I made a confession of faith when I was 10. I believed I was saved. I can now honestly say, that I didn't know the truth until I was 19 and I was introduced to the concept of grace. You see, no one ever told me that I was a desperately wicked sinner that could not "earn" salvation on my own. I spent 9 years of agony trying to be good enough for God. Believe me, it is the worst way to live! What began the change in my heart was understanding that I am a sinner-deserving of death- but the Jesus took my place on the cross. Confessing that I couldn't do it on my own....what a relief!
Now, let me define what I mean by soft doctrine. Soft doctrine is teaching that refuses to acknowledge Jesus as the only way. Soft doctrine takes hard concepts in the Bible- like hell- and tries to eliminate them through human reasoning. In the pursuit of love, soft doctrine misses the forest for the trees. It says: "we can explain God in human terms that makes more sense to us than God's Word." Essentially, it makes an idol out of God.
Isaiah 55:8-9 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says 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,"
Love is the most important thing. But love does not just tell you what you want to hear. Love tells it like it is. When a pastor refuses to take a stand, or "tell it like it is" for the fear of offending someone, or making them feel unloved, he has done them a great disservice. I am glad someone told me. My eternity depended on it.
It is wise to be discerning of truth. It is wise to raise an eyebrow when someone hesitates to proclaim it. Especially one who's career is to teach it. I believe that it is the responsibility of those who teach God's Word to be extremely clear about what they believe, rather than throwing out a bunch of questions that they never mean to answer fully.
Matthew 7:22-23 "Many will say to Me in that say, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then, I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!"
That verse is referring to people who claimed to be believers, not unbelievers. That could have been me, had I not heard the truth. The danger of soft doctrine is that there are people out there (like me) who won't get it. They will spend their lives calling themselves Christians, but being deceived the whole time! People who never experience true spiritual fruit in their lives. People who never yield their pride to the molding Spirit of God. People who long for the grace that Jesus offers, but never desire the Lordship that He commands.
John 14:15 "If you love Me, keep My commandments."
Although salvation is about grace, the Bible teaches that some will claim that salvation and not really have it. See Matthew 7:22-23 above. It is important that we know for sure.
2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."
Ephesians 2:10 "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."
Matthew 7:17 "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore, by their fruits you will know them."
Yes, love is of utmost importance. And speaking the truth in love is an art to be mastered. (I have not yet...) But love does not have to accept all theologies. True love does not have to make everyone agree with it.
True love speaks truth.....