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    Church Doctrine

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    Hackmodford
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    Church Doctrine

    Post  Hackmodford on February 1st 2011, 11:42 am

    Can a church group make a doctrine that helps us enter the kingdom of God?
    For instance some churches say no alcohol and others say it's fine.
    Is it wrong to say alcohol is bad and therefore the whole church group should astain from it?

    Here's a scripture that was recently brought up to me.
    1 Timothy 5:17
    Let the leders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

    Notice how it says "word" and then says "doctrine"

    What is the difference between the two?


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    Paeter
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    Re: Church Doctrine

    Post  Paeter on February 1st 2011, 8:24 pm

    Hackmodford wrote:Can a church group make a doctrine that helps us enter the kingdom of God?
    For instance some churches say no alcohol and others say it's fine.
    Is it wrong to say alcohol is bad and therefore the whole church group should astain from it?

    Here's a scripture that was recently brought up to me.
    1 Timothy 5:17
    Let the leders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

    Notice how it says "word" and then says "doctrine"

    What is the difference between the two?

    The "word" (or "logos" as the Greek uses there), refers to the words of God. "Doctrine", sometimes translated there as "teaching", is the interpretation of the words of God.

    A local church can decide on any "doctrine" that they want, but the leaders are kept accountable for having good doctrine by the church body. So if a church is teaching bad doctrine(doctrine that does not reflect the actual word of God), they should be asked to change by members of the body. If they show an unwillingness to change bad doctrine, they should probably be left in favor of finding a church that handles doctrine better.

    That's my position on the issue. Any other thoughts on this?



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    Hackmodford
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    Re: Church Doctrine

    Post  Hackmodford on February 1st 2011, 8:42 pm

    So for instance...
    Our church follows the ordinance of headcovering for woman and uncovering for men as in 1 Corinthians 11.
    But in addition to that we decided to use the bandanas you find in walmart as our official headcovering and it has to be tied under the chin.

    Headcovering is the word of God.
    The extra part is our local church doctrine.

    Is that correct?


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    Re: Church Doctrine

    Post  Paeter on February 2nd 2011, 6:54 pm

    Hackmodford wrote:So for instance...
    Our church follows the ordinance of headcovering for woman and uncovering for men as in 1 Corinthians 11.
    But in addition to that we decided to use the bandanas you find in walmart as our official headcovering and it has to be tied under the chin.

    Headcovering is the word of God.
    The extra part is our local church doctrine.

    Is that correct?

    Hmm. I want to avoid rabbit trailing here, but that's a tough one for me to answer. The reason being that I don't understand that passage to be cross-cultural, universal instruction. Much like other verses we assume to be cultural and don't strictly apply to our ministries or lives today.(Mark 6:8-11, 1 Thes. 5:26, 1 Tim 2:8)

    This is an issue that Christians have come to different conclusions on. The evidence I've examined leads me to conclude that Paul's specific instructions about head covering were in response to the Corinthian Greek culture. But that's a different topic and you're welcome to read my thoughts on it here:

    http://spiritblade.blogspot.com/2009/05/in-search-of-truth-1st-corinthians-111.html

    Regarding your specific question, I'd say the belief in requiring modern head covering itself is the "doctrine" of your church (doctrine being teaching based on an interpretation of the word), while the choice to buy them from Wal-mart is no more than church "policy", since Christian doctrine is pulled directly from the Bible and Wal-mart is not mentioned anywhere in 1st Corinthians.

    Hopefully that's helpful.



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    Re: Church Doctrine

    Post  Hackmodford on February 3rd 2011, 12:01 pm

    So...

    Wearing a headcovering is our church doctrine?
    Using a bandana tied under the chin is our church philosphy or tradition?

    Also I wanted to look up some more info on the group called the "skeptics" I'm betting you own a book similar to this one.
    http://www.amazon.com/IVP-Bible-Background-Commentary-Testament/dp/0830814051/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1296748767&sr=1-1


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    Re: Church Doctrine

    Post  Paeter on February 3rd 2011, 1:02 pm

    Hackmodford wrote:So...

    Wearing a headcovering is our church doctrine?
    Using a bandana tied under the chin is our church philosphy or tradition?

