Proverbs tell us that a wise person will look well to their going. In other words a person who uses wisdom will make sure that they search out a matter before jumping to a conclusion.
The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going. Proverbs 14:15
It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. proverbs 25:2
Unfortunately, some people believe every thing they hear if it is a popular “bandwagon”.
They will follow the leader, eating whatever meal is served up to them. In the book of Acts it talks about the Bereans who were more noble than others. According to Paul these Bereans actually searched out the scriptures ,checking to see if what the apostles were telling them was truth or not.
Acts 17, “These (Berea) 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.”
It is interesting to note that the apostles never got offended that a group of people did not just take their word verbatim. They rejoiced that these Bereans did a Bible study to see if what the apostles were saying lined up with the scriptures in its entirety or not.
If we get offended because some one challenges our doctrine or belief system by checking it out then we are more interested in our pride than in the truth.
Also, if we defend our doctrinal position based on tradition rather than truth then what we are saying is that we prefer familiarity over truth.
Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish. Proverbs 12:1
The Bible tells us that we are to compare spiritual things with spiritual things. Not just take an isolate scripture and build a doctrine out of it. Nor for that matter should we trust a group of people with the same agenda to give us the complete truth. No matter what “council” they belong to.
Scriptures need to be examined not only according to its original language and intent but also comparing author to author. Does the doctrine have consistency between authors and does it flow with the whole picture?
I have found that scriptural doctrines many times are built on inferences and bias rather than the truth of scriptures. If something is NOT specifically stated in scripture then it is not a good idea to make it official church doctrine. I personally do not agree with some “church doctrine, ” that is not essential but never the less important in which the majority adhere to.
The reason many Christians will have a bird with you if you disagree with their “official” church doctrine is because most Christians do not base their “truth” on evidential facts but on a popular band wagon theology. If you disagreed with them they will label you a heretic.
Seems to me that Jesus had a hard time trying to convince a religious group that he WAS the truth and they were wrong about their beliefs concerning Messiah. Why was this? Exactly as Jesus said, “having neglected the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” Mark 7:8
In fact I have had debates with some of these scholars who don’t seem to be able to have good enough evidence to convince me they are holding the truth.
That being said, my point is that it is up to the teacher to teach doctrine scripturally based but it is up to the student to do a Bible study to see if what the teacher is teaching is correct or not.
However, it is not required of either teacher or student to argue with a person who wants to believe what they want to believe. All that is required is to do the teaching and leave the outcome to God.
As scriptures tell us, “if any be ignorant then let them be ignorant. ” 1 Corinthians 14: 38
Since teachers are to be judged more harshly than other ministries it is important to teach according to consistency of scripture. Then with a clean conscience, we leave our assessment for God on that day.
Since we are all only human and susceptible to human frailties, occasionally we will make mistakes and when convinced of error we must be quick to make it right.
Keep in mind that there are also cultural differences which may interpret scriptures biasedly or at least from a different perspective. A person from India may see an issue from a different light than someone from America for example. The Lord does allow some flexibility in how we interpret some matters. He said that to one person something may be sin while to another it is not. Every one must be convinced in their own mind. That is of course with minor biblical issues.
Another point to mention is the different personalities and the different giftings of people. One focus of biblical studies may not be another’s focus. I recently read a book by a wonderful old saint from the past who not being an eschatology scholar interpreted a scriptural topic based on personal experience rather than biblically based doctrine. Coming out of much suffering and ministering to the persecuted church she rejected the pretribulation rapture doctrine. The scripture she gave was that we are “appointed to tribulation”.
While this is true, what she failed to understand was that tribulation and THE TRIBULATION are different concepts. THE TRIBULATION or “Jacobs trouble” is when God deals with Israel. It is a 7 year time period. Christians are appointed to suffer for Christ’s sake but THE TRIBULATION according to many end time students including myself believe it is a specific 7 year period.
Lastly, we can all agree on objective truth. There are certain things in scripture that are black and white. Bottom line. No two ways about it. Just the way it is and it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, objective truth is truth. God expects us to keep it that way.
In conclusion, both the teacher and the student must look well to their going. Search out a matter. Dig into the word with all readiness of mind to find the truth for yourself.
The teacher is always learning and the student is always learning. Both the wise teacher and the wise student will make it their life ambition to sit at the master’s feet and continue to learn. Then they can be a workman not ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
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