Doctrine has been a hot topic since the church began. Doctrine is often misunderstood as simply a set of beliefs; but doctrine, in it’s truest sense, is far more than that. Doctrine in the church is a set of beliefs, but it is also the teaching of life principles that are intended to shape the way we as Christians live in this world. We may want to say “I’m not interested in doctrine, I just want to love Jesus.” – but that is a doctrine, and it will affect the way a person lives.
That’s why doctrine is actually very important. Not simply as an exercise of the intellect, but as a guide for the choices we must make on a daily basis. The apostle Paul felt doctrine was important, and urges Christians to follow sound doctrine in the passage we’ll be reading this Sunday: Titus 2:1-10.
When Paul starts describing what he considers to be sound doctrine he doesn’t set out a series of theological propositions, what does he speak about? What does that tell us about the nature of a truly healthy belief system?
A lot of this passage presents pictures of women in roles that are hugely debated in our present society. We sometimes think that Paul is defining roles for women and men in this passage, but we have to be careful in reading it that way, because his mention of slaves being submissive in the next few verses, read that way, could lead us to believe Paul was also endorsing the evil of slavery. Rather than reading this as Paul defining roles, we should read this as Paul applying the principles of the gospel to the cultural framework he was presenting it in. It’s really sort of cool – cultures change and evolve and the truths of the gospel can apply within them, affecting change from within.
In our present culture, what do Paul’s words about family and employment mean to us? How does a healthy belief system get worked out in our modern society?
Stuff to chew on. See you Sunday! (Home group leaders – Here is the study guide for this teaching: leaders guide 5-13-12 )