    Also I wanted to look up some more info on the group called the "skeptics" I'm betting you own a book similar to this one.
    http://www.amazon.com/IVP-Bible-Background-Commentary-Testament/dp/0830814051/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1296748767&sr=1-1

    Pretty much. Or a little more precisely, the TEACHING or BELIEF that head covering is commanded for us by scripture is the doctrine your church validates. Actually WEARING a head covering would be an act of obedience to that doctrine. Doctrine is a stated belief, not an action in and of itself.

    And yes, tying it under the chin would be the policy or tradition of your church.

    And I actually own both volumes of the IVP Bible Background Commentary and use them regularly in preparation for "In Search Of Truth". I'd highly recommend them!


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    Re: Church Doctrine

    Post  Hackmodford on March 15th 2011, 11:39 am

    It's been a while, but I was thinking on your argument about headcovering being a cultural specific thing... I have one problem with that. From what I can tell the church at Corinth had allot of cultures intermingled with them. Greek+Roman+Jewsish(possibly?)

    So if that's true why would Paul say go with the Greek tradition instead of the Roman tradition or Jewish Tradition?

    Also I've been digging through the internet and trying to find out what the early christians did and it seems that they all followed this custom one way or another. (i.e. some covered their face some did not)

    Any more thoughts?


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    Re: Church Doctrine

    Post  Paeter on March 16th 2011, 5:11 pm

    Hackmodford wrote:It's been a while, but I was thinking on your argument about headcovering being a cultural specific thing... I have one problem with that. From what I can tell the church at Corinth had allot of cultures intermingled with them. Greek+Roman+Jewsish(possibly?)

    So if that's true why would Paul say go with the Greek tradition instead of the Roman tradition or Jewish Tradition?

    Also I've been digging through the internet and trying to find out what the early christians did and it seems that they all followed this custom one way or another. (i.e. some covered their face some did not)

    Any more thoughts?

    Corinth certainly was a blend of cultures. Though Paul is not playing "cultural favorites", but rather dealing with the "pop-culture" traditions that were especially ingrained in Corinth. It would have made no difference what culture the head covering tradition came from. It was a popular tradition and was relevant to how people and God would be viewed. This is what made it relevant for Paul and worth teaching on.

    There are two principles guiding Paul's teaching here. One goes without saying, and that is to honor God. The other is actually presented by the context leading up to 1 Cor. 11, which indicates that we're talking about cultural issues rather than universal ones. That principle is to honor and "give no offense"(1. Cor. 10:31-33) to each other.

    In chapters 8-10 of 1st Corinthians, Paul is giving instruction on how Christians should view their freedom within the context of their culture. He started out by addressing food sacrificed to idols(something alien to our modern American culture, but a big part of specifically Corinthian culture) and in chapter 11 touches on the custom of head coverings.

    You're right that the churches in general likely handled this issue in similar ways. In verse 16, when Paul concludes his teaching on this issue, he says that if anyone still wants to be contentious about it, to appeal to the fact that it is the common church custom. Note that he doesn't say, "if anyone still wants to be contentious, warn them that this is the command of God and they should obey it." He essentially just says, "C'mon, guys. Be reasonable. We're all biting the bullet and doing this too."

    Because of this final word from him and the surrounding context of Paul teaching on interaction with surrounding culture, I'm convinced that the head covering issue is also an issue of culture, rather than a universal command on attire.

    I also think there are more logical complications and inconsistencies in treating texts like this as universal. I think if we assume this is universal teaching on attire, we also have to ask ourselves:

    1. Why would God preserve in scripture extensive teaching on issues that are effectively obsolete? (1 Corinthians Chapter 8 is obsolete if we assume the teaching is universal, since no cultures I'm aware of practice this precise custom today.) God could have had Paul write Corinth about this, but why preserve it for us?

    2. Why do we not immediately kiss each other when we meet? (1. Thes. 5:26)

    3. Why are we not required to lift our hands in public prayer? (1 Tim 2:8)


    Maybe I'm looking at this wrong. I suppose it's possible that the teaching on head coverings from Paul IS universal and relevant today. But if it is, and if we want to treat scripture consistently (rather than picking and choosing what we want to believe) I think these three points (and probably numerous others) need to be addressed in a consistent manner.

    It's a difficult passage, definitely. But I think the most logically consistent resolution to the issue is to see it as teaching on cultural interaction, rather than attire.


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