One Torah for All


One Torah shall be to him that is home-born, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.

Exodus 12:49


Read Statement of Faith

Dear Zerubbabel,
I found your “Statement of Faith” page interesting and insightful.  No doubt, such statements have been used exclusively.  Here’s my question:  Cannot the same thing be said for doctrine (i.e., teaching)?  Isn’t the scripture itself exclusive?  



It is interesting to note, that in Scripture, the places where the word “doctrine” occurs should actually read “teaching” instead.  To me, there is a vast difference between a teaching and a doctrine.  I write teachings, but I do not write doctrine.  If someone uses (misuses) what I have written for doctrine, then that is upon them.  From my perspective, doctrine is wrong and should not be used by a true follower of Mashiach (Messiah).  Please consider the following.   

The word “doctrine” could better be translated as “instruction”.  Hopefully, I will be able to convey to you my thoughts concerning the idea of “doctrine” as found in our world today and why, at least to me, it is not an acceptable word or concept.  Doctrine is synonymous with dogma.  Doctrine has all too often been used as a means to persecute, yea, even kill those who have not agreed with the official position of the church – all because of doctrine.  The idea of a “teaching” or of “instruction” does not carry with it the negative ideas associated with doctrine (or dogma).  Furthermore, the very word “instruction” leads one directly back to the Torah, which is actually what that word means, “instruction.”  And as we know, there is nothing written in the Brit Chadasha (New Testament) which is not based directly upon the Torah Moshe.   

Question: Who is the giver of light?  Is it you or me or some other man?  I am sure that you would agree that only YHWH gives light to us through the Spirit of Mashiach Yeshua.  If this is the case, then who I am to say that a person must believe a certain way (this is what doctrine does), when YHWH has not yet given such a person light on what the doctrine states?  Is YHWH not the Sovereign of the universe?  Then should we not allow Him to be sovereign over every single person?  I can teach and share with you what He has shown me, but I cannot give you light.  Only YHWH can do that.  But a doctrinal statement is based upon the premise that in order to truly be saved, then he must have this amount of light.  Excuse me?  How ridiculous is that!  What often happens at this point, in order to join a group, a person will simply state he agrees and believes according to the statement of faith of that group, and many times such a person has not even read that particular statement of faith, and if he has, has not truly received light upon each and every point listed in the doctrinal statement, but rather is simply going along with it to become a part of that particular group.  Thus, he becomes a liar by stating he agrees with it when he does not have light upon each and every point listed in the statement of faith.  This is yet another reason why the word from the original language should be understood as instruction or teaching as opposed to doctrine.  A person can instruct and teach, but to impose doctrine is not a good thing, because it becomes an act of idolatry, making the attempt to dictate what another believes with the threat of force (excommunication or even death).   

Yes, Scripture can be exclusive!  However, the difference is that Scripture is supposed to be taken as a whole.  We are commanded by YHWH that we are not to take away from it, nor add to it.  The very nature of a statement of faith takes away from Scripture, simply because it leaves parts out while focusing on very small select parts of it.  Some have suggested that it is okay to summarize Scripture.  Hummm… “summarize” - to shorten – yet we are commanded by YHWH not to take away from His Commandments.  It should be Scripture (every jot and tittle) which defines one’s faith rather than the writings of man.  What should define one’s faith is Scripture, all of it, nothing left out and nothing added.  By knowing, that is, living Scripture, one will be prepared to give an answer to those around him, not by knowing a statement of faith. 

2 Timothy 3:16-17
“All scripture is given by inspiration of Elohim, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  That the man of Elohim may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”  

Shaul (Paul) was a talmid (disciple) of Yeshua.  However, Shaul did not use the term “doctrine” as he did not speak English – he spoke Hebrew.  There are many places in Scripture which the translators for whatever reason, chose not to give an accurate rendering of what the text said, but rather, translated the text according to their own doctrines!  I prefer to allow the Scripture to say what it says, and then adjust my own thinking and life to come in line with it.

Typically, doctrine is based upon what a person believes.  But honestly, who cares what another person believes?  Can belief get a person into eternal life?  Do not even the demons believe?  Yet, they are still demons!  Rather, I will show you what I believe by how I live, my actions and my life.  Doctrine is not about how to live, it is about how one should think and what one should believe.  There is not one place in Scripture where we are judged upon what we have believed.  Rather we shall all be judged upon what we have done and what we failed to do (Matthew 25 – parable of sheep and goats). 

Sure, we can discuss what we believe, and perhaps we are even benefited by such discussions.  But in the end the question still remains, how does that belief affect the way I live?  Does it make my actions more like Yeshua’s?  I have never seen doctrine do this.  In fact, what I have seen is doctrine used as an excuse to not live correctly.  “Well, I believe so-and-so, so it doesn’t really matter what I do.”  This is the typical attitude of many in the church today.  Of course, such an attitude as I am sure you are aware, will lead one away from eternal life, not towards it.  I hope that you are beginning to get why it is that I see doctrine as a detriment to faith, rather than helping it.

L_____ asks, “Still, couldn’t godly men write about the scriptures and by doing so offer insight and understanding?”

Why most certainly, I do it all the time.  However, I would be appalled to learn that a person or group was using something that I had written as doctrine.  I am only a man, and plenty fallible.  Doctrine is fallible because it is man-made.  Scripture is not fallible because it is not man-made, but rather inspired by YHWH. 

Remember, we are to grow in grace and knowledge every day of our walk with Mashiach Yeshua.  As such, a statement of faith typically would hinder this expected growth because it is a dead static document, whereas, Scripture is the living word.
It has been a privilege and honor to respond to you today.

Love and blessings


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