Monday, June 18, 2012

Searching out God's truth

Salvation is simple. But once you are saved, you should not and cannot stay in one place. We are meant for better things. That's why I stay away from feel-good pastors like Joel Osteen and search for teachers who will lead me deep into God's word, which I also read regularly, expecting that the Holy Spirit will lead me to God's truth through these efforts.

I guess I have a hard time understanding why a Christian would not be concerned with spiritual growth. Or, like a friend of mine, how someone can be concerned with only the feel good spiritual discussions. People seem too content with where they are - content to follow their leaders blindly, content to search out only what is beneficial to them. But we aren't called to live perfect, comfortable lives.

I was talking to a friend today, and somehow the subject of charismatic beliefs came up. I wanted to discuss speaking of tongues, which I believe no longer exist. She grew agitated and made it clear she did not even want to discuss it. I was not judging her or her beliefs. I stated that speaking of tongues is not an essential doctrine - that it plays no role in whether or not we are truly saved, and I asked her why she believed in the speaking of tongues in modern day context. Throwing me aside, she replied that it was the way she was brought up and that she had experienced speaking of tongues. She also said that there were some verses in the Bible that mentioned it, but gave no specifics, nor was she willing to discuss the context of those verses. And she knew from past discussions that I was open to the idea of speaking of tongues.

My friend is a very "spiritual" person, in the Christian sense of the word, so it surprised me that she was so unwilling to merely discuss. In this case, she depended on what she's been taught and what she has experienced rather on the Word of God - rather than seeking answers herself.

Now, I know others who believe in the speaking of tongues who have done their research. Of course, those who believe doctrines more clearly disagreeing with the Bible have also done their homework (you can convince yourself of anything if all that matters is justifying yourself). But in this post, in the simpler part of the issue, I ask, why wouldn't you test things according to Scripture? Why wouldn't you seek to grow in your relationship with Christ?

How much do you hunger for God's truth? How deep do you go in your studies? Are you willing to read the Bible for yourself? And are you willing to test life's experiences and teachers' claims with Scripture?

Simplicity in faith is important, but how important are the steps we take afterward? Is our willingness to learn and our study of the Scripture just as important?

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