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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sifting Truth

Pastors and teachers are not infallible.  Those who publish books, even Christian ones, fall into that category as well.  So it is the case that your Sunday school teacher, your pastor, the renowned Christian speaker whom you follow, and the various authors’ works you read will make a statement every now and then that will not align with your understanding of Scripture.
Sifting Truth
What do we do with that?

First thing we have to do is what the Bereans did in Acts 17:11.  We have to check out what that individual says against the Word of God.  We should be doing that as a matter of course.

The Sunday message or the Sunday school lesson should not be our primary input in our walk with God.  That should be a supplement.  A conversation, albeit internal, between the pastor or teacher’s study and ours.  If we find that their study has become our primary input.  Some things should change in our priorities.

If we find something that does not seem to line up with our understanding of Scripture in the message, lesson, or book, the first question should be am I understanding the Bible correctly.  It is possible that I may be in error.  Second, I need to reexamine what the individual said I may have misconstrued or misunderstood what was shared.

If after that there still seems to be questionable content, if you have access to the individual, the next step is to discuss it with him.  It may have been simply an unintentional misstatement, or your input will serve that individual in their pursuit of knowing God through His Word.

If you do not have access, resist the pull to discard all that was shared by the individual.  Rather, discard the error and choose to embrace what they said was true.

The point here is that in all cases we need to be interactive listeners and readers.  We cannot accept all that we hear or read uncritically.  There is too much at stake.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful privilege it is to interact with what we hear taught in the Word. I have a book in my library on a topic I am vitally interested it. Unfortunately the writer is way off in a basic tenet of orthodox Christian doctrine. He develops it extensively in the book, but ironically it has nothing to do with what is the main subject of the book. But I am learning about both the book subject and the (in my opinion) false and dangerous perspective on that certain issue. I have cross-referenced, evaluate the arguments, made extensive notes in the book space available and become all the more convinced the view and argument leading to it's defense are seriously wanting. It's hard work; I have to think (perish the thought!).
    On the other hand, our pastor is a man deep in and Scriptures and insights that flow out of it both for sound doctrine and practical application. I study his sermons to take me deeper into the Word and benefit greatly in life, knowledge and devotion. I wish I would find something I don't agree with and would cherish the opportunity to talk to him personally about it'; and he would love it.
    I'll keep studying and maybe I'll find something - some day.