Doctrinal Discernment: We Do Not Give Scalpels to Angry Children

Doctrinal discernment in the church is lacking. For many Christians, tradition and/or experience trump doctrine. This is harmful to the church and rampant in the church.

But so are the kind of Christians and bloggers that are always looking to be against something instead of for something. Cynicism is not a spiritual fruit or spiritual gift.

Richard Lovelace has a great phrase in this regard. He states,

Considering the capacity of variant orthodoxies to divide the church, we might also question how much doctrinal discernment God can safely entrust to the church. We do not give scalpels to angry children. [Dynamics of Spiritual Life, 286. Emphasis added.]

Scalpels are ultimately to be instruments of healing for the whole body. An angry surgeon is a horrifying thought for anyone suffering from a chronic disease looking for wholeness. The same is true for the church, the body and bride of the Lord Jesus.

There are few things more frightening than those self-proclaimed doctrine police who wield there “discernment” scalpels like machetes. According to the apostle Paul, the man of God must not be quarrelsome, kind, and correct those in error with gentleness (2 Ti. 2:24-25).

Scalpels are needed. It’s the angry surgeons we could use a lot less of.

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