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Ever wonder why Christians don’t seem to agree on anything in the Bible? You’re not the only one. The disagreements among those who claim Christ has become well known to those who do not. It is one of the reasons they claim to not believe. With so many claiming to have the truth and refusing to budge the signal is getting lost.
It seems that instead of getting to the bottom of the issue people simply argue their point trying to convince someone else they are right rather than admit they are wrong. No one wants to be wrong and if you truly believe you have the truth then you are right to hold onto it…if it is indeed truth. But that is the problem.
We often do not understand what is truth. For some people truth comes from universities and big name teachers. If you don’t have a degree then you must not know enough to teach what is right…that is the thought anyway. Other people think truth comes from “following their heart”. But how many people have followed their hearts into abusive relationships?
Still, other people have trouble believing that any absolute truth even exists. They say it all depends on your perspective. These people point out that one person can look at a sign on one side and see an advertisement for one thing but the person on the other side sees an ad for something else. They say that the truth of what is on the sign is based on who is looking at it.
37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.
Here is one of the greatest questions I have ever heard asked. It is a question people are still asking. So what do you think? Is truth subjective? Does it only come through education? Or should we follow our hearts which, as some believe, will never lead you wrong?
Lets talk about those examples. For the person who does not believe in absolute truth I have a question. Does the fact that one person is unaware of the ad on the other side of the sign mean it does not exist? Think about it…if I don’t know who you are, does that mean you are not real? The thought is ridiculous!
The truth is not based on the different views. The truth is that the sign has two sides. A child could explain that. In the same way the Bible has four views (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) on the events with Jesus. They all tell it a little differently but they all still say the same thing.
9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
It is clear that truth is not something we can find in ourselves alone. Our hearts can lead us the wrong way.
4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
Here again we see that men, even great teachers and people highly respected, can lie to us. How many text books have had to be rewritten because they were found to be in error? How many well meaning people have told lies that they didn’t even know were not true?
There is only one source of truth. God is that source. If He speaks we can take it to the bank! That is what the Bible is. It is the words of God put down on paper. We can get our truth from those words.
So that is where we can get absolute truth. But what is truth?
17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
Jesus was asked what truth was soon after making this statement in prayer. How ironic that He would have made it so clear for us and yet often we do not see it. Every word from God is truth. He spoke the laws of nature into existence setting the boundaries for the seas and placing the moon and sun in their appointed circuits. Nothing escapes the word of God and nothing can break it. It is truth.
1 Corinthians 1:10
10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
It is said that we are to be able to disagree on “minor points” but not on Christ. Where in the bible do you find any teaching like this? Does the Bible ever say to agree to disagree as long as you don’t disagree on this one subject? No!
The only place that even remotely could be thought of as saying that is Romans 14:1. But even that verse is tempered by the rest. Because it does not say we should agree to disagree. Instead it says we should not allow ourselves to cause our brother to stumble (verse 13). If they are weak in the faith we should not condemn them, but strengthen them in the truth.
This is where mercy comes in. Because none of us seem to have a grasp on every truth in the Bible. But some are stronger than others. We should receive the weaker, but we should not do so with some kind of high minded attitude. Instead we should teach them in gentleness. But we should never agree to disagree.
We seem to have let the lie of tolerance slip in. Remember the verse that says a little leaven leavens the whole lump? If one lie is accepted then everything else falls apart. Because one lie will infect everything.
Let me give you an example. I was speaking with someone not long ago on the subject of sin and evil and if God created it. I have no doubt they were a passionate Christian who had no desire to believe something false. But during the course of the conversation the lie that was believed on this subject (one that people agree to disagree with) ended up leading to the belief that Jesus did not come in the flesh. This was the only way for the lie to continue.
1 John 4:2-3
2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
The spirit of Antichrist is so subtle that you would never know it was involved with the belief that we need to tolerate the different conflicting beliefs we have. God wants us to be holy and that means we need to know and speak only truth. So if we have a belief that is at odds with each other then we need to do something about it…because one of us (if not both) believe a lie from Satan.
It is clear that no scripture is of private interpretation (2 Peter 1:20). All scripture is connected to each other. All truth is connected. So do not think it is ok to agree to disagree. We are to be peace makers but not at the cost of the truth. Instead we are to fight for the truth (Jude 1:3)!
2 Timothy 4:2-4
2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering 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; 4And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
The first mistake we make when it comes to knowing the truth and coming together in one mind in Christ is that we turn away from truth and to a lie. We don’t know we are doing it though. We may believe with all our hearts that we know what is true. So we do not even listen to another who would show us the actual truth.
I have pointed out false doctrine before to a board of deacons and a pastor. All I did was pull out some paper with scriptures to prove the truth. When they looked at the paper to see that it had scriptures written on it they scoffed and said “It’s just scriptures.” and continued to literally yell at me (my wife in the sanctuary could even hear them) that I should not say what they were teaching was wrong.
They refused to see the scriptures that could bring the truth to light because it would mean they were wrong and they feared the loss of control and power they had. So the first step to take in coming to the truth is to listen to each other. But this does not mean we should let ourselves be persuaded by men. We should be persuaded by scripture.
5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.6 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.
This chapter in the book of Acts gives us the method for getting to the truth and coming together. In these two verses we see two views. One group said that the gentiles needed to be circumcised and another did not. This could have been the first split into different denominations. But instead of turning from each other they came together to consider it.
13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: 14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. 15 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, 16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: 17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. 18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
After they came together they talked about the matter with respect to each other. No one accused another. They held their peace. So again the first step in knowing the truth is to listen. But the final word is never and should never be the words of men.
In verse 15 we see the scriptures being the final word. The scriptures must agree. If the scriptures do not agree with the doctrine then it is not truth since it is against the word of God. It is a lie. So the truth is found through the word.
That is why at On The Line Ministries I encourage people to challenge any doctrine taught here…but it must be done through scripture. If an interpretation of scripture doesn’t agree with other scriptures then that interpretation must be wrong.
In the end if someone wants to prove their doctrine is correct then they must use scripture. Many try to use their own logic (remember the Bible says to not lean on your own wisdom). Others may use scripture that has been misunderstood and can be shown not to mean what they think it does, through other scriptures. If their view is found to be in error through the scriptures then they must accept the truth or deny it.
1 Timothy 6:3-5
3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
One last thing I need to mention is what happens if someone has been shown the truth and still teaches and holds onto their lie without reason. Such a person should not be named with the body of Christ. This is such a hard thing to say…but for the good of the church, the good of those in need of salvation, and indeed the good of the person who refuses the truth they must not be accepted as a Christian.
If they are simply trying to learn and still questioning the subject then give them grace and continue to teach and help them. If they are no longer seeking the truth and simply going after a lie without regard to truth then we must do as Paul did. He turned them over to Satan to let them learn not to blaspheme (1 Timothy 1:20).
Now with all of that said I need to tell you that there are many who are quick to dish out judgment. Remember that in these cases we are also told by God to be merciful, loving, gentle, and patient. It is better to be slow to wrath than quick to shed blood.
July 14, 2015 at 7:14 pm | | 2 comments