The “Believe as You Please” Method

Of Church Growth

Mike Johnson

         Most congregations want to grow, but often churches today use methods to do so, which are contrary to Biblical principles.  One approach is the “Believe as You Please Method.”

       This method of growth does not require any conviction on doctrinal matters. As long as a person believes in Jesus (or perhaps even some supreme being), everything is OK. The philosophy is, “it is not necessary for us to all believe the same thing or to press for purity of doctrine.” 

Consider the teaching of II John 9-11, which says, “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.” Do these verses sound as if false doctrine is acceptable and those who believe, practice, and teach it ought to be fellowshipped? Does it seem as if people can believe anything they want and be acceptable by God? Clearly, one cannot. 

It is interesting to note how many times Paul emphasizes the importance of “doctrine” or “sound doctrine” in his letters to Timothy and Titus. Paul told Titus, for example, “But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine” (Tit. 2:1). He said to Timothy (I Tim. 4:13), “Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.” (Also note I Tim. 1:10, 4:16, 6:3; II Tim. 4:13; Tit. 1:9, 2:1.)

The “believe as you please” method may produce a lot of growth in a congregation, but this does not change the fact that this method is unscriptural and is not pleasing to God.