Thursday, December 22, 2011

Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines – Hebrews 13.9

New Testament Challenge – Day 38
Titus, Philemon, Hebrews

In today’s selection, among the numerous teachings of faithfulness and hope, Saint Paul reminds us that we must remain loyal to the true doctrine of Jesus Christ.
To the Hebrews he wrote, “Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them.” (Hebrews 12.9)

To Titus he wrote, “But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine.” (Titus 2.1)

It was clear 2000 years ago, and it remains clear by virtue of the thousands of different Christian doctrines in the world today, that there will be people who attempt to lead believers astray from the truth of Jesus Christ. The Church has taken this role quite seriously since the beginning as Saint Paul also said, “We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat.” (Hebrews 13.10) Here he is speaking of Holy Communion which the Church, by commandment of the Holy Apostles did not share with nonbelievers.

With the myriad expressions of so-called Christmas traditions that do not make the slightest mention of attending Church, I suppose we the world hasn’t changed all the much. There are Churches which teach that Jesus was not always the Incarnate Word of God from the womb of Mary. There are Churches which teach Holy Baptism grants no grace. There are Churches who declare Orthodox Christianity just another pagan religion.

As your Christmas celebration this year, consider what your Church teaches about the Nativity in the flesh of Our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ. Is it in keeping with the ancient Apostolic teaching? If it is not, consider the words of Saint Paul.

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