It Matters!

This post is a tad on the long side but bear with me if you would, the subject matter is really important.

One of the most difficult requirements that Jesus asked us to do, is understand how, within Christianity, we are to obey Jesus’s command to love one another and to be in unity with one another, while at the same time, comply with Jesus’ commandments and teach the truths of His Gospel.

If you want to see how that has worked out for us, over the last almost 2000 years, take a good hard look at Christian history, right up to today. If you think that it has not created real problems, and necessitated readjustments along the way, you would be wrong because it clearly has. The short story is, as Christians, we cannot love and have unity with one another in accordance with God’s truth, at the expense of the foregoing or putting aside, of that truth. The absolute necessity of both is required, otherwise what you end up loving and having unity in, is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

And the reality of this dilemma is not new, the Apostles faced the same problems, where God’s truth was almost immediately attempted to be distorted by some well meaning Jewish Christians, when Peter, out of fear, started to misrepresent the inclusion of the Gentiles, by his chosen association with the Jewish believers, at the expense of his exclusion of the Christian Gentiles, as recorded in Galatians 2:11-14 NASB. Paul is quoted as stating “they were not straightforward about the truth of the Gospel”. And please note that Paul addressed it. The New Testament records a number of individuals who opposed the Apostle Paul’s teachings throughout his ministry and Paul addressed each of them. And why did Paul address those who were not straightforward about the truth of the Gospel? Because it mattered. Remember that.

I am always mindful that Peter undoubtedly had God’s Holy Spirit within him when he made this decision to disassociate himself from the Christian Gentiles. Peter, of all people, because of the vision that he was given (Acts 10:9-48) pertaining to the inclusion of the Gentiles, should have known better, but he didn’t. Was Peter following the leading of the Holy Spirit here? Apparently not. If that could happen to Peter, could it happen to us? I would have a tendency to think it could. God had already clearly shown Peter of His intent to include the Gentiles, yet for reasons of fear of exclusion by the Jewish Christians, Peter mindfully chose to disregard God’s will and intent. Fear of being excluded can do some strange things. Remember that too.

Who we pick for our Christian friends and teachers matters, especially if what they teach deviates from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And the reason why what they teach matters, is that Biblical doctrines and teachings matter. And what we see, many times throughout Christian history, is people become associated with a particular group or church, who emphasize one aspect of Biblical truth, or a distortion of Biblical truth, at the expense of other Biblical truths. The Protestant Reformation, as an example, happened because there was a declared need by many, to turn from the abuses that had built up within the Church and to return to the truths of God, as declared solely within His Holy Word.

Throughout the history of the Church, there has always been those who seek to go back to, versus move away from, God’s Holy Word. And the reasoning behind this is not difficult to find.

Consider the Scripture verse from Jude 3-4 “Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all time handed down to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into indecent behavior and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” (Emphasis is mine).

And how about the Apostle Paul who states the following in Galatians 1:6-9 NASB: “I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel, which is not just another account; but there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, even now I say again: if anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!”

Certain people have crept in unnoticed, some have turned to a different Gospel, hardly unlike what we face today.

And what is this “different Gospel of Christ? We are talking about a Gospel that distorts God’s Word, one that deviates from the teachings which has for all time been delivered to us. That “for all time” is noteworthy, remember that too.

There are many who now advocate that we should not judge any within the Church, and there is no need to question or challenge other teachings which are contrary to God’s Word. Those who do question or challenge are viewed as being judgemental and focused on tearing down versus being loving and building up. I’m thinking the Apostle Paul and many others within the New Testament would have a problem with that evaluation, because apparently they saw a need that some today have forgotten.

Considering that experimental experience is now the preferred norm in many churches and ministries, new translations like the “Passion Bible” are accepted without question and visitations from angels with new revelations expanding on God’s continual unfolding intent is common and gladly received, one could wonder what ever happened to Biblical Discernment? Having Biblical discernment now represents to many, who disregard this necessity, that those who focus on Biblical discernment have a closed mind to new things that God is doing. Teachers or prophets who have “unique” gifts is common place and when they use the word “unique”, they mean spiritual gifts that are not listed in the New Testament, interpreting visions and dreams being one of their favourites.

So, who we align ourselves to, in being taught, should we go decide to go that route, actually matters, especially if what they teach, deviates from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Obviously, being very conversant with God’s Word is paramount, so that Biblical discernment can be exercised. If one’s Biblical discernment skills are lacking or of no major concern, the probability of being deceived radically increases.

