And then we have those Biblical topics that I for one am not 100 % absolutely sure about.
You know, things like freewill and election, the gifts of the Holy Spirit still being active in the church today, old earth creationism or young earth creationism. There’s more, but I’m pretty sure that most of us have encountered these topics and spent time considering the differing perspectives. Sooner or later, every Christian worth his or her salt will look into some or most of these things.
With regard to freewill and election, I personally think that the Bible teaches both and that there is a danger when we become overly focused on one perspective over the other. I could give you my reasons why I hold this perspective but someone has already articulated it better than I can and you can view their overview here if you wish to. These are just overviews, not detailed criticism on one perspective over another but the general tone of the sometimes resulting conflict is what sincerely bothers me. Short story is God is sovereign and generally speaking, it is His will that none should perish but sometimes He exercises His sovereignty. And no, I don’t perfectly understand how it all works.
With regard to the gifts of the Holy Spirit still being available to the Church or have they ceased is another topic that has caused a lot of contention. I personally think that these gifts are still available but and this is a big but, there has been a lot of abuse and misunderstanding in this area. Once again, I could give you the reasons for my leaning towards this perspective but the same individual that explained their perspective on free will and election also did a nice overview on this one and you can view it here if you wish to. Once again, we’re not talking about detailed criticism from either perspective but just a short overview. And as this individual articulates, when all is said and done, these experiences, whether you view them as valid or not, are all secondary to walking with Christ, in love. I personally think that Satan knows the power that resides in these gifts and fights it with all the temporary authority he has been given and for good reason. Sometimes, because of our lack of biblical discernment and not heeding the warning to test the spirits, we have a tendency to throw the baby out with the bath water. In my personal walk with God, of the last few years, I have pretty much stayed away from being open to the use of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the assembly of believers, not because I don’t believe they are there or available but because of the sometimes strong opposition to their use and how strenuously Satan fights against them. We’re talking about the meat of the word here and far too many still feed on milk. The milk of the word and the gifts of the Holy Spirit don’t mix well because of carnal tendencies. It’s our loss.
With regard to old earth creationism and young earth creationism, I personally lean towards the old earth creationism perspective but I could be wrong. I can tell you that I definitely am not a fan of the unchristian behaviour that some opponents extend to those who differ from their perspective and that covers both sides.
I have read countless books and articles on each of these subjects over the years and spent an inordinate amount of time looking at the biblical reasoning, history and consequences for each of these subjects. It is so easy to get caught up in these topics or others like the Word of Faith thinking or focus on signs and wonders (including healing) and there are many wolves thriving within the body of Christ today who are more than willing to use anyone to advance their cause. Only problem being, all distractions are focused on one purpose, to get you to take your eyes off of Jesus and focus on something else. Jesus said that without Him we could do nothing. He is our focus, always has been, always will be.
I’ve said before that I don’t know all the answers and that I don’t even know all of the questions, but this I do know. It is Jesus who saves us, it is Jesus who is our shepherd and He and His word are what we are to feed on. Some of you may disagree with some of my leanings or understandings and that’s OK, because I could be wrong. But my faith and trust in Jesus doesn’t depend on any of them, He knows how little I understand and comprehend and He also knows my heart is His and that is all that I really care about.
I’m pretty sure if that is your daily focus, you can’t go wrong, well . . . at least not for long.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!