> Sound Doctrine/ Topical Evaluations
Out the Baby, Spit Out the Bones
the Water on Sound Doctrine
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of
season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all
longsuffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come
when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after
their own lusts shall they heap to themselves
teachers, having itching ears;
they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and
shall be turned unto fables.
5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions,
do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy
have often laughed when I've unwittingly managed to mix
metaphors. It's one of those trivial details that have not
been important enough for me to value or learn.
Consequently, I've often fumbled for the right beginning and
ending to an often meaningless saying, much to the delight
of my family.
It has been
amazing to me over the last several years how many
Christians, including Pastors, have these sayings down pat.
So much so, that "we don't want to throw out the baby
with the bathwater" and " I eat the meat and spit
out the bones" have become sound doctrine. Not just
secular sayings, but sound doctrine that overrides
In fact I've been rebuked by those
sayings, when relaying the facts on a particular issue.
I've asked people who quote these sayings for the Scriptural
reference to them, so that I too could claim them as
Biblical truth, but none have been forthcoming. Occasionally
a misuse of a particular Scripture is cited to validate one
saying, but it really doesn't mean what people want it to
God said that
His Word is perfect and from it we would get sound doctrine.
3:14 "But continue thou in the things which thou
hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom
thou hast learned them;
15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy
scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto
salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is
profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction,
for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly
furnished unto all good works."
It stands to
reason then, that we should be able to put what we believe
and teach to the test of Scriptural truth. Our example is
found in Acts 17:11 "These were more noble than those
in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all
readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily,
whether those things were so."
Lets look at
the saying, which I've heard used to defend anything from
Promise Keepers to psychology and the ecumenical movement.
"We don't want to throw out the baby with the
the saying came from a German poem from the fifteenth
century and became a common saying for not throwing out the
good with the bad. It came from the old practice of using
one tub of water to wash in, starting with the father, with
the baby being the last to be bathed in what became filthy,
murky water. The fear was that the baby would get lost in
the filth and be thrown out with the mucky water. Some
suggest once a year was custom for the bath, monthly might
have been a luxury. Regardless, man's fleshly wisdom isn't
usually aligned with God's wisdom.
correct and Biblical response to not throwing the baby out
with the bathwater is, "what is the baby doing in that
filthy, disgusting water in the first place.?" Simple
hygiene dictates that the baby will become diseased and
unhealthy if placed in filthy water. The purpose of the
baby's bath is to make it come out different than when it
went in. Filthy water doesn't clean, it makes things become
muddy and unclear.
no actual Scripture reference to this saying, one can then
try to suggest a Scripture that means the same thing. Is
there a Scripture that means one should keep a bad,
un-Biblical or unsound source or teaching since there might
be some good in it or some good will come out of it?
Some suggest the end justifies the means.
I recall a
conversation with a gentleman whose website very clearly
renounced tongues and the charismatic movement. Yet, he
promoted websites through his positive Links page,
whose authors were of that nature, "because some of
their information was good." He quoted the
baby/bathwater saying in his defense, and I challenged him
to provide the matching Scripture so that I could start
doing that too, because it would definitely make things a
After one day of seeking, he came back to me
having tried to find a supportive Scripture, with the
resulting conviction that there wasn't one. On the contrary,
he said he was fully convicted of the Scripture, Galatians
5:9, "A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump."
He removed the offending links from his website.
On the same
vein of false teaching is the saying, "I eat the meat
and spit out the bones." It's used countless times to
defend using the teachings of favorite icons, who upon
evaluation, are far from the Word of God. But they do have
"truth teasers" in amongst those bones, so the
undiscerning will read and find that "meat" to
validate their teachings. Supporters lay claim to the idea
that no one is perfect and if they can glean one thing from
an otherwise unsound teaching or writing, they'll keep that
meat and spit out the offending bones. They don't believe it
to be unsound to be taught both doctrinal truth and error
and uphold the person who teaches in this manner. If one is
that hard up to find sound doctrine, perhaps opening one's
Bible is the answer.
