THE chief importance of all Doctrines is the effect they have upon our estimate of God. It is not enough to believe that there is a God: millions of people have no doubt about that. What matters is, "What does the believer say about God?"
It is dangerous to say what is untrue about a man in public; for there is a law of slander which may call one to account. It is far more dangerous to say what is untrue about God; for, not only is there His displeasure to fear, but also there is the responsibility of leading others into error about the most vital of all subjects, the character of God.
All religious teaching has perforce these two sides. Proverbs 25,13 calls attention to the former. "As cold of snow in the time of harvest so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters." Whoever does, or does not, listen to the teacher, his Master does, and is either refreshed or nauseated by what He hears. "So then because thou art lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth." (Rev. 3,16.) God is obliged to listen to the most foolish and even wicked things that are said about Him all over the earth, in Hindu and Buddhist Temple, in Mohammedan Mosque and Spiritist Seance. Even in those places of worship which are set apart for Christians He will hear the most contradictory and usually illogical beliefs propounded, and watch the hearts of His own children troubled and misled by the multitude of voices. It is hardly too much to say that it is well nigh impossible for a young Christian convert to find his way out of the forest of conflicting doctrines into which he must plunge at conversion. He will hear of Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, Baptist and many other forms of Christianity: and there is a host of heretical sects such as Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventism, Christadelphianism, Christian Science, to bewilder him