“Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” Acts 17:11
As for a single verse from Scripture, this may be one of the most quoted in our household. I’m thankful that we were taught fairly early in our walk that we shouldn’t believe everything that we hear. Not until we’ve taken the teaching back to Scripture to see if it lined up.
Unfortunately many of us are lazy — note that I am definitely including myself in this comment — and I want to have to do the work once, and then be done with it. I want to be able to trust specific teachers simply because I researched them a couple of years ago and all was well. I want to be able to sit back and read or listen to teachings and soak it up like a sponge.
But I can’t. And neither can you. The truth of the matter is that many teachers who seemed to be right on the mark even a year ago have succumbed to the pressure of peers, or faster growing congregations, or fads…and have sadly turned away from what they had held to be true. Not such an abrupt turn that everyone’s heads spin, but just enough that each step forward then takes them further and further away from the narrow road. Until the once-subtle shift towards another doctrine becomes a full-blown alliance supporting once- understood-to-be heretics. (Is that too strong a word? Um…no.)
If you don’t like the word doctrine, substitute whatever code of beliefs your church, denomination, non-denomination denomination holds to be true. Or distinctives. Whatever you wish to call them. We all hold to something, presumably. And when those distinctives are published it’s easy to see what a church, affiliation, body believes. And rightly so. Who wants to join a fellowship and find out later that you just don’t believe the same things?
Another huge plus to publishing these points is that then the congregation, body, affiliates, :insert here what you’re called:, can hold the leadership accountable.
No one is beyond reproach. And it makes us sad to see it happen. The author of the linked article here has attended Calvary Chapel since becoming a believer. And so it is with a sad heart this blog was written…back last August. Things have not improved.
We all must continue to saturate ourselves in His Word so that we can know when a counterfeit voice is speaking. Pray that all of us will stand on guard. That we will be open to exhortation. That leaders will stay true to the Word. That slip-sliding leaders will regain their footing and stand firm on the Rock on which we all trust.
We must be Bereans.