The apostle Paul identifies the foundation of the Christian faith:

Romans 10:9 — That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

And yet, most Christians struggle to reasonably articulate the meaning of those three phrases. Fewer less can say what each implies for the rest of Scripture.

Consider another popular verse:

Genesis 2:7 — And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

How many can define the breath of life from Scripture alone?

How many can distinguish the breath of life given to Man from that given to animals?

Who can state the clear distinction between the spirit and the soul?

Sure, men expound loquaciously, but none elucidate the deep questions that these verses evoke in the mind of the curious believer.

What about this passage?

Matthew 12:32 — And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

How many Christians recognize the paradox in this Scripture?

Of those, who can reconcile the paradoxical statements?

How about one more?

Hebrews 9:22 — And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

Another paradox, but how many Christians can find its resolution within the pages of Scripture?

How many of those can explain its significance, without dismissing it along the way?

Dismissing something certainly destroys its significance, right?

Note: a paradox is not a contradiction; it reads like a contradiction, but in fact, the two opposing statements prove true.

These examples should give us good reason to doubt our comprehension of Scripture. And if we doubt our knowledge, then we ought suspect the teachings of church leaders, from whom we derive understanding.

I contend that many church doctrines, as written and taught, fail to address real problems faced by believers. Leaders of the church expect members to espouse biblical explanations that make no sense, to defend principles that embarrass the serious apologist, and to fixate on earthly metaphors: mere shadows of heavenly realities.

Have you ever been told: just have faith, for the mind of Man can never fully understand the mind of God?

Isaiah 55:8-9 — For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

And, yet the Scriptures also say this:

Proverbs 2:1-2 — My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;

Proverbs 2:5-6 — Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

Proverbs 4:1-2 — Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.

Proverbs 3:13-14 — Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.

1 Corinthians 2:13 — Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

Colossians 2:8 — Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Matthew 15:9 — But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

You see, God’s ways are higher than Man’s ways, but God doesn’t keep His knowledge secret and unto Himself. He shares it with those who seek the counsel of His Word.

Don’t be discouraged from asking tough questions and demanding reasonable answers.

This failure of church leadership has produced generations of believers without critical thinking skills, lacking confidence to question issues they do not understand, and bereft of a Bible-based faith that can quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. We have lost the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:13-17).

You all know of which I speak, but it’s not the fault of the Roman Catholics, or the Orthodox, or the Protestants. I am speaking to all of us. Each of us acquiesce to church doctrines that rely on faulty presuppositions or poor interpretations of Scripture.

We have all failed, and judging by the posts on Christian social media platforms, we are non the wiser.

Jeremiah 5:31 — The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?

2 Timothy 4:3-4 — For 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; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

These verses should convict all of us. Every Christian community boasts of its transcendence in all matters Christian. We race one another back to the origins of the New Testament, each yelling we won!

1 Corinthians 1:30-31 — But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

Instead, we bicker amongst ourselves while we struggle to answer the most basic of questions without protracted equivocation or appeals to mysteries in a box. Even worse, we manifest an obsessive-compulsive distraction with biblical metaphors, missing the spiritual lesson the metaphor teaches.

This highlights a real problem in the body of Christ. We are not as grounded in the Word of God as we think. Instead, we rely upon imperfect doctrines of men while neglecting the complete teachings of Scripture. We are complacent and lazy in our communities of like-minded believers. We give no serious attention to refining and improving the basic doctrines of the Christian faith. We rest comfortably on what’s been taught rather than working diligently on what to learn.

Do we believe our church communities have fully expounded the Word of God? Do we believe we have fully explicated the details of Christian doctrine? Do we believe there is nothing left to learn?

Or do we believe we shall never stop learning?

Revelation 19:13 — And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

Romans 11:33 — O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

Psalm 145:3 — Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.

Again, the Scriptures do not teach that God is unknowable. They teach that our search to know Him shall never end. He is that wonderful.

1 Corinthians 2:4-5 — And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

1 Corinthians 2:9-10 — But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

1 Corinthians 2:13 — Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

1 Corinthians 13:11-12 — When 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. For 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.

2 Corinthians 4:18 — While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Do we believe we are just a recorder of another man’s words?

Or do we believe this inspiring gem?

Proverbs 25:2 — It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of Kings is to search out a matter.

The Scriptures have not failed us. We have failed the Scriptures.

But I have not lost hope. I still believe that many believers are dissatisfied with the answers taught to them. I still believe that many are eager to better comprehend the Word of God.

However, to secure that hope, I need to believe that God’s Word was written for me. It was written to prepare me for every good work, if I walk in the Spirit of Christ.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 — All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

We should agree that all Scripture is profitable for doctrine. And, when a church doctrine rightly suffers constant attack, then we should question its principles. If found lacking, we should search the Scriptures to correct its shortcomings and make it complete. Doctrines should follow a constantly iterating process of correction and refinement. But that is not happening. The Church suffers from weak doctrines unworthy of the physical and spiritual challenges facing Christians.

By the way, I strongly oppose the evolution of church doctrine to comply to society’s latest debauchery.

What I promote is that the Word of God is a solid rock: a stable and secure foundation upon which to build one’s faith. Church doctrines communicate the organized thoughts of men. As men learn more about the Word of God, the general consensus should adapt, and like the consensus, so the church doctrines.

At their best, church doctrines should unite the whole of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation. Church doctrines should tell a unified story: logically consistent, profound in breadth and depth, but simple to the mind of a young child. Church doctrines should also reunite our church communities instead of fomenting division.

Therefore, I encourage all of us to trust not the doctrines of men. Instead, place all trust in the Holy Scriptures: knowing the Word of God shall prevail, though the words of men often fail.

Isaiah 55:11 — So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

2 Timothy 4:2 — Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

And so it begins . . .

IN THE WORD