Wanted: Bereans

The older I get as a believer in Christ, the more I understand why many unbelievers despise Christians and their beliefs. We Christians all too often say and believe the dumbest things. We sound like superstitious savages. It’s no wonder we’re considered ignorant and backward.

This morning I deleted a book about heaven from my audio player. I just didn’t have the stomach for listening to any more of it. And it’s supposedly one of the better books on the topic to come out in recent years. At least it came to me with a recommendation from a source I can usually trust.

What really gauled me is the author’s claim to pull his theology from Scripture. However, in more than one chapter, he spent quite a long time citing illustrations and quoting other Christian writers to prove a point before attempting to back it up with Scriptures. I don’t even feel like dignifying this guy’s baloney by spelling it out error for error.

There’s nothing like coming to the Bible with your own agenda. How about layhing out the Scriptures first, then explaining them. This man wasn’t a Catholic, but like them, he elevated traditions and man’s view to that of Scripture.

I could have waded through more of the book or skipped to a later chapter to hunt for something that had the ring of truth to it, but why bother? How can I trust anything he says? I had a fairly clear picture of where he was going.

He’s wrong on key points, and I disagree with him.

Does that make me the holder of all truth? No. But I think I have a pretty good B.S. detector.

On a similar note, I tuned in a few days ago to hear what John MacArthur was preaching about. The instant I tuned in, he cited something parroted from others without questioning it. He preached it as the Gospel truth. But it’s not.

I won’t bother to elaborate. The point is, like the author of the book about heaven, MacArthur’s credibility to me has been further damaged. I say further damaged because I’m not one of those who practically worships at MacArthur’s feet as the ultimate Bible guru.

What’s disgusting is to think that so many, many believers sit under the teachings of MacArthur or discuss the book about heaven in Sunday school or church, and they eat it all up. Where’s the discernment? Where’s the questioning? Where’s the adherence to the example of the Bereans in Acts 17 who checked out the Scriptures to see if what Paul said was true?

In many cases unbelievers are far better at spotting and hating lies than we Christians. This is to our shame. Especially when we have the Holy Spirit dwelling within.

I know somebody’s going to say, “But these teachers are men and men are flawed. You can’t expect perfection.”

Wy not? Do we have the Holy Spirit guiding us or not? Is it any wonder the Quakers despise man’s religion in favor of dependence on an Inner Light?

No, I’m not about to become a Quaker. They don’t have it all together either.

And I know I don’t. But why must so many Christians blatantly demonstrate their foolishness? If unbelievers see it, why can’t we?

This ought to be a lesson to anyone who doubts the fickleness and depravity of human nature. And it points out the need for our own need to study the Bible directly and seek guidance from the Holy Spirit. We would be wise not to believe everything told to us by humans who presume to be in authority.

Acts 17:11–These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

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