For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. (2 Timothy 4:3 NIV)
I understand that there are differences in belief, even among godly folks who hold firmly to sound doctrine and the inspiration and authority of the Bible. Because we are fallible humans, we all too often understand Scripture in light of the experiences, and other influences, that have shaped us. Oftentimes the differences are insignificant, but sometimes they are more so. Sometimes to the point of dividing us. That is unfortunate, but probably also unavoidable so long as we live on this side of eternity.
But it is a different kind of doctrinal problem that Paul warns Timothy about in this passage. I spend some time most days in Christian and/or Bible study groups online. And I am frequently amazed at some of the things that are advocated there. Things that to me seem quite contrary to sound doctrine. Yet there are others who seem to embrace these false doctrines and hold them up as truth. Why is that?
“I don’t care what the Bible says, that’s what I believe.” That is a response I received a few years back from an older lady, and fellow believer, when I tried to correct her. And I believe that attitude, while not often expressed, is actually pretty widespread. And it is why so many end up embracing false doctrine. When I put what seems right to me, or what I want to hear, ahead of the authority of the Bible, I am in trouble.
God has given us the Scriptures to teach and guide us into the truth. We ignore it to our own peril. Hold fast to sound doctrine; the teachings of Scripture. And teach others around you to do so as well. Don’t fall into the trap of believing what is most appealing to you.