From the Editor Sep/Oct 2019
Over the years I’ve had many people tell me doctrine isn’t important. What matters, they say, is that you love Jesus.
I’ll never dispute the importance of loving Jesus. But the apostle Paul spent a great deal of time teaching churches about doctrine, so the Lord obviously considers it important. If more people concentrated on “rightly” dividing the Word of truth and not merely dividing it any old way, the church would be more unified; and fewer believers would be “tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting” (Eph. 4:14).
A number of years ago my husband had a dear friend whose sister (I’ll call her Ann) became a devotee of Harold Camping. Camping, who died in 2013, concocted a strange and complex doomsday doctrine that he disseminated over his extremely popular Family Radio stations across the country.
He set dates for the Lord’s return and spent more than $100 million telling people when the world would end. When the Lord didn’t return, Camping set another date. Every now and then, I’d tune in and hear him tell me to get out of my church immediately. Ann actually left her church and was brokenhearted without it.
How did Camping go so wrong? In 2011 christianpost.com interviewed Pastor Trevor Hammack, a former Camping follower, who said the broadcaster began to believe “everything in your Bible is a parable. Everything.” For example, “When Jesus gets on a boat to cross the sea, well the sea represents one thing, the boat represents something, people in the boat represent something and so he began to use this to interpret the Bible.”
“Once you go in that direction,” Hammack said, “everything is open for anybody to interpret it the way they want and he left [out] any type of historical context and it just becomes a spiritual parable which he can kind of mold into what he thinks it says.”
At The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, we believe correct doctrine comes from “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). So this issue of Israel My Glory presents what we believe about 19 specific points of the Christian faith. As the world grows spiritually darker, interpreting God’s Word correctly becomes more important than ever. We hope you enjoy this issue and that it will help you understand where we stand as a ministry that is devoted to working while it is day, because “the night is coming when no one can work” (Jn. 9:4).
Waiting for His Appearing,