From The Pastor’s Desk
The Bible teaches that Christians “should all speak in agreement” (1 Corinthians 1:10). Why then are men and women preaching some other gospel than that which was taught by Christ?
A man’s perception of truth (of who Jesus is, or who he is not) is based on the information he had at the time he formulated his belief.
If provided with faulty information from the start, then his understanding of Jesus will also be faulty, incorrect and untruthful.
Today, there are many well-meaning Christians who are, in some cases, being taught "doctrine" but not necessarily the "Doctrine of Christ" or the "Word of God." There is a big difference between quoting scriptures and correctly applying scripture. There is also a big difference between citing phrases not contained within the Bible then alleging such sayings to be biblical facts.
This is regretful since it only takes one "untruthful" statement asserted as being “fact” to cast doubt and places the church credibility at risk, being exposed of making fraudulent claims and non-biblical teachings. Understandably, from that standpoint, the potential recipient to Christ may come to the conclusion that all religious groups of that particular denomination or those carrying the same doctrinal heading (i.e., Apostolic, Pentecostal, etc.) believe and teach the same unsubstantiated doctrine and practice.
No matter how good our intentions may be, we are not to manufacture words into scripture for justification of a non-biblical created religious creed. If it is not found written in the scripture, and although it may be plausible or we consider it implied, the bottom line is that it is an opinion. Not that the opinion is invalid, but it should be the most correct analysis from every God-given possibility.
Some Pastors, it seems, feel threatened or vulnerable when their teaching is challenged or brought into question. We forget that the purpose of reassessing, reviewing or double checking ourselves is only to reassure ourselves that we indeed have not inadvertently overlooked some pertinent facts pertaining to God’s word.
The word of God instructs us to study to show ourselves approved. The word does not teach us to blindly accept the first idea that runs through our minds without fully evaluating the correctness of it.
One way of studying (learning) is to verify if the information given is accurate.
Studying or reviewing a previously held tradition, position or scriptural interpretation is not a sign of spiritual or leadership weakness or vulnerability. Instead, it is evidence of spiritual growth and maturity. Mistakes in judgment do occur on issues even when people have the best intentions. We are only human after all. We are not made flawless because we hold a title, position or authority. Presidents of Great countries bear this out to be true and at times are exposed or even impeached.
As parents, we may suggest to our children that they double check their math answers and we often recheck their work before they turn in their homework assignment. This process (by means of review) results in fewer errors as the child was able to have a parent confirm his work allowing the child to correct any mistakes.
We often teach our children that it is good to get the correct answer, but it is more important to understand the solution to the problem and why it works.
12 For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth. 13 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.
Unfortunately, that is often not the case. When one starts receiving “off subject” remarks in response to their questions, without being presented with any scriptural justification answering the initial questions, there is cause for concern. Statements such as the Bible says “foolish and unlearned questions gender strife”; this type of mentality will not save anyone today, for it does not help clear up the confusion, let alone answer one’s questions.
Sometimes you have to question those who have the rule over you or become susceptible to the possibility of the “blind leading the blind” syndrome, this condition is contagious. This is not necessarily a sign of rebellion against those you may currently sit under, but one of verification for oneself. The truth will be the truth no matter what day you recheck the facts but only if the facts were initially correct.
A biblical analysis works to resolve controversial issues, in the same manner, maintaining both “correctness” and overall “harmony” of all the scriptures, not applying scriptures in such a way that they would contradict or potentially conflict with each other, instead of harmonizing with each other.
Similarly, if two writers present testimony that is contradictory, doubt is cast on the integrity of one or both records.
Many have charged that the New Testament contains contradictions. Contrary is defined by Webster as “a proposition so related to another that, though both may be false, they cannot both be true.” Thus, the statement, “Joe and Bill are in this room” contradicts the statement, “Only Joe is in this room.” It does not, however, contradict the statement, “Joe is in this room.” Omission does not necessarily constitute a contradiction.
One must consider that the most dangerous lies or misinterpretations in the world are those that are the closest to the truth; it is what makes them easy to believe.
Satan uses this type of subtle play on truth all the time
Pastors above all should welcome continued review or questions from their members and encourage the use of two-way dialogue and study (not a one-sided monologue - which can be said to be bordering on the edge of brainwashing the recipient). The use of open dialogue (question and answer development) is fundamental to one’s spiritual growth in understanding scriptures. Furthermore, this development works both ways as the clergy may actually learn something from one of their members.
Biblical understanding is not limited or determined by the office, position or title we may hold but by how much we actually study and whatsoever means God chooses to disseminate his message to his people. This does not diminish the Pastor’s calling as Sheppard.
Leading a flock to greener pastures is often dependent upon receiving good information.
With God the buck stops here, if you, in whatever capacity the Lord has allowed you to be used, cannot support it with the Bible then be careful how you present it because no matter who you are, you will have to give account if others are incorrectly influenced or discouraged by what you teach as being fact when it is neither fact nor truth. (Romans 14:12,13; Matthew 12:36,37)
Romans 14:12-13 (KJV)
So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. 13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.
Matt 12:36-37 (KJV)
But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
Pastor Kevin M. Gregg