There is a
Scripture that some will attempt to use to validate this
saying, that is really no different in philosophy than the
"baby" saying. 1 Thessalonians 5: 21
"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good."
Most will ignore the first part when defending their stand,
and rather suggest that by spitting out the bones they are
holding fast to that which is good. If one is to prove all
things--meaning prove them to be of the Word of God or not
and of the Lord Jesus Christ---then one need not be part of
those that would teach falsehood. Holding fast to that which
is good is holding fast to the Word of God and sound
also ignore when "spitting out the bones" is the
next verse to the passage "22 Abstain from all
appearance of evil." If someone is of the Lord Jesus
Christ they are not going to be presenting truth and error
as a regular part of their doctrine. This is not talking
about spiritual immaturity or lack of knowledge or even an
error in understanding. This is taking, for example, the
basics of the faith, and perverting them ever so slightly so
that Gnostic doctrine is taught. Those in leadership have no
excuse for not teaching sound doctrine. It's a requirement.
Corinthians 4:4:1 "Let a man so account of us, as
of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the
mysteries of God. 2 Moreover it is required in stewards,
that a man be found faithful."
God and faithful to sound doctrine which resides in Biblical
Timothy 1:13 Paul wrote," Hold fast the form of sound
words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which
is in Christ Jesus." Do we see an example of having to
learn sound doctrine by ingesting truth and error? Paul said
to hold fast to sound words which he gave. He never wrote a
letter where one had to find the meat while spitting out the
of learning sound doctrine as milk and strong meat in
"For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye
have need that one teach you again which be the first
principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as
have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the
word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full
age, even those who by reason of use have their senses
exercised to discern both good and evil."
passage the milk is for new believers and contains the very
basic principles of the faith that all must learn.
Strong meat is for the more mature and leads one into the
proper use of the Word of God, evident by their being able
to discern good and evil and live a life in keeping with
Biblical obedience. Not surprisingly Paul does not speak of
having to spit out the bones while ingesting the strong
meat. If we're actually getting strong meat and sound
doctrine, we won't need to discard most of the teaching used
to obtain it.
saying that is grounded in falsehood is the one that
"evil flourishes when good men do nothing," used
by Christians and non-Christians alike. Much is
crammed into the saying by those who are of the dominionist
or reconstructionist persuasion. Strange that one didn't
find Christ or the apostles overthrowing Caesar or promoting
the concept that all will be good if one stomps out those
who disagree with liberalism, or non-Christians or
Christians or whatever the definition of good and evil
happen to be for the person touting the saying. Evil
flourishes because of rejection of Jesus Christ. It will
continue to do so until Christ returns.
3:13 "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and
worse, deceiving, and being deceived. 14 But continue
thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been
assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned
are called to reprove evil as shown, for example, in
Ephesians 5:10 states: "Proving
what is acceptable unto the Lord.
11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of
darkness, but rather reprove them."
We are called
to act, but we do deal with it differently than
non-Christians and for a different reason.
the mean time, when there were gathered together an
innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they
trode one upon another, he began to say unto his
disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the
Pharisees, which is hypocrisy."
The Word of
God is not founded on error with a bit of truth thrown in.
It is Truth. We're to hold it up as the standard and Jesus
Christ is to be the foundation built upon, not false
theology or religion and unsound doctrine which permeates
thought and ideas just as the Scriptures teach that a little
leaven does. Galatians 5:9, "A little leaven leaveneth
the whole lump." That leaven leads to hypocrisy in one
form or another. It doesn't say that the little error can be
ignored. Rather it says that little error will permeate all
thought and doctrine.
God's Word is
what is to be used to discern truth and error.
4:12 "For the word of God is quick, and powerful,
and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to
the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the
joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts
and intents of the heart."
- It's not the good
found amongst the error that should have us wanting to
be part of a group, or theology or uphold a particular
leader. If we know that the teaching or teachers are
founded on falsehood or unsound doctrine, we are not
to partake of that table. Isn't it being double minded
to say one stands by the Word of God and yet goes by
secular sayings? Doesn't God address that as well in
James 1:8 "A double minded man is unstable in all
his ways." God's Word is our defense.
