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Doctrine in dialogue format



Ask the Theologian


Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged.

"Welcome to another view of religion. My name is Paynim Shibboleth and I'll be filling in for our regular host Mr Nullifidian for this edition of ask the theologian. Tonight we have as our guest the distinguished author and lecturer Doctor Credence Providential. Doctor Providential, thank you for joining us for tonight's program."

"I'm honored to be here Mr Shibboleth."

"The topic of discussion tonight is doctrinal integrity. It seems to me Doctor Providential that the various denominations are more inclined toward keeping their long established doctrines pure in their original form than they are of seeking truth and an understanding of what other denominational views are seeing. Do you have any comment or stance on this subject?"

"Unfortunately Mr Shibboleth I have to agree with you. Those of any given denomination, whether they be leaders of the church or part of the congregation tend to behave as do members of a political party or a high school football team. They become like-minded and can not see beyond that which they have been instructed to see."

"Did I hear you correctly Doctor Providential? You're telling me that you agree with what I said? Isn't that highly unusual for one in your position?"

"So it would seem Mr Shibboleth. It is uncommon for anyone in any organization to think outside the box. Doing so causes one to be looked on as unlearned and ignorant of the facts being presented to them. But this is not a new occurrence. If you read about Moses and Jesus and all the prophets, they were looked on as oddball and wrong. Fortunately today people who do not wish to follow the leader of the hour is not stoned or beheaded. For this I am grateful."

"I must tell you up front Doctor Providential that your attitude is going to make for an uncommonly boring program today if we're unable to find some area of contention."

"It is unfortunate that strife and argument is found to be more interesting than truth Mr Shibboleth."

"Indeed Doctor Providential. Tonight I would like to bring to the bar the attitude the various denominations have toward one another. It seems of me that just about every member of every denomination, rather than considering themselves brothers and sisters under one Lord and creator prefer to cast stones at one another and find fault with one another. Do you find any Biblical foundation for such a behavior Doctor Providential?"

"None at all Mr Shibboleth. In fact I find in the Word numerous places where we are told to be understanding of one another and to think of one another's welfare above our own. I also find the Bible stresses very strongly the need for not judging others, whether they be Christians of another faith or unbelievers altogether. So I must agree with your statement and say that the churches are failing in this area above all others."

"I take it Doctor Providential that you're speaking of such denominations as the Fundamentalists and the Pentecostals and not those considered cults such as the Mormons and the Jehovah's Witnesses. It is my understanding that there is to be no collaboration with those so far out of what is considered doctrinal truth."

"There is a certain Biblical validity for leaving these denominations out of the acceptable realm of the church as a body. For instance it's an interesting coincidence that in the epistle of John we are told to not listen to those who go door to door with a false message, and to not even wish them god speed. However, while we are not to partake of the message they are delivering, nor to further it, at the same time those of the body of Christ are to be doing the thing same as those people they reject are doing. We are all told to spread the Gospel. So whoever goes door to door places themselves in a position to be under John's condemnation. It's rather a unique catch 22 in my opinion."

"That's an interesting view Doctor Providential, and one I haven't heard before. Then what is your opinion of those who canvas door to door and who are called a cult? Should they be considered lower than the unsaved heathen, an attitude I see prevalent in the churches?"

"Though I don't agree with all their doctrine Mr Shibboleth, there are some parts of their doctrine and practices, especially their practices, that I believe the traditional churches should adapt as their own. These so called-cults are inclined to live what they preach on a larger scale than are the traditional churches as a whole, especially those of recent vintage. They tend to concentrate on missionary work, and they work well with the families, and they learn their Bible, whatever that might be, far better than those in other churches. If churches tried to learn what they can from other churches, including those reconstructionist churches called cults, rather than condemning them and building walls between them, I believe all the churches could benefit."

"Am I hearing you say that all the churches should become like-minded and hold to the same doctrine? That Doctor Providential smacks to me of Ecumenicalism, which in my mind is reaching for the lowest denominator of all the churches and making the church of non effect. Is this what you're advocating Doctor Providential?"

