It Matters!- Revisited

This post has been updated and is a tad on the long side but bear with me if you would, because the subject matter is vitally important.

One of the most difficult requirements that Jesus asked us to do, is understand how, within Christianity, we are to obey Jesus’s commands to love one another and to be in unity with one another, while at the same time, comply with Jesus’ commandments to teach and defend 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 from a group that you want to be in, can do some strange things. Remember that too.

Who we pick for our Christian friends and especially 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. The Bible teaches that orthodox Christian doctrines dictate our Christian experience. But what we see, many times throughout Christian history, is people become associated with a particular individual, group or church, who emphasize one aspect of Biblical truth, or a distortion of Biblical truth, at the expense of other Biblical truths. And that is especially relevant where our “experiences” define our doctrine. The Protestant Reformation, as an example, happened because there was a declared need by many, to turn from the abuses and unbiblical doctrines that had built up over time, 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 shift 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). Take note that the hearers of this appeal were told to contend EARNESTLY for the faith that was ONCE FOR ALL TIME handed down to the saints. You can correct me if you think I have read and understand this incorrectly, but that would appear to mean to me, that the revelation of our faith has been clearly defined, with no “new” revelations forthcoming, and this revelation stood “once for all time”. That would tend to put a contradiction in place, for those today, who advocate God is now revealing new things outside of His Holy Word, or a minimum, at the very least, it should.

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!” Notice that no where in the New Testament does Paul state, “I forgot to mention” or “I missed this part, previously”. That which has ALREADY been delivered is final, cannot be changed, even by themselves or an angel from heaven. And then there are those two words, “contrary to” followed by “what we HAVE preached to you.”

Certain people have crept in unnoticed, some have turned to a different Gospel, hardly unlike what we face today, especially within the New Apostolic Reformation movement, which is rampant today.

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 many today have forgotten.

Considering that experimental experience is now the preferred norm in many churches and ministries, new translations (and I use the word translation loosely) 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.

Consequently, who we align ourselves to, in being taught, should we 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 we ourselves, can rightly determine “if these things are so” and Biblical discernment, can in fact, be exercised. If one’s Biblical discernment skills are sorely lacking or of no major concern, the probability of being deceived, radically increases.

And when we develop a friendship with or become 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 pertaining to Biblical discernment, 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 the orthodox doctrines of God’s Holy Word, adhering to sound doctrine and teachings that we have been given in God’s Holy Word, is the issue, as it applies to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is the issue of vital importance.

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 will and 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. A good example of a non-negotiable would be that Jesus is God. A negotiable, at least in my mind, would be a difference of opinion regarding celebrating Christmas. Just be aware that rabbit holes have a tendency to merge into bigger rabbit holes. 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.”

Considering that God’s Word explicitly tells us that “All Scripture is inspired by God and beneficial for teaching, for rebuke, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man or woman of God may be fully capable, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17), practising Biblical discernment, for the man or woman of God, is NOT optional. And to ignore this necessity is to put oneself in the same category as the Sadducees, who Jesus told “Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.” (Matthew 22:29)

2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!


  1. I love that not so little push “contend earnestly for the faith” Bruce.
    There will come a time again when those who spend time in intimate relation with God will be asked like Moses to “cover your face”. Even the after glow is bright in very dark places. The fruits of the Spirit show up in bright color contrasting a very dull gray world. It’s not just coming. It’s here.


  2. Good post; “friendship” and also concern for looking like one is not discerning is a powerful force to motivate doubling down on defending false teaching

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