Jesus from the Deesis Mosaic (Photo credit: jakebouma)
D is for Doctrine or Dogma
In life we need to have principles and stand on them. If not we will be wavering like St. Paul warns us against: “be no more children, tossed to and fro,
and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” (Ephesians 4:14,15) St. Patrick on whose day the world revels, refers to the Trinitarian doctrine: I bind unto myself the strong name of the trinity… confessors faith, Apostles word, the patriarchs faith, the prophets scrolls…
The doctrine came from the Lord, preached by the Apostles and preserved by the Father’s of the Church. At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, St. Matthew records: And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes (Mt 7:28-29).
What the Lord taught the Apostles preached: The Apostles Creed – everyone who wanted to be baptized needed to accept the doctrine and this was also made known in the Didache (The Apostle’s Teaching)
The Anglican Doctrine comprises of Scripture, Creeds (The Apostles,The Nicene and the Athanasian Creed). It’s a living doctrine as it is dynamic and is reflected in the way of prayer and manner of life. Below:Picture of Christ and the 12 Apostles – one of the entrances of Westminster Abbey by Holly Michael
Yesterday, while at church, a polling place for elections, there was a low turn out. Some of the election officials to stretch their feet and we
began to walk around the church, talking about the stained glass windows of the Apostles and Disciples, etc.
At Saints windows, an official asked, “Is he in the Bible?” The official was hesitant to accept anything not in the Bible as true and wasn’t impressed by the 2000 years of Christian History that our church still holds onto. I was saddened by the way this person must have been taught. Not the fullness of doctrine but, only the doctrine cherry picked by her pastor.
How wrong it is to block people from approaching the fullness of scripture. Some do not want to engage in the Discourse on the Bread of Life (John 6) – one of the “unlesses” from the Lord that is swept under the rug. “Unless” you are born again, you cannot have everlasting life, “unless” you eat the flesh of the son of man and drink His blood, you will have no life in you.
Never mind the faith of the Apostles and saints who have shed their blood for preaching of the Gospel, whose life and tradition are exemplary imitation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They walked the scorching desert, rode the tempestuous waves and said ” the love of Christ urges us”. Unlike the preachers of our times perched in a air conditioned rooms and speaking about what is correct by today’s standards. If only we pay heed to the saying “Priest/minister never goes to hell or heaven alone.”
The shallowness or partiality with which belief in our Lord is taught, obscures people from reaching for the fullness of truth. Remember the Lord’s saying: “When the Son of man comes back, will he find enough faith on this earth?”