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Doctrine in dialogue format
Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth.
"You-hoo, Cynthia, up here!"
"Oh, hi Miss Portia. I didn't see you at first. I guess I was daydreaming or something."
"You did appear to be very preoccupied. What has you so enraptured?"
"I was just thinking how life is so confusing. I've been listening to a few of the radio preachers, and my own of course, and I get confused. It sounds to me like they say almost the same thing, but on some things they say something different. I don't know what to believe. Then on top of this there are some books I read that sounds like they're talking about another Jesus and Bible altogether. What am I supposed to believe Miss Portia? What do you believe?"
"You're asking the wrong person the right question my dear. What I believe is not what others believe, or what you would accept. Besides, it seems to me you're looking for something that moves forward, but you're trying to view it from the rear."
"You're making even less sense than those preachers on the radio Miss Portia. What are you talking about anyway? And what am I trying to see backwards?"
"What I mean Cynthia is that I believe you're looking for something that you should seek to find, but I'm not sure you're looking for it for the right reason. Let me explain with a question. What is your reason for desiring to know the truth? What would you gain by knowing the truth about the Bible that you can't have by accepting what your pastor tells you about the Bible?"
"Hmm, I hadn't really thought about it that way Miss Portia. I guess it's just that I like to know what's true. And I don't think what I know is true. That doesn't make much sense, does it?"
"It does, at least it sounds like what I would expect to hear from anyone else on the quest you find yourself. Have you considered reading the Bible for yourself and looking to see what it says about truth? Or don't you believe the Bible holds truth, that is, that the Bible is the Word of God?"
"Certainly I do Miss Portia. But the Bible is so big, with so many words, and says so many things I don't understand. How can I possibly find in the Bible what God is saying when experts can't seem to read the same book the same way?"
"That's a good point my dear, but there are people in the Bible who sought to learn the truth as you are, and they seem to have found what they were looking for."
"They did? And who are these people Miss Portia?"
"To begin with we have David. We can read David's psalms and find the many ways he sought the truth, and what he discovered."
"That sounds like a good idea. Can you suggest a psalm that tells me how David looked for truth?"
"Off hand I would suggest his first. Here it is. Read this my dear."
"Ok, it says 'Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.' This sounds nice, but I don't see anything in it that will help me find truth. Besides, it talks about thinking of the law all the time. I'd go crazy thinking about the law. Besides, I hear we're not to even think of the law anymore. It's a sin or something like that."
"An interesting viewpoint my dear. Then without the law, you're left with very little of the Bible to consider since the Bible is so heavily into the law. Here's something that might help you. It's helped me, even though it is in the Old Testament, where so much of the law is contained."
"You want me to read this? I'm looking at Daniel 10:12. It says 'Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.' This sounds kind of like me. It says Daniel wanted to understand. That's what I want to do. So how did he do it? I mean, he wanted to understand, but it doesn't say how he did it."
"Yes if does Cynthia. Read that verse again. The angel said Daniel did something besides wanting to understand. What did he do?"
"It says he set out to chasten himself. But doesn't chasten mean to punish? Does that mean he spanked himself?"
"That's an interesting way to put it my dear. Here's someone else who was on a quest to find truth, and to chasten himself. Read what it says where my finger sits."
"You're pointing at 1Corintians 9:27. It says 'But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.' This sounds like Greek to me Miss Portia. What does he mean he brings his body into subjection?"
"He means he beats his body up when it doesn't do what he wants it to do. He chastises himself when he doesn't do what he knows he's supposed to do."
"Like Daniel? That sounds weird Miss Portia. I don't think I'd like to do that. Besides, it's not what my pastor teaches us. And besides that, I don't see how any of this would help me to find the truth."
"Truth, my dear, is not a destination, it's a road. It's like school. You don't attend school for a short period and expect to gain all knowledge. Education never ends. There might be a place you decide to end your quest into knowledge, but the end of knowledge is unreachable. The end of your search for truth has been found even before you begin. The chances of you finding truth without the willingness to walk the proper road is next to none. If you're not willing to walk the road and face all the obstacles it presents along the way, you might as well not even begin your search."
"You're making less and less sense Miss Portia. But ok, then tell me what you think I should do to find truth. What would you do if you were me?"
"If I were you? Well my dear, the first thing I would do is to lay those books and sermons of yours aside. Then I would search the Bible for all the places it tells us what we're to do, then set my mind to do them. I know this goes against your teachings. But as you said, your teachings have not led you to the truth you say you desire."
2Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2Tim 4:)
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