The Danger of False Doctrine

bread-ingredientsA little leaven…

All false doctrine has its roots in truth, which is what makes it believable! Just like rat poison, false doctrine does not need much error to be deadly.

Consider this… How many grains of sand would I have to put into a jar of honey to make it not 100% pure honey?

How much leaven (yeast) does it take to raise a whole lump of dough? – (the metaphor Jesus used in His teaching for the false doctrine of the Pharisees – Matt. 16:6-12; Gal. 5:7-9).

Not to make too much use of  examples, but this is a very clear illustration of the dangers of a small deviation from true and sound doctrine…


Approx. 885 mil. between Portugal & Western Sahara.

In a ship’s navigation, all it takes to leave New York heading for Portugal, Spain only to arrive at Western Sahara, Africa is a small percentage of a degree. The further you follow that line, the greater the distance from your intended destination!

Today there are those who believe that because Jesus did in fact, deal with sin once for all on the cross (Heb. 7:27; Heb. 9:12; Jude 1:3) there is, no need to come to Him for forgiveness of individual sins once you are born again. While the doctrine of sin being paid for ONCE FOR ALL is 100% correct, the conclusion that this means forgiveness for individual sins once one comes to Christ is unnecessary, is false.

Let me interject here that any interpretation of scripture, which is not straight forward and obvious, but has to be looked at a certain way in order for it to make any sense, is (in my opinion) immediately suspect.

To be certain, passages which are difficult to understand exist. The true litmus test of accurate interpretation of scripture is – does it agree with the whole of what scriptures teach on the given subject.

I say these words with no animosity intended. In fact, I speak from experience. I have done the same thing and so I recognize the symptoms.

Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keeps authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provide teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!