"Not at all Mr Shibboleth. I believe one day all the churches will be of one mind, as the churches are admonished by the Bible to be. But until the Lord comes and establishes truth for us, we, as humans, are incapable of hearing or seeing what the Lord wants of His church. Until He shows us all truth, we will have to stumble along in our awkward way, everyone demanding that they are right and everyone else is wrong. That is, until we have a world power that will whitewash all the churches and establish its own version of Christianity. But at that time it won't matter what denomination you belong to. You will either be a part of that centralized church, or you will be dead."

"You mean like Rome in the Middle Ages and Germany under Hitler Doctor Providential?"

"I was thinking along those lines, yes Mr Shibboleth."

"What you have proposed might or might not be in our future Doctor Providential. For myself, I don't believe any of it. But getting back to today, I ask again, what should be the attitude of those in the traditional denominations toward those in the proselytizing cults?"

"I believe they should be treated as were the Samaritans and the Galileans during the time of Jesus Mr Shibboleth."

"You've thrown me a curve ball Doctor Providential. What has the cults to do with the Samaritans and the Galileans? I see no connection whatever."

"During the time of Jesus there was the established church of the day, based in Judah. And although that church was strongest in Judah where the Temple was established, the religion as a whole extended throughout the area known as Israel. However, two of the three parts of Israel were not accepted by the hyper religious of Judea because they were of mixed origin, a situation intentionally caused by conquerors of Israel long before with the intent of neutralizing the power of the Jews. Galilee had a mild form of acceptance by those attached to the Temple because they, though distantly, remained connected to the Temple. However, between Galilee and Judea there existed a land composed of people who were very near like the Jews, worshiping the same God as the Jews, but in a different place local to themselves. These were the Samaritans."

"Doctor Providential, I know all this. I'm not interested in a history lesson, nor do I wish for you to waste mine and the listeners' time with none essentials. Please keep to the subject at hand."

"I'm sorry Mr Shibboleth, it's just that without a working knowledge of this situation those in the listening audience will not be able to understand my point."

"Very well Doctor Providential, but please move forward quickly. We're running out of time."

"Thank you Mr Shibboleth. The Samaritans, although a part of the same religion as the Jews, were so outcast that a Jew would not touch a Samaritan, nor would he set foot in their land. They were essentially unclean to the Jew. Then came one, a Jew, who seemed to break all the rules. While the hyper godly church of the day was busy trying to demonstrate how wonderful and religious they were by seeing themselves far above those who were outcast in the far regions, Jesus rejected the hyper religious and brought to Himself the outcast of society. His followers were not made up of those who were trained in the ways of God, but of those who were commoners, and knew little of the traditions and the rules of the day.."

"Alright Doctor Providential. You've again told us something we already know. Is this story leading anywhere, or are you just testing our patience?"

"I'm almost through Mr Shibboleth. Jesus judged those who were self-righteous to be out of the will of the Father. And He brought to Himself those who the self-righteous would not even touch or talk to. Those who were looking for right turned out to be the ones chosen, and those who knew they were absolutely right were deemed to be dead wrong."

"Very nicely put Doctor Providential. But so what? What has that got to do with us today?"

"Just this Mr Shibboleth. Jesus told of a good Samaritan who broke the religious rules of the day. He also told us of a detested tax collector who cried out for forgiveness, knowing he was a wretched sinner, and who was forgiven, while the one who was so righteous in his own eyes and looked down on others was condemned. My point Mr Shibboleth is that if we wish to not be under God's condemnation, we had better not be judging those such as Galileans and the Samaritans who are trying harder than we, the righteous, to please their Lord."

1Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? (Mat 7:)

14Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. 15And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned? (John 7:15)

7There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. 8(For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) 9Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. (John 4:)

22And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, . . . Send her away; for she crieth after us. 24But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 25Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. 26But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs. (Mat 15:)

25In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes. (Judges 21:)

12For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 14For the body is not one member, but many. 15If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? (1Cor 12:)

9For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (1Cor 13:)

5Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: 6That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Rom 15:)

10If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. (2John 1:)

15And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. (Mark 16:)

27What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. (Mat 10:)

25And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 26He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? 27And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. 28And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. 29But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? 30And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. 33But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, 34And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. 36Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? 37And he said, He that showed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise. (Luke 10:)

12And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: 13And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. 14And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go show yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. 15And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. 17And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? 18There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. 19And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole. (Luke 17:)




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