June 24, 2012
The Man Not The Plan
A movement that has been afoot within denominational circles for several generations, has made inroads among some congregations of Christ. The philosophy underlying the movement basically says, “Let’s put more emphasis on Jesus the man, and a lot less emphasis on the doctrine.” The adherents of this teaching also say, “Jesus unites, doctrine divides. Let’s talk more about how we can be united and less about our differences.” Others express their belief in this way, “When we study the Bible, we need to focus on what it tells us about God, and how that applies to us. Making the same doctrinal statements week after week is not productive.” All of the foregoing statements are basically saying the same thing in different ways. It is the old denominational cliche that says, “It is not supremely important to get the doctrine right. It is important to understand who Jesus is and what he has done for us. There is unity in Christ. We unite on him, but we divide on doctrine.”
More people than we know believe that we should place less emphasis on doctrine and more on the person of Christ. Apparently some within this congregation believe this, and the issue must he addressed. In the late 1980’s into the 1990’s a movement took root in the state of Florida, and was known as the Crossroads Movement. Preachers, elders, and entire congregations were swept into the sea of digression by those who were the chief proponents of the Crossroads’ philosophy.
The proponents were like spiritual termites working from within unsuspecting congregations.
They worked through weak pulpits and unqualified elderships and were able to gain a stronghold that can be found breathing underground in some places to this very day. Those who led congregations astray appeared to be sweet as honey, tender as turnip greens, and as smart as a whip. But they were wolves in sheep’s clothing. (Mat. 7:15; Rom. 16:17-18) Furthermore, every single one of them had one key factor in common; they taught that it is the man not the plan that is important. They taught people to put less emphasis on doctrine, and more emphasis on Jesus Christ. They taught people to look for areas of agreement, and to ignore the differences! Why was it so important for them to lay such stress on the man and to diminish stress on the plan? The answer is logical and simple: when their real intent would be uncovered and their false teachings were brought to light, their way out would be, “Remember brothers and sisters, even if we are wrong in doctrine, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is the man, not the plan, remember?” So they got away with destroying congregations because they sucker punched the members!
Jesus himself made a statement that addresses whether or not a person may take the man without the plan. Jesus emphatically taught, “The one who rejects me, and does not receive my sayings, has a judge: the word that I spoke, the same will judge him on the last day. (Jno. 12:48) Jesus teaches that we must receive the man and the plan!
(The Sunday morning Bible classes have begun studying the life of Christ, and the following scriptures have been submitted to me for the congregation’s use as suggested Bible readings: Matthew Chapters 6 & 7; Luke Chapter 7)