Truth or Unity?

4 06 2008

One cannot attempt honest Bible study without facing up to the kind of basic questions Christians have grappled with for centuries. Is the Bible a supernatural and unique revelation from God or is it something less? Is it the sole authority on matters of Christian faith or can it be superseded by something else?  Is the Bible complete or is God still speaking through dreams, visions, and voices today? Is the Bible socially flexible? In other words, if the teachings of the Bible fall out of fashion with what is politically correct may those passages be reinterpreted or ignored? Does the Bible contradict itself?

If you don’t care for those questions there are hundreds of others. The fact of the matter is that every time you settle on an answer to any biblical question it will move you toward one theological camp and away from another. If you ask enough questions and remain consistent with your conclusions you will soon arrive at one of the well established doctrinal positions. It’s unavoidable.

Unfortunately “doctrine” and “denominations” have been so thoroughly demonized by pop culture Christians that many people actually believe it is better to have no doctrine and be non-denominational. Vague generalities and subjective personal experiences are all the rage these days. Bible tested answers and concrete convictions just don’t sit well in a culture that thinks truth is relative and love means accepting everyone just as they are.  

Jesus said, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household” (Matthew 10:34-36).

This week’s principle for serious Bible study is simply this: Truth has consequences. The more truth one learns the more one is responsible for living consistently with that truth and the less one is able to compromise… even for the sake of unity.

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