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Reporter at 2 O'Clock. Roger That.

Most Church Doctrines Are Not Found in the Bible

It is the attempt to read them in that causes people to throw up their hands in despair, sometimes even in disgust, of ever understanding it. To the extent that happens, it makes such doctrines very destructive.

From time to time, this is acknowledged by some clergyman or other.  For example, Richard Lowell Bryant, a United Methodist minister, rained on ‘Trinity Sunday’ recently by declaring of the doctrine: We made it up, saying in part:

“The truth is:  God was nowhere to be found when we made up the Trinity and turned it into a tool to isolate, annoy, and explain God’s expansive love in terms of dysfunctional family.”

His brethren men and women of the cloth hastened to correct him. Especially did one Dr. Hunter, who says: “Several of my students sent me the article, knowing the central place the doctrine of the Trinity holds in the courses I teach at United Theological Seminary.” Dr. Hunter responds with a twelve-paragraph reproof to his fellow minister.

Two things can be observed about his reply.

1. It will barely be comprehensible to the person of common sense, and

2. No appeal is made to scripture for support, a tacit admission that none is to be found there. After all, the New Testament is the origin, if not the blueprint, of Christianity. Is it not telling that he does not go there?

He goes there only a little, to cite John 16 and Jesus’ statement therein that the helper will come along later and reveal all things. He appears to have in mind, per a previous paragraph, the decree of the Council of Nicaea, which took place 300 years after Christ, and in which the Doctor expresses confidence that it was directed by Holy Spirit. But as to the scriptures themselves teaching a triune God—zip. He doesn’t touch it.

The Bible verses can be tortured for that meaning, of course, but tortured is what they must be. They involve taking literally numerous passages which, in any other context, would instantly be recognized as figure of speech. However, it does serve to complicate the obvious and thus serves to supply Dr. Hunter with a teaching career.

Not that Dr. Hunter is a bad man. No, he possibly is a very good man. But he is likely a product of what Jesus spoke of long ago to religious leaders of his day: “Woe to you who are versed in the Law, because you took away the key of knowledge. You yourselves did not go in, and you hinder those going in!”

Since they took the key away, later generations don’t necessarily know that there is a key.

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