Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 10, 1958

Strange Doctrines

Gordon Wilson, Port Hueneme, California

"Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines' (Heb. 13:9). Just as our Lord seeks to influence us away from sin by his doctrine, so the devil would influence us away from Christ by his various strange doctrines. What we are in religion, whether a child of God or a child of Satan, will depend upon which doctrine we accept. It is important then that we know and be able to recognize the strange doctrines of the devil in order to avoid them. We haven't the space to even mention all of these doctrines, nor to give a full discussion to any of them. But we shall comment briefly on some of these strange doctrines.

1. Superstition is one of the doctrines with which Satan has ensnared many victims. Supersition is an unreasoning fear of the unknown or mysterious, a belief in magic or chance, and the like. We can readily see that such is the very opposite of the teaching of Christ, which demands of us a trusting faith in God and his providence. Belief in magic charms, lucky pieces, religious relics, etc. destroys belief in God, unless one has such a low concept of God as to think that he works through such things. Superstition proceeds from ignorance, but the gospel demands that we have our minds enlightened so as to be able to discern between what is true and what is false. It is a shame that so many professed Christians cling to superstitious fables and thus have their faith weakened, their idea of God lowered, and their influence for good rendered nugatory.

2. Philosophy is a strange doctrine which has deceived many. We refer of course to philosophy opposed to revelation. Some philosophical thought is true and some is false, but that which is opposed to God's revelation is always false. The apostle Paul makes the distinction in I Cor. 2:5. "That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God." Here the "wisdom of men" is the human philosophy of which the Greeks were inordinately proud. Paul contrasts this with the "power of God" which is divine revelation. Our faith should not stand in philosophy, but in revelation. It is a serious mistake for man to attempt to reason out a code of human behaviour without taking Gods revealed will into consideration.

3. Speculation is a kind of strange doctrine. To speculate is formulate theories without sufficient evidence. There are lots of folks who are more curious about what the Bible does not say anything about than they are about the things revealed. Numerous are the speculations about the nature of the Godhead, about the so-called millennium, about the Lord's Supper, etc. Speculators have had a field day with the apocalyptic books of Daniel and Revelation. When will we learn that the "secret things belong unto God," and that there are many things which it would do us no good whatsoever to know? We should preach the simple doctrine of Christ and leave off the speculations.

4. Softism is strange doctrine. Perhaps this is a word that I made up, or maybe I heard someone else use it. At any rate it describes a state of being weak, compromising, and cowardly. It is the opposite of firmness and boldness. There are many preachers who are just plain "soft." They seemingly are afraid to preach anything controversial; they do not dare to condemn error in such a way as to be understood. Softism can completely undermine the strength of the church by producing a membership lacking in both conviction and courage. A soft, tolerant attitude toward sin has led too many souls in the wrong direction.

There are many strange doctrines which we have not mentioned, but we should particularly be on guard against these few, by leaning and following "sound doctrine."