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, “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.  If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:  For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of 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 appear as if people can believe anything they want to and be acceptable to God?  It is clear; they cannot.

It is interesting to note how many times Paul emphasized the importance of “doctrine” or “sound doctrine” in his letters to Timothy and Titus. For example, Paul told Titus to “. . . Speak thou the things which become sound doctrine” (Tit. 2:1).  He said to Timothy (I Tim. 4:13), “Till I come, give attendance 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.