And when we develop a friendship with or a follower of a particular teacher who does distort the Gospel of Jesus, what frequently happens is that our friendship or liking for that individual can then overshadow what they actually teach, so that we push aside those concerns in order to maintain that friendship or foster our association with that particular teacher.

And if someone should actually question the teachings of this “teacher”, that questioning also then calls into question the discernment being exercised by the “friends” or “followers” of the teacher, who will usually come to the “teachers” defence. Why? Because to not come to their defence casts a negative shadow on their own discernment abilities.

What is frequently overlooked is that “Friendship” is not the issue when we are dealing with God’s Word, adhering to sound doctrine and teachings that we have been given in God’s Holy Word as it applies to the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the issue of importance.

If you are a student of Church History, it is not difficult to see the parallels that this shortfall presents.

As Christians, we are not to mold God’s Word to our selective choosing, we are to seek God’s Word to mold us to God’s choosing. There is a big difference.

I enjoy learning from a number of different Christian teachers. Sometimes I agree with their teaching, sometimes I don’t. The deciding factor is what God’s Word says about what they teach and as to whether the topic at hand has room for differing opinions. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t. Just be aware that rabbit holes have a tendency to merge into a bigger rabbit hole. As an example, going with the thinking that we are not to judge those within the church has much bigger ramifications because it also includes the Biblical necessity of exercising Church discipline, in Christian love. And yes, love does correct.

As Acts 17:11 states: “Now these people were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.”

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

11 comments

  1. Excellent post. This speaks to, among other things, another gift sorely missing in the Church today: discernment. It is becoming more and more of rarity. Well done, Bruce!

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  2. I agree with EVERYTHING you have said in this post! This absolutely matters, who we read, what we watch, who we follow matters. Sound doctrine over friendship when it comes to the Bible for sure! The Passion Translation is no translation at best it’s a paraphrase! Wisdom and discernment are lacking amongst God’s people today. I have been working on a post on the harm of Progressive Christianity. Not because I think I will change any apostates mind but so people will know where I stand. We do not get to be with Jesus on our terms but on His.

    The West’s entitlement is a disgrace and has filtered to all parts of the globe. Consumer Christianity is no Christianity. Glowy, feel good Jesus is no Jesus.

    It does matter and peoples hearts are being revealed in ways I NEVER would have imagined. The church’s heart is so hard that instead of worshiping and obeying God in Spirit and in Truth we are bowing down at the altar of cultural relativity.

    At the end of the day people know what you believe, they hear the passion that you have for the things that matter. We all get our tone and delivery wrong at times, but amongst true believers we will find grace and forgiveness. Why, because it matters.

    I never intended for this to be such a LONG response!!! Love and blessings to you and Peggy!!!

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    • Hi Mandy, Alisa Childers has a lot of good material on Progressive Christianity if you haven’t already seen it. https://www.alisachilders.com/
      And I have a few links on my Christian Resources page under Progressive Christianity that you could look at. It’s hard to imagine how some of this stuff actually attracts some people but apparently it does. Here in Canada it used to be our United Churches that had gone liberal but now it appears as though almost anything goes.

      Tone and delivery, yes, I’m still working on that. You can only imagine what I take out of my articles because it sounds a tad on the abrasive side. Looking forward to your article when it is done! Still waiting on the fish pictures! Blessings!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am very familiar with Alisa Childers and thank God for her podcasts and YouTube videos!

        Nathan has live bait and every kind of artificial lure known to man and nothing so far is producing here! I would be happy to fish for small or largemouth bass; but Nathan is determined to catch striper or walleye! What do you like to fish for?!

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  3. This is the second time today that I heard/read a teaching on this very topic. The wording was slightly different, but you said exactly what was said in the teaching I listened to earlier today. Seems like God is trying to get the point across to his people. 🙂

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    • Thanks for letting me know Nina. I’d be interested to read the other post you mentioned. If you could provide the link I will take a look at it. Thanks again and blessings!

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  4. Excellent post! Just yesterday, I overheard an older gentleman proclaiming that everyone needed to read this book he was reading about how 9/11 is in the Bible, etc. He appeared to be a devout Christian attending a mainstream church. It just made me think about all these crazy books Christians read. If it’s a “Best Seller”, it must be right! If the author pastors a huge church, it certainly must be right! (Not right!) Yes, money IS the root of all evil and “itching ears” buy lots of books! Thanks for writing this timely post. Blessings, Bruce!

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