Some Concerns Regarding Theological Doctrine

I cannot simply regurgitate doctrine and call it genuine belief. Mind, a doctrine is not made false by virtue of being a doctrine, but I don’t hold that its made any more true by that “virtue” either. If there is real meaning within a text, we must study its meaning carefully and weigh it against the truths of our own experience. The truthfulness of a teaching must be tested in practice, but not as one would gauge the results of an experiment. If a teaching seems good, faith must be given unto it in the beginning. With time, adherence to a teaching will reveal either its fruits or its falsehood. But such a process is not so black and white as I can here present, for great teachings might easily be misunderstood and practiced with incompetence. This is why careful study is needed as one becomes acquainted with a lofty text. Neither is study sufficient in itself to the end of comprehension. Meditation, and concordance with others of faith is vital.

Doctrines, however, are not subject to sapient practice in this way. Were I to question (in the Church) the legitimacy of God’s nature being unequivocally triune, I doubt my concern would be seriously pondered or (in many instances) even understood. Doctrines, therefore, are institutionalized interpretations that must be rehearsed until all skepticism is abolished. Such is not genuine belief (which stems from thoughtfulness and comprehension), but belief of the sort that is branded into consciousness through forceful application. It’s a malady that reproduces itself with relative ease. I don’t believe any of the illumined masters (Jesus, the Apostles, etc) intended for doctrine to abolish dialogue within the Church as it has done; but in our human ignorance, we’ve allowed it to do so quite effectively. Affirming this, I must at the same time recognize my own reasonings to be largely feeble. May God grant me wisdom in his grace.

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