cut split ends on her hair, when this one passage is no way teaches this at all. Many have ruined their beautiful hair trying to practice this).
3. Look at the Fruit of the teaching. If the fruit is not holy and righteous, more than likely, the root is not holy. Can that precept be applied in every age, every situation, and still end up with a holy conclusion? We are talking proper bible principle. Matt 12:33 James 1:12-13; Romans 11:16 (the source, the seed of the thing) You can tell the seed by the fruit it yields. What are the results of this belief, are the results confusion—God says he is not the author of that-- people stumbling over my testimony—does it lead to disobedience to other parts of the bible and the Holy Ghost trying to hold this teaching—some type of false balance in my life.
(for example, I diligent working with the church, but ignore my family , my job or my health all of which God gave me as well and teaches just as soundly in scripture the importance of maintaining.)
I heard a minister at meeting relay how a particular church group told a man that was a backslider that whoever he had married before he was saved, was still his wife, according to the scripture. Sounds good because anyone could point to certain scriptures where Jesus seemingly is teaching that if you marry someone, in the eyes of God that is your spouse forever and you should never remarry under any circumstances. So the man went to rekindle his relationship with his ex-wife who was in another state (they had legally divorced). She was remarried by this time to another man (not sure whether there were children in the picture). She was not happy with her marriage at the time, one thing led to another and they had sex. He went back to the good brethren and told them what he had done but argued with them that he had not done any sin, because in God’s eyes, that was his wife! So in essence he broke up another home to “obey God” based on the wrong principle. Was that right, of course not. They apparently didn’t know what to say to this.
2 Timothy 2: 16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. 17 And their word will eat as doth a canker:  of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; 18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.