I think theology and doctrine are important. Knowing what you believe is critical to spiritual well-being.
However, I have seen many make camp in a particular theology or doctrine, to hold to a doctrine at all costs, only to then make shipwreck of the rest of the Bible.
For instance, I recently read a book about Eternal Security, Once Saved Always Saved. From the start, let me say–I believe that the believer is eternally secure.
I also know that the Bible includes many warning passages and conditional statements about salvation. I don’t think this means you can lose your salvation, I think it means there are few who are saved, while many believe they are.
The author tried to counter the warning passages of the Bible and eliminate them from contention. I felt he did so poorly.
While talking about warning passages in the OT and Gospels, he concluded that this was for people under the law. He said flat out that people under the law could lose their salvation.
Really? In a book about eternal security he concludes that there was a time when people could lose their salvation? I thought that was unreal. Yet, in order to buck up his theological point, he has to make that conclusion otherwise he doesn’t know what to do with warning passages in the OT or Gospels.
Ironically, he quotes David at one point, saying that God was the rock of his salvation, yet the author then said no one who denies eternal security could make that claim! Wait, what?
Several times throughout the book he said things like, “Since we know eternal security is true, we know that this verse can’t be warning believers.”
In other words–since I believe this, whatever this verse means, it can’t mean the opposite of what I believe.
That is, quite possibly, the worst way to interpret Scripture.
If you automatically eliminate a possible application because it disagrees with what you already believe, you might as well just quit reading the Bible.
It is my contention that most doctrines in the Bible have a verse or two (at least) that will seemingly contradict it. I think God does this on purpose to keep us humble, to keep us from having our knowledge puff us up.
This author’s knowledge puffed him up. I think that in an effort to buck up his doctrine he undermined three-fourths of the Bible to do it.
This is not good. Have the confidence in God that he meant what He said. Take all that God says about a subject and go with that. Don’t stake your claim and throw out everything “contradictory.” You look like a moron when you do that.
The Bible is a large book. Let it shape your doctrine; don’t let your doctrine shape it.