Recently I read a blog written by someone I knew years ago. For some reason, I always disagre with this person. I knew looking at his blog would only upset me, but my wife basically force me when she said I wouldn’t believe what he had written. Several of his posts where so far off I couldn’t believe he was serious; he’s a serious guy though so I know he meant what he wrote. I was tempted to comment, “how is it that you are always wrong?” Of course, I would never say this because it’s both extremely arrogant and assumes that I always right. In the interest of getting something redemptive out of reading the blog, I’m going to post one of the main reasons why there are so many devout Christians in error. (Yes, I know some of the things I believe are wrong too.)
Years ago during a Bible study I recommended that the blogger read some books from different theological perspectives as he only read books by his favorite author and those recommended by that author. He told me that he didn’t have time to read books that he thought were wrong. A verse about this comes to mind.
Proverbs 18:17 The first to state his case seems right, until the other comes and examines him.
Here we see why his refusal is so dangerous. There are many persuasive teachers out there who can make a convincing argument. The arguments need to be weighted. Have you ever gone to a church where the members are all passionate about the same doctrine, and then gone to the church across town where they are all passionate about an opposing doctrine? Did these people magically arrive at their opposite understandings through study or are they just believing what they are told and shutting out other opinions? If you guessed the latter you are correct. Not very good for church unity is it? It’s easy to be unified if you ignore the body of Christ outside of your building, but very difficult if you include the whole body of Christ.
The best way to get past this ignorant and divisive way of thinking is to follow multiple teachers from multiple traditions. There are very few traditions out there that have nothing going for them. Most have a following because there is some Biblical truth they are emphasizing. There are Bapists for a reason. There are Presbyterians for a reason. We need to learn what each tradition has to offer. We certainly don’t need to call people from other traditions names, like the blogger has been known to do, especially if we haven’t taken the time to listen to them.
The two most important keys to having true understanding are humility and teachability. If you don’t have these no amount of study will lead you to the truth. God makes sure we need each other. We can only understand in community with the Church.
PS. Please see my next post for commentary on this post.