6:16 "Above all, taking the shield of faith,
wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts
of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and
the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:"
We are called
to speak sound doctrine for a reason. We aren't given an
"But speak thou the things which become sound
"Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been
taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to
exhort and to convince the gainsayers."
prefer to eat the meat and spit out the bones, who don't
want the baby thrown out with the bathwater, label
themselves as sound Christians. Yet, if one were to
ask, if while they are adhering to the meat and bones
theology, do they also adhere to the Biblical responsibility
of rebuking and correcting those who they willingly admit
are teaching the truth and error which they partake of?
Isn't it a
Christians responsibility to discern truth and error and
help our fellow believers grow in the grace and knowledge of
our Lord Jesus Christ? Is it showing those Christian
qualities to selfishly eat the meat, spit out the bones and
never correct the false teaching, albeit to the detriment of
younger or immature Christians who might not recognize the
error, or even for the sake of the person presenting
the false doctrine? How many who prefer old wives tales and
secular sayings over sound doctrine, would adhere to the
Scripture that says in Romans 15:13:
the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in
believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power
of the Holy Ghost.
14 And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren,
that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all
knowledge, able also to admonish one another."
suggests earnest or friendly warning and counsel. It's not a
bad thing. It's a required sound doctrine that all are
called to participate in. How many would also claim the
Thessalonians 5:12 "And we beseech you, brethren,
to know them which labour among you, and are over you in
the Lord, and admonish you;...14 Now we exhort you,
brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the
feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all
5:19 "Against an elder receive not an accusation,
but before two or three witnesses.
20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may
fear. 21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus
Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these
things without preferring one before another, doing
nothing by partiality."
4:1 "I charge thee therefore before God, and the
Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the
dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season;
reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and
1:13 "This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them
sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;
14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of
men, that turn from the truth."
scold and or correct gently, with kindly intent, to express
disapproval of something with the intent of causing change.
To rebuke---sharp or stern reproof for the benefit of the
person. To exhort--warn or give advice, incite by giving
warnings or advice.
these action words are all Biblical words and
necessary for growth. We as brothers and sisters in the Lord
are to edify and encourage one another, and in that is the
responsibility of helping those who have clearly erred from
14:19 "Let us therefore follow after the things
which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify
Thessalonians 1:11 "Wherefore comfort yourselves
together, and edify one another, even as also ye
5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light
in the Lord: walk as children of light:
9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and
righteousness and truth;)
10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of
darkness, but rather reprove them.
If people are
seeking to obey Jesus Christ they will grow from edifying
6:1 "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye
which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit
of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be
2:22 "Flee also youthful lusts: but follow
righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that
call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing
that they do gender strifes.
24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be
gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves;
if God peradventure will give them repentance to the
acknowledging of the truth;
26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare
of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his
teaching truth and error, and those teaching things such as
old wives tales and secular sayings for sound doctrine, are
not of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Biblical admonishment will
be rejected in no uncertain terms. That response has been
witnessed over and over again. But we're not to give up on
being obedient to that cause. That doesn't mean all rebukes
are sound, or themselves stand the test of Scripture. Some
rebukes are done out of malice or ego or quite simply are
not of the Lord and some wish merely to debate or argue. The
point is, we need to be sure that what we believe aligns to
the Word of God. Paul reminds us:
Thessalonians 3:13 "But ye, brethren, be not weary
in well doing.
14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle,
note that man, and have no company with him, that he may
15 Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a
"Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto
you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to
write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly
contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the
We're not to
shirk our responsibility as Christians and fully rely on
others to tell us if something stands the test of Scripture.
We're to test all things ourselves as well as share those
things with our brothers and sisters in the Lord. 2
Peter 1:10 "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give
diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye
do these things, ye shall never fall:"
says they preach or teach the Word of God or abide by it for
sound doctrine, hadn't it better be the Word of God they
14:21 Jesus speaking, "He that
hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that
loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my
Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to
23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me,
he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and
we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the
word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which
Copyright . All articles are the sole property of SeekGod.ca and Vicky Dillen. All Scripture King James Version unless otherwise